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They all look good. Tough choice to make but in a way easy because any of these sounds like a winner! I like how you chose to interpret “old”. My February prompt is “Daedalus” — last year my favorite local bookstore by that name closed, but they ran a going-out-of-business sale for a month or two before the fatal date, and of course I bought a “few” (cough, cough) books so my prompt is to pick and read at least one of my books purchased there (note: I still have some small number (cough, cough) of books purchased there at other times, too.). I’ve started Letters to a Friend by Diana Athill who recently died and whose memoirs Stet and Somewhere Near the End I really enjoyed. Maybe I’ll be able to fit in another one or even two, since there are a couple novellas and Simenons in the stack(s). Enjoy sampling your stack of options!


Looks like you have some great choices there! Most are unfamiliar to me so can't really advise; besides, I always tend to steer away from biography and non-fiction (takes me too long to read them!). I have read Circe, which I really enjoyed; while I haven't read Sarah Perry's Essex Serpent (it's still on the TBR list) I recently read her latest novel, Melmoth. Based on that, I'd say she's definitely someone worth keeping up with.


I've always been particularly fond of John and Abigail Adams, so I'd probably take that one, but most sound interesting!


Still haven't read Aristocrats despite having a copy for years and my library copy of Circe had to go back before I had read more than a couple of pages but I thoroughly enjoyed The Essex Serpent when I read it if that is any help.
They all look good though so I am sure you will enjoy whichever you choose.

Claire (The Captive Reader)

I'm a huge Susanna Kearsley fan so have to vote for The Firebird. Like all her books, it's extraordinarily well-researched and you slip into the pages and into another era.


I loved Circe, and liked The Firebird (not my favorite, but still pretty good). I like non-fiction and read almost as much of it as fiction, and also am interested in the Adams family (ha) so may add those books to my own TBR list. What did you finally decide on?


I have read a few things by Diana Athill--I was sorry to hear she passed away. She had such an interesting life. I read a very short book about her travels to Italy that is worth looking for--I also enjoyed Stet. You'll have to let me know how the letters are. I suspect she was a great letter writer! Have fun choosing from your Daedalus pile--I like that idea. I could do the same with my favorite used bookstore as I often come away with piles of used books from them!


I love reading nonfiction and bios, but like you I rarely read more than one at a time. It takes me a very long time to read them as there is always so much to take in and I want to remember it all. I actually already have two nonfiction books on the go, so I might reach for a novel. The Perry is in one of the top slots as a matter of fact! :)


I actually was dipping into it and am very much keen on reading it, but I might wait only for the fact that I already have two biographies on the go and being so slow with them--I fear I won't be able to read the Ellis within the month. I really do want to read one his history books sometime soon, though!


I love her writing and have been eyeing it a lot lately. Paired with the fact that I am in a 'Russia' mood, it is high on my list (It may come down to the Perry or the Kearsely....). I am glad to hear you liked it!


I know Circe is much loved and I need to read it this year. See, this is so hard as they all sound good and then I can never decide. I love NF too but I do have two bios on the go right now and maybe adding yet another is not a good idea since I am the slowest NF reader ever!! I think the Kearsely sounds good--with her work, even a so-so story is probably better than so many other books! I am still agonizing over the choice as you see! ;)

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