Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Five Books at my Bedside


To read this month..

Oh, I love getting books for Christmas! Best book time of the year, is January. I stack them up at the side of the bed and trip over them every night until they are all finished. This is the current pile:


- Quentin Blake Words and Pictures: a surprise gift and a beautiful book. Any UK readers who remember Jackanory? The books with Quentin Blake's pictures are the ones that stand out for me. I've been a fan since I was about six. I buy cards with his drawings on whenever I see them. 

- J.P. Martin The Complete Uncle: yes, with illustrations by Quentin Blake.I've waited years for this one. I discovered Uncle when I was twelve, I guess, in the school library. I think I've written about him before here. he's a hugely rich grey elephant with a vast property empire and a crazy collection of friends (and enemies). Very anarchic. Very funny.Most of the stories have been out of print for years, but just before Christmas, I read about an enterprise to get Uncle back in print with the help of the crowd funding site Kickstarter. Of course I headed over there and preordered a copy, which arrrived beautifully bound and weighing about as much as a phone directory.

- another of the Japanese sewing-for-dolls pattern books I love to collect. If I sew til next December I'll never get through all the patterns I have now, I'll admit it. But the pictures are so lovely to look at, so cleverly styled...

- Susan Brewer British Dolls of the 60's: this, and the moustache knitting pattern book, came from my Mum. She can't get out to the shops, so one of her best pleasures at Christmas is to choose books for everyone from mail order bargain catalogues. Then she organises a wrapping schedule, so that I wrap for my sister on a day I'm visiting and she wraps for me on a day she's visiting, you get the idea, and we all end up with some surprise books. Nothing expensive - that's the fun, they are all from remainders lists. But that means I often get something I love which I would never have found in a walk round Waterstones or a browse on Amazon. Last year's Christmas decoration book came in very handy when I needed a pattern for the ornament swap. I've been loving the pictures in the doll book this time round.

So, those are my current reads. I've been spotting lots of lovely book posts around just now - how's your reading list looking?

28 comments:

Jimjams said...

I like the idea of ordering books from a remainders list (link please) and the wrapping swap is a great idea.

scrappyjacky said...

What a great idea of your mum's...I'd love a link to a remainders list as well.

Ruth said...

That's quite a mix you have there. I shall be investigating Uncle the Elephant.

Abi said...

What a fun collection. My brother uses kickstarter a lot and gets some fun things from there.

furrypig said...

I am not even sure what a remainders list is lol! An interesting collection of books there Sian, I am currently reading Longbourn which is pride and prejudice from the servants perspective.

S said...

I love books off the remainders - although I hate that they feel the need to deface the book in the process. I feel like you can take a chance and since you got it at a bargain price, its only a small loss if you don't like the story. One of these days I would like to investigate how the publishing industry works, and when and why a book gets remaindered. Do you know?

Jo said...

That is a great selection of books. I now managed all of my books on Goodreads because I had so many I'd actually forgotten what I did have :)

Jennifer Shaw said...

Fun to see what you are reading. The Complete Uncle book must be so exciting to have!

Gail said...

What a variety of reading you've got ahead of you. Lately it seems I get books but then can't find the time to read them. Right now I/we have a lot of books to read on the kindle and iPad that we hope to get to in the last half of our vacation.

Sandie said...

Some lovely books there Sian. I love your Mum's idea. I love going round shops where they sell remainders - I sometimes find some real quirky books at good prices. Enjoy your reads :)

Louise said...

an interesting selection you have there x

Amy said...

You have reminded me that I need to get to the library this week. My current method of deciding what to read involves randomly picking titles off the shelf ... it is certainly hit and miss but you do come across good ones ... can you tell I have holiday brain?!

Jennie Hart said...

I am completely involved in a long term fantasy series and despite it not being the most cool and definitely not a traditional classic I am absorbed. I am so worn out by the end of the day I rarely manage more than a few pages but I am hoping for a reading day on my upcoming holiday and I am so loving theses books.
I am accumulating a years worth of recommendations from various places and I will definitely add Uncle Elephant as something to investigate.

alexa said...

Always lovely to see what a fellow bibliophile has beside their bed :). I love the look of, and the information about, Uncle who is new to me. Dolls of the 60s looks like a fun read too - I wonder if my Nikki is in there!

Miriam said...

What a lovely selection on your nightstand, I'm a magazine reader at night, but I did get the book of the making of 'Call the midwife' which is fascinating.

I'm a Quentin Blake fan too.

Theresa said...

I remember Jackanory, and love Quentin Blake too.
I have a whole shelf of books I plan to get through this year, at the moment I've just started Vanished Kingdoms by Norman Davis, and because it is a bit information overload (and the type is small) I am also finishing A Year of Doing Good by Judith O'Reilly, which made me laugh out load yesterday.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

I just went to the library today and have actual dead tree books on my nightstand for the first time since September. I've been purely kindle for the past 4 months. It's nice to handle a 'real' book for a change

Sandra said...

I have to say, as soon as the picture popped up - the dolls of the 60's really appealed to me. What lovely gifts you got :)

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

You've certainly got a great variety there. A good friend of mine is a big fan of Uncle's.

Missus Wookie said...

Fun looking stack!

I've met Quentin Blake so bought that book when it came out. I remember you mentioning Uncle before - thanks for the reminder. I only got one book this Christmas, thinking I need to make sure next year I put more on my Christmas list :)

Sheena said...

Thats certainly a good mix of books you have there :)
I'm still very tempted by the "stache one :D

Lisa-Jane said...

Bargain book catologues? Where do I sign! I got a Christmas make and bake book from White Stuff of all places! Very pleased to get Brian Moore's autobiography for my birthday so that's coming to Wales with me this weekend. Looks like a great pile you have there!

Peg Hewitt said...

My pile of books is actually three, two read and not yet put in the library at home, one to read which grows faster than it shrinks.
I was so intrigued by your copy of "Knit your own Moustache" I had to google it and now methinks I might need it!
During my explorations I also happened to browse back through your blog and found it very entertaining, I simply adore your scrapping style. The way you weave your stories through your pages and make them shine is just captivating. I head to my scrap room tonight inspired, thank you :-)

Carmen said...

I don't know what a remainder is... or how to get my hands on them! Would your Mum spill the beans?

I need to buy both those Quentin Blake books! Going on my wishlist pronto!

I'm the same with books and Christmas - I only got three books this year! Only! (But on the flip side, got art supplies. So am happy bunny still.) And when I googled one of the ones my Dad got me (I like to read the reviews) it was over £50!! Where in the world has he found that? Not that I'm complaining - it's like a workshop in book form and I'm so surprised that he totally 'got' me.

I love seeing your *ahem* piles Sian - I usually end up jotting down for gifts or my wishlist. My friend LOVED the one about the Guides (or was it the Brownies) that you talked about. That went in her stocking ;)

Maria Ontiveros said...

Those books are SO you Sian! I'm half way through "Me Before You" for my book group. It's a fast read. We're also set to do "The Sense of an Ending." I bought another Louise Erdrich book and also several books for Clara (which I will read also - LOL!).
Rinda

tidbitsandtreasures2011 said...

You won't have much time for sewing between now and December with that library's worth of books you have. I especially liked the part about how your mother procures the book gifts she gives AND how she arranges for others to do the wrapping. Plus there's probably more fun in the opening because more people know what everyone else is getting. Great post, Sian.

Melissa said...

I always enjoy seeing a pile of books by the bedside! The Uncle book made me smile thinking about the one I read last year after you mentioned it here on your blog.

Right now I have Tales of the South Pacific, Made to Crave, The Life and Death of the Great American School System, Enemies of the Heart, Sweethaven Homecoming, and Once Upon A Time in my pile to be read this month! Must go read now!!!

Chipper Newman said...

January seems to be book month on many blogs :) I received five books for Christmas and had them all read long before New Year! Boxing Day is reading day in our house LOL Although the kids received more books and still have a few to go by the time all titles have done the rounds.

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