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Claire (The Captive Reader)

I adore Eva Ibbotson and A Countess Below Stairs is one of my favourites. I love the spine on your copy; that floral print is lovely! I'm also hoping to join in with the Cheerful Weather for the Wedding readalong and reread Pride and Prejudice in honour of the anniversary. Wonderful books to start the year off with!


Ooh, I've been vaguely meaning to read An Instance of the Fingerpost for a while, and just borrowed my boyfriend's copy. I'm not sure I'll get to it in by late February, but hm, maybe!

vicki (bibliolathas/skiourophile)

I just can't read tiny print any more. Thank heavens for e-readers!


I know just what you mean about An Instance of the Fingerpost - I retrieved my copy off the shelf yesterday only to discover that it had been sitting there since January 2002! It also has VERY small print but since I have read some of Iain Pears' art crime thrillers and enjoyed them, I have to give it a go!

Cheerful Weather for the Wedding is on my Persephone shelf - I haven't had it quite as long as the Pears but it has certainly been there for a couple of years so hopefully I can use Simon's readalong as the impetus to finally read it!

Junior daughter and I have quite a few Eva Ibbotson books between us although we haven't read that many of them yet and I know that A Countess Below Stairs isn't one of them. I must resist the temptation to look for it on Amazon now - that is always my downfall!

I was planning on reading some Austen this year anyway although my intention was to read one I hadn't already read but since it is P&P's anniversary and I know that I like it, I might start with a re-read of that again.
I hadn't realised that it was Barbara Pym's centenary this year - it must be going on thirty years since I last read her books, and they turned up again at the back of a bookshelf when I was looking for something else. They are now 'calling' to me so since they are small enough to be tucked into my work bag, I am very tempted to choose one of them as well!
Oh dear, there I go again - so many books so little time!


I read that book by Ibbotson a few months ago and I enjoyed it a lot. It is very much a comfort read, yes.

I actually just finished reading Cheerful Weather a month ago.. I don't know if I remember enough of it to post about it, but perhaps I'll join in by going round the posts of other bloggers.

Happy 2013 :)

Alex in Leeds

There's a Pym readalong this year, a book a month, it's being organised by a LibraryThing group - several of the members have blogs and will be writing and reviewing about Pym. Take a look at :)


What an nice mix of books you have up for reading. Instance of the Fingerpost is a little challenging, more I think because it doesn't read fast and the story develops slowly. It's pretty good though. Melwyk's postal challenge is very tempting especially since I've been thinking I'd like to read some letters this year. Perhaps I will join at the postcard level. Hmmm. Good luck on reading mostly from your stacks!

Amanda R

My new year is starting out with gobs of books to read. I'm dropping out of a Proust read because I finally realized that attempting a mega read like that along with having a baby next month is probably just asking for failure.

Thomas at My Porch and I are hosting a Barbara Pym reading week the first week in June. Join us!


I just started it earlier today and think I am really going to enjoy it--very easy to get into the story right from the first page! Now I can't wait until the weekend when I will have more free time to read! Yes, lots of good books to choose from this month--both my own and planned readalongs. Not sure I'll manage a reread of the Austen, but I think I can at least watch the movie version! :)


It is a long one, which is why I pulled out my copy now. I'm going to start it and see how it goes, but I can see it being a book that ends up taking me months to read! But it does look really good!


I do okay with most books, but mass market paperbacks are notorious for their small print. I wonder if there is a digital version of this book? I haven't quite gone over to ebooks, but I can see how being able to increase fonts makes them really attractive.


I've read one of Iain Pears's Italian mysteries, but it's been so long I can't quite remember it now--only a vague feeling that I liked it. I love the sound of An Instance and have long wanted to read it. I think I just need a good chunk of time to really get into the story and then see how it goes. I already have the Strachey out and am looking forward to it. I do hope the movie makes it here as I very much want to see it--it looks good, too! Just in case you 'happen upon' a nice, cheap, used copy of Countess Below the Stairs--do snap it up. I've just started it and think I am going to love it. I was only going to read a few pages to get a taste and ended up using my whole break at work earlier today reading it! :) I'm not sure I'll get a P&P reread in this month (and then I started Emma last year, but it sits unfinished...oops), but I will at least watch the film adaptation! And I pulled out my whole stack of Pym novels after work--they were close to the top of a pile and easily accessible--I shouldn't even think of starting anymore books, but I think I,too, will be tucking Some Tame Gazelle into my bookbag tomorrow morning...


It does have comfort read written all over it--perfect for cold, grey January days! I can't wait to start Cheerful Weather---I'll have to look for your post when I finish reading.

Happy New Year to you, too, Iris! And happy reading in 2013.


Thanks so much for that link--I've gone and checked it out and then grabbed my books from my pile. I read Excellent Women several years back, liked it so much I went and bought a bunch of her other books so I will try and read along when I can. In any case I want to read at least one Pym novel and will start with her first.


I don't mind slow but I am a little apprehensive about the length mixed together with a slowly-developed story. Can I stick it out?! Doesn't a Postal Challenge sound like fun? I think I will likely join in and try and read one or two books of correspondence--it would have been perfect last year when I read that book of letters between the Russian girl and British bookseller!


Mine, too, it seems. I always think I'll start out slow with not too many plans and then go a little crazy with all the choices. That's okay--books are good. Congrats on the forthcoming baby--that will keep you very busy for a while (a baby and Proust would be quite a challenge!). I have checked out the challenge you are hosting with Thomas--count me in. I have already pulled my stack of Pyms from my bookshelves!


You´ve got some great plans ahead. Cheerful WEather for the Wedding isa book I´d like to read as well but I don´t want to order any books for a while.
I´ve read afew of Eva Ibbotson´s books and I predict you will like her very much. I´m not sure I´ve reda the one you are going to read though.


I've longed owned the big hardcover copy of the Pears' book as well. I had a work colleague borrow my copy and read it over 10 years ago. He raved about it but his reading and mine did not always coincide so I shied away from it after that. I really look forward to hearing what you think about it. Maybe I will finally give it a go.


I am planning to read more of my own books this year and Beyond the Blue is on my shelf, so will put it at the top of the pile. I tried the Fingerpost and didn't get very far which is unusual for me; maybe I'll give it another try.


I am glad the Postal Reading Challenge is tempting you...give in to the temptation...:)

I'm looking forward to reading more Barbara Pym this year as well, I have a number of her books on my shelves that I haven't read yet. Glad to see that there is a Pym project going on!


I happened to have Cheerful Wedding already in my reading pile so that worked out really well. I do have a few gift cards to use for books (am contemplating now what I might buy), but I would have to pay for a Persephone if I had to order it as I don't think Barnes and Noble carries any of their books (maybe the Classics reissues with the color covers). I have started the Ibbotson, and yes, I think I am going to enjoy it very much--easy and entertaining so far!


I have owned it since it came out in paper--I have the smaller (and more portable) mass market paper edition. I just need a little chunk of time to devote to it to get a good start and work up some reading momentum.


I'm really liking Beyond the Blue--I bought it when it first came out and think it is going to be one of those--why did I wait so long books. So far all the books I've been reading at the moment have been really good, engaging choices. I'm hoping Instance works out equally as well!


I think there is lots of Pym reading going on--I pulled out the books by her I have (and discovered I have about half what she wrote!) and have started reading Some Tame Gazelle. I think this is going to be my year of early 20th century women's (domestic fiction)--at least that seems to be mostly what I am reading at the moment. And I think I have pretty much given in to the temptation and should just go and officially join in the Postal Reading Challenge as I just pulled from my shelf my copy of 800 Years of Women's Letters! If I can pick books from my own shelves--well, they are pretty much a shoe-in for readalongs and such! :) Good idea you had!


I'm still waiting for my copy of Doctor Glas to turn up - I ordered it AGES ago! Boo hoo! Don't you find there are absolutely masses and masses of readalongs and challenges in the blog world this year? I don't know if it's just me but there seem to be so many at the moment.


I have my copy all ready to go but won't wait too long to start as it always seems to take me longer to read Slaves books than I expect. There really are lots of challenges these days. It's fun reading in groups, and so tempting to join in, but I am hoping to keep going on my own reading plans so am doing my best not to be too tempted. Of course if the book in question is one I want to read anyway I often give in. It's nice, though, so see so much enthusiasm about books and reading!

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