Despite my earnest promise to myself to not buy any more books for a while (with a few understandable exceptions, looking at you Vandermeer!), a wonderful second hand book store in Bendigo changed my mind. Called Book Now, it’s located at 1 Farmer’s Lane, near the Chinese Garden, and is housed in a gorgeous 19th century brick building. I picked up Nancy Milton’s ‘Madame de Pompadour’, as I am slowly working my way backwards through pre-revolutionary French history. An added bonus was that the Pompadour was also only $5 from the sale table outside. I also pounced on three more Fontana Agatha Christie mysteries, of which I am getting quite the collection.
As I contemplated my new acquisitions, the borrowed from friends books, the not-new-but-still-unread book stack, and then those unread library books still looking expectant, I came to accept that drastic action is needed. Therefore, a list. This Tuesday’s The Broke and the Bookish Top Ten is Top Ten Beach Bag Books, but as it is a) Winter here in Australia and b) the beach is a terrible place to get any proper reading done, this Top Ten shall be the Top Ten Books I Have to Read Next Somewhere Other Than on the Beach.
1. Finish ‘Up and Down Stairs: The History of the Country House Servant‘ – Jeremy Musson
2. ‘The Complete Short Stories‘ – Evelyn Waugh
3. ‘Charles Dickens and the House of Fallen Women‘ – Jenny Hartley, which will finish off the library books. Note to self, don’t borrow any more!
4. ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock‘ – Joan Lindsay, is borrowed from a friend and is so little I have to be careful not to let it get buried in the book pile. This is the original version, not the bonus chapter version, I prefer my mystery unexplained, thank you.
5. ‘Authority‘ – Jeff Vandermeer, let’s see if I can wait this long.
6. ‘The Republic of Thieves‘ – Scott Lynch, also borrowed from a friend, and as I wasn’t especially fond of ‘Red Seas Under Red Skies’ I’m going to need a run up for this one. It is also massive, 650 pages seems a little excessive, no?
7. ‘The Gardener of Versailles: My Life in the World’s Grandest Garden‘ – Alain Baraton
8. ‘Finch‘ – Jeff Vandermeer, is a re-read, but necessary to complete the Ambergris trilogy (again).
9. ‘Art as Therapy‘ – Alain de Botton and John Armstrong, which has been sitting attractively in the stack waiting for me. Soon, I promise.
10. ‘Marie Antoinette‘ – Antonia Fraser, started some time ago during what proved to be the tail end of my Marie Antoinette frenzy, but enough time should have passed by now that all the finer detail will be new again.
Sorry Madame, you and your pompadour are going to have to be patient.