My Photo

Bookish Places


Blog powered by Typepad

« Literary Postcards, Part 3 | Main | Lost in the Stacks: The Coming Out Party (Visiting Book Edition) »



Another wonderful list with a lot of temptations.
"I used to inhale her books" made me smile, I know what you mean. It's been a long time since I last had an author like that.
I've only read The Shell Seekers and liked it a lot as well but there are a lot of interesting sounding other titles.

Margaret Powling

The Shell Seekers was a real breakthrough for Rosamunde Pilcher who, until then, was famous for her light romantic novels. With the shell seekers she wrote her first romantic saga/relationship story (as it would be called today) and what a gorgeous read it is. My favourite is Winter Solstice, best read around Christmas time. However, I have a very soft spot for a Pilcher novel which isn't ever listed anywhere. It's called simply April, and was published by Collins in 1957. I know as I have a copy and when I interviewed Mrs Pilcher some years ago she very kindly signed it for me. I read this as a young teenager and absolutely loved it. It was only her second novel and although my copy is now very tatty and without a dust jacket, it is still one of my treasured books.

Margaret Powling

PS I forgot to add that my current reading is The Kashmir Shawl, and a delightful read it is, too.
But for all those who enjoy a romantic historical, might I recommend to you a book which has just been published? It is To Turn Full Circle by Linda Mitchelmore. It is Linda's first novel (after cutting her writing teeth on hundreds of short stories, many of them prize-winning short stories, too) and as it is set by the coast in Devon, this might similarly be described as an ideal 'beach' read! It is published by Choc Lit.


That is quite the eclectic list! Should get you through the summer nicely along with your Italy books. You should get a CD with ocean waves on it for background atmosphere while you read :)


Even though I've lived my whole life in two beach states (California and Florida), I have to say that I am not really a beach girl. It's OK in moderation, you understand, but I think I prefer beach reads! (I'm more of a mountains and forest girl, if I had my druthers.) I've read several of the books you mention on your lists--The Summer Book, Sullivan's Island, Ross Polldark, The Winter Sea, and Evil Under the Sun to list a few. Last year, I read Drinking the Rain, a nonfiction book set on a tiny island in Maine--outstanding. Maybe this summer I should pick up some of your suggestions and have a beach read summer! (Or maybe, since it's so miserable here in FL in the summer, I'll choose some winter/cold climate-themed books--any suggestions there?)


Caroline--I think I read a lot more books by one author at a time than I do now--I tend to switch to a new author with each new book. I'd like to reread The Shell Seekers sometime, though I'm not sure now what I did with my copy. For now, though, I've pulled out Rumer Godden's The River and may read it this weekend.

Margaret--How cool that you interviewed Rosamund Pilcher--she must be very interesting to talk to. I don't think I've ever seen one called April, but now I am going to look it up and will have to get Winter Solstice, too, and save it for when the seasons change again.... Have looked it up and find only Snow in April--do you think it's the same book? Winter Solstice has gone on my wishlist. We have very similar reading tastes, don't we? I just had The Kashmir Shawl in my hands but think I had better finish a couple of other books first. I am, however, going to go ahead and order To Turn Full Circle--sounds right up my alley--thanks!

Stefanie--Do you know I DID buy a music file that is the sound of waves--it is very soothing and I like to listen to it now and again--good thinking--I might just have to listen while reading one of my 'beach' books. This is definitely one of my odder lists, but I think I like it for the variety!

Kathy--Being so totally landlocked (even though we have the Missouri River--it's not like I can easily go swimming in it...), I love the sound of the ocean. I'm not a beach girl in that I like laying in the sun, but I love the sound of the ocean and the majesty of it all--however hokey that sounds!! I like mountains and forests, too, but get far too little of that kind of nature sadly. I need to read Ross Poldark--it seems a great saga and there are lots of books in the series--may have to grab my copy as it is as yet unread, though I've owned it for ages. Like you when it gets really sticky and humid out I do like to think of 'cold' reads, too. Have you read Michelle Paver's Dark Matter? It's a ghost story set in the Arctic that might give you shivers (both for the temperature and the story). For other cold reads how about Gorky Park? And it's a thriller, too. Or Stef Penney's The Tenderness of Wolves, which is set in upper Canada--lots and lots of snow. I want to read The Snow Child (Alaska), and The Outlander by Gil Adamson (also Canada), or maybe Sashenka by Simon Montefiore (Russia). I'm already dreading the heat!

Jennifer Dee

If you enjoy the fiction of Rumer Godden then I highly recommend her autobiogriphy which come in two books. The first is: 'A Time to Dance' followed by 'A House With Four Rooms.'


I second Jennifer's recommendation of Rumer Godden's autobiography. Interesting lady!


Jennifer--I will have to see if my library has these books--we do have a lot of her fiction, so it's likely we have the memoirs, too. I have only read the one book by her but I do want to read more--after I finished Greengage Summer, I started collecting all the books I could find.

Kathy--Two votes means now I will *have* to look for them. I love memoirs, and I don't really know much about her otherwise--you've sold me! :)

Margaret Powling

Wonderful news that you are going to buy To Turn Full Circle - it's set in and around where the writer and I live. And lovely that you are going to read Winter Solstice in the winter season. No, the book called Snow in April isn't the same as the one called simply April, which refers to the heroine's name, a girl of 17. It's a charming novel - that word, charming, has come to be something of a disparaging comment these days, but I mean that it's a lovely read - about a young girl who goes to Cornwall for the summer and there falls in love with a writer who, unbeknowns to her, is in love with her mother (her father, incidentally, being an invalid.) It is very much a 1950s romance, but I absolutely love it, perhaps because I first read it when I was 13 and impressionable.
Mrs Pilcher was lovely to interview. This was about 12 years ago now. She was at a literary dinner in a hotel in Plymouth and I was permitted half an hour with her before the event (from which I managed to get two published articles.) Indeed, the book she was promoting at the dinner was Winter Solstice.
Margaret P

Margaret Powling

PS Yes, Danielle, we do have very similar tastes in fiction! The Kashmir Shawl is lovely. I really don't know how this was pipped at the post in the RNA awards by The Cornish House by Liz Fenwick. I don't wish to 'down' any novel and it's an achievement to have one published, but The Kashmir Shawl is simply superb in my opinion. A comparison I would make would be Andy thingy, our tennis player. He's good. He's very good. But then there's Federer and Nadal and Djokovic (sp?) and, well they're in a league of their own. The same might be said of Rosie Thomas.

Liz F

I read The River a couple of years ago and absolutely adored it - definitely one of my favourites although I still love The Greengage Summer.
I tend to collect Rumer Godden's books as and when I see them, but I haven't got around to reading many of them yet although I do plan to concentrate on reading from my own shelves as soon as I have cleared off the current library pile and have 'put away' my library card to stop myself from taking any more out!
Having just spent a glorious week walking along the fabulous Portuguese beaches, I can confirm that I am definitely a beach girl (although I prefer searching for shells and looking at rock pools to lying on the sand)and the thought of reading beach related books is very appealing!
I loved Barbara Michaels too having discovered her when I was 15, but my favourite is The Crying Child which is not only satisfyingly spooky but also introduced me to Maine Coon cats which are an abiding passion!
It was re-printed a few years ago and I acquired another copy but haven't read it yet so that will be high on the list - it is set on an island so definitely fits in!


Margaret--I'm getting the Mitchelmore from the Book Depository, and have the Pilcher in my B&N order cart! I'll have to search for April--that must be out of print and harder to find--may have to look at some UK used book sites. I often use charming when describing books (and like reading that sort), though I use it in a complimentary way. I do know what you mean be the word having less than positive connotations, though. You're making me very tempted to start reading The Kashmir Shawl now, though I really have to finish some other books first. Maybe as soon as I finish The Winter House by Judith Lennox, which I am zipping through and thoroughly enjoying. I think there is room for all sorts of authors and books. Not everyone can be a Federer, but there are those who can certainly compete and hold their own! :)

Liz--I collect Rumer Godden's books, too. I have The River sitting by my bedside and hope to start it soon--am trying to finish a few books that I am past the halfway mark on first, though. I'm the same sort of beach girl--I don't like laying there tanning, though I'm happy to sit and watch and listen! I have a bin full of old mass market books by authors like Barbara Michaels--if I could get to it easily I would dig it out and look over my selection of books! Sometimes just looking at books is a pleasure--and thinking about reading them! I'll look for The Crying Child as well--thanks!

Buried In Print

Oh, I was just thinking of reading The Shell Seekers and pulled it off the shelf last week to have a boo; I've had it on my shelves for ages, since it was first published in paperback and I'm afraid to look and see when that was, so it's about time, isn't it.


I love your lists. Do you know, I happen to have that exact same Barbara Michaels? I only own one of her novels, but I love a bit of gothic fun myself. I read a Mary Stewart just the other week when I was feeling poorly and it was a perfect accompaniment - it was This Rough Magic, another seashore book, set in Corfu. Thoroughly enjoyable!


Litlove--Great minds think alike, right? ;) We do have a lot of crossover in likes, don't we? Which is why I often come to you for suggestions. I love Mary Stewart and will definitely be reading something by her this year--I have This Rough Magic as well--love that Greek setting!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Books Read in 2021

Books Read in 2020

Books Read in 2019

Books Read in 2018

Books Read in 2017

Books Read in 2016

Books Read in 2015