Tuesday, 20 January 2009

An open book



Just before Christmas Mr Roses and I made a deal; we agreed not to buy each other pressies and just spend some money on presents for the girls. A week before Christmas driving home from a Carol Service, I caved in - the thought of M not opening any presents from me was weighing too much on my mind. "It's no use I'm going to have to buy you a present, I just can't bear you not to have a pressie from me.' Mr Roses smiled (whilst Little Sister giggled knowingly in the back seat) and replied "That's okay, I've already got you something!". Three days later, after a trip to the shops I smile triumphantly and with a sigh of relief tell him, "I'm feeling better now, I've bought you some presents." To which Mr Roses replied. "SOME presents, I thought we would only be ONE present!" So it continued until on Christmas morning we both opened our presents, equal in number, and beamed at each other. This little ritual is nothing new. Every year we try and get each other to agree to no presents, we try hard to be responsible and sensible and each year we fail miserably! Living with Mr Roses is like living with the Master of Double Bluff - you have to think hard before believing him when he promises and i hate to admit it I have in the past resorted to asking the girls if Daddy has got me a present this year ...



He reads me like an open book. He must have known I was getting twitchy as the number of books beside the bed were dwindling and so my pressies were a pile of books to keep me happy. You probably all know just how much I love reading. I devour books and my love for books is only equalled by love of accumulating them. I sleep soundly knowing that it doesn't matter if I've just read the last line of a book if I've got a stash of new books ready and waiting.



Just before Christmas I found in a charity shop two books that I wanted to reread again for a very long time - Miss Mapp and Mapp and Lucia by E F Benson. I spent the holidays giggling and laughing and being transported to 1930s England, to the small village of Tilling, mixing with genteel society and the comings and goings of Mapp and Lucia. These are two of the funniest books I have read, and have left me yearning to revisit Rye (the town on which Tilling is based) again as soon as the sun starts shining again. One critic compared the books to a modern "Cranford", i think I would agree. So much so, that M and I have been watching the Mapp and Lucia TV series again on DVD - ooooh the costumes are delicious.



The book I am reading at the moment is "They were Sisters" by Dorothy Whipple. It is so very different to the Mapp and Lucia books and yet just as addictive. I can't wait to finish it and I have been staying up later and later each night to read more. It is gripping and harrowing and I will certainly read some more of her novels.



My other two Persephone books are The Runaway and The Children who lived in a barn - I'm looking forward to reading both of them. I haven't read a dud Persephone book yet.



When we were in Bath last year I saw this book in a bookshop there. Madresfield is the story of the country house and its family thought to be the inspiration behind Brideshead Revisited (another TV series we're wading through on DVD). I can't wait to read the history of Sissinghurst but think I will save it for the spring and hopefully tie it in with another visit to the house and gardens as they are wonderful.



And if that wasn't enough, Big Sister bought me the Nigella Christmas book which resulted in the best pavlova being devoured over the holidays and M bought me the fantastic Leon cookbook. Both of them have the most wonderful recipes and are jam packed with gorgeous photos.
So that's my pile of goodies. I can go to bed a happy girl, knowing that, thanks to the duplicitous Mr Roses, there are enough unread words just feet away to keep me going till Spring! What are you reading at the moment?

39 comments:

The Whispering Poppies said...

How wonderful to have received all of those lovely books! Now I must add Brideshead Revisited to my dvd wish list! We're nearly finished with The Duchess of Duke Street. I think we're going to indulge in The House if Elliot next, and perhaps even The Pallisers. Those Persephone books you have look fabulous!
Happy Tuesday (and happy reading) Kim! =) xo

LissyLou said...

Some very lovely books. I want to reread Mallory Towers that i read as a girl - but maybe they won't have the same appeal as they had then. I must admit my husband and i have done the same thing in the past, so now we just buy presents, otherwise it never works out even if we set a budget!!!!

MaryPoppins said...

Gorgeous books, I been sent What Katy Did, from a lovely fellow blogger, I have read What Katy Did Next and What Katy Did At School but not What Katy Did, how sweet of her to send it to me. so that is my read

Simple pleasures :)

Take Care, there is a wall being knocked down in my houise as I type Grrrrrrrrrrrrr :)

X

MelMel said...

Hello....

Some super books there, i love books as gifts, any book, I find myself very able to enjoy mostly anything.....my great joy as a child was when i could read by myself, its something i still love doing, i can escape into another world thats all peaceful!xxx

Flossie and Tom said...

You lucky girl - I love books - our house is bursting at the seams with books but I still keep buying more.

Have been to the library today - we normally have our full quota from there as well.

I'm loving Barbara Erskine at the moment - the librarian recommended her and the book - The Lady Of Hay (which is one of my favourite places cause of all the second hand bookshop) and I havent been able to stop reading her books.

About to start last one tonight but I've heard she is writing another one at the moment.

I've learnt more about British history by reading her books than in 5 years at Grammar school.

Sara
XX

Sew Recycled said...

I have finished it! Oh Kim you know what, I am going to have to read it again,again and again! (You know which book I am talking about!)
Oh great book recommender, what shall I read now?

Jiust been to Lewes and found the most secret cafe, mmmmmmmmmm!
Cant wait to see you all on Sunday Emx

Tracy said...

So many delicious books, Kim! :o) I have the new Nigella on my list too. What a sweet story...Dear Husband and I didn't do gifts as usual this past Christmas either...We ordered a few books from Amazon, and when the box arrived I prettily wrapped it up and we waited to open...it was still fun! Happy Days reading...((HUGS))

Jennie said...

I am so jealous, they are gorgeous books! lucky you :D

thriftymrs said...

Gosh such lovely books. Our house seems to have been taken over by books. I'm having a cull at the moment merely so I can bring more in.

I lurve Persephone books.

Sal said...

Oooh Kim..I think you might know how I love Persephone books!
I have added one or two to my collection, recently.
I loved 'The Children who lived in a Barn!'.
I read it when we went to York!
Glad you got your pressies in the end ;-)

Elizabethd said...

Serious envy here! English books are hard to find in Brittany, but I did treat myself when we went to UK for Christmas. The one I am enjoying most is The Lollipop shoes, by Joanne Harris of Chocolat fame.
I do often re read my books from long ago, my childhood favourites. I would never part with The Little white Horse, by Elizabeth Goudge.

cheltenhamclaire said...

i was lucky enough to have a persephone book for xmas - The Home-Maker by Dorothy Canfield Fisher and i loved it so much i had to slow down reading it to eak it out!!!
it was through your blog i found out about these lovely books so thank you!

Gina said...

What a fabulous selection of books. I like the Dorothy Whipple books too.

Rosie said...

We couldn't get Brideshead on BFBS tv when it first came out, so thats another dvd to look out for. However we have just finished The Jewel in the Crown. Your books look marvellous, nothing like a good read is there?
Rosie

Garden Girl said...

Oooh, what fabulous pressies-you cannot beat books as pressies. Mr F bought me a pile last year as well and I smiled for weeks, safe in the knowledge that I had a load of book wading fun ahead. Sigh. I have just read a Persephone book which was FABULOUS and also a present, from The List Writer, Mariana,which i can highly recommend.x

cocoa and blankets said...

I am glad I am not the only one who has 'piles'...my pile of books sits on the window sill with a wonderful vintage bookend keeping them neat and tidy...ready for me to devour..usually in the holidays ...as I generaly fall asleep with my glasses on my nose and a book on my chest...your books look lovely...happy reading...

dottycookie said...

What a lovely selection!

Most of what I read these days is dictated by our book club - so I've just finished Precious Bane by Mary Webb (slow to start but well worth the effort) and have started Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky. I'm also in the middle of Cold Comfort Farm and not find it quite as hysterical as my husband did ...

Kitschen Pink said...

Esio Trot and Swallows and Amazons - aloud- to my little boy! HA! I try to find time for reading to myself but fail most of the time! Very excited about Nicolson's Sissinghurst book - he writes so well - that might be the next bedtime book - do you fancy my chances? t.x

Ali said...

Me? Suspicions of Mr Whicher. And as you'd imagine from someone who works in a bookshop, I have a truly enormous 'to read' pile.

Vintage Tea said...

a wonderful book collection you have... I have piles of books all over my bedroom. I still have books I received last Christmas that i haven't got round to reading yet!

Victoria x

Rosanne said...

What a great selection of books! I'll have to look for some of those to read.

driftwood said...

books are such wonderful gifts aren't they, my hubby bought me a book called cooking lessons which is cook book and biography style book combined, recipes and stories - perfect.

Primrose Corner said...

I'm pleased you succumbed to the buying each other pressies.... it would have been quite miserable without anything! Then, look what you got... gorgeous, beautiful books. Enough pleasure to last a long time... well a few weeks anyway. But, if you're at all like me you'll keep returning to them anyway... brilliant choices.

OhSoVintage said...

Lucky you! I also had books for Christmas but 2 out of the 6 I have already read! I used to work in a bookshop and just love the smell of new books and am now always ordering them on line. When I am reading one I am enjoying each morning I am happy to think I will be reading more of it. There are about 7 on my bedside table waiting to be read at the moment.

Julie said...

ooh, am just like you - can't bear not to have a book (or two) on the go.

Am currently reading A Winters Tale by Trisha Ashley - would definitely recommend it as a very light easy read, perfect for those pre-bedtime moments.

Also got the Nigella book - it's beautiful isn't it - managed to persuade M it would be in his interests to let me have it before Christmas so we made full use of it, including 12 days of Christmas cocktails inspired by her suggestions - definitely recommend that as a Christmas tradition to enjoy!

Gill at Lucy Locket said...

Yes we tried to be sensible too this year and not buy presents but gave in eventually, DH paid for some books from my Amazon wish list and wrapped them up as soon as they arrive so I couldn't peep (well I instructed him to!)so I was a happy bunny. They were books about collage and art journals hust to give me some inspiration. I bought the Nigella, a pressie to myself, and tried quite a few recipes including a couple of cocktails---mmmm very nice. Fiction wise I've got a boring book on the go, I really want a book that's hard to put down and I haven't read one of those for ages!

Thimbleanna said...

Oh, I do love your book posts Ms. Roses. And that last cookbook is too funny -- will you be cooking in a similar scantily clad fashion as the cover model?

I'm currently reading a delicious little story "So Long, See You Tomorrow" by William Maxwell. The author of the Edgar Sawtelle book listed it as one of his five favorite books. Interestingly, when my book group was discussing Edgar Sawtelle, one of the girls commented how she loved the language used by the author and she quoted one phrase "slept like stone" as an example. Hmmm....the William Maxwell book contained exactly the same phrase. Methinks a little "flattery" has taken place!

Rosezilla said...

Viva la books! We just built the most massive bookcase, and it's filled already. I'm reading C. S. Lewis and some little fluffy romance and Austen and plus I've discovered some I'd forgotten, tucked away. I'm a happy girl!

lou said...

Wow you got some lovely books Kim, happy reading!
I have made you a little something, nothing too exciting, I will post it on Monday for you.
Love Lou xxx

Cowboys and Custard said...

What a wonderful man you have there..
No matter how many hints I drop about not in the least minding about receiving a book token as a gift.. I never do! I have just finished the last page of Revolutionary Road and hunger for something to fill the gap..
I need to pick your brains about a Persephone book you once raved about..
Books are very comforting.. one can never have too many.. unless of course they belong to your spouse and then they are clutter!
Love to you dear M
Dxx

Lavender hearts said...

I've seen those Leon books on a few blogs now. I must investigate further!

I used to get the train to London everyday and didn't know what to do with myself if I didn't have anything to read! It's amazing how many books I got through in those 3 years!

Paper Roses said...

How lovely, there is nothing quite like a book....
I was lucky before Christmas to go to Bluewater in Kent and meet Nigela Lawson at her book signing, she was so pretty, i made her a gift for Christmas, one of my paper roses a lovely red one. Happy new year.

Kitsch and Curious Elaine said...

Just finished reading The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl. I picked it up for 50p at a Christmas Fair and was interested because it started as a blog. I couldn't put it down. It was SO entertaining & moving all at the same time!

Mr Kitsch got me two fab books for Christmas. Made in Japan and the third book of Moomin comic strips. Lovely things to look at! Yay!

Wild Rose said...

Hi Kim,

Didn't you do well! What a marvellous collection of books.

I borrowed Nigella Christmas from the library and it's gorgeous. I have added it to my wish list.

I haven't had an opportunity to order from Persephone Books yet, but I've heard lots of great things about them ~ maybe one day, I will have a chance to visit their shop in person!

Anyway, thanks for the sweet comment on my blog ~ I've sent you an e-mail and shared a little secret! Hope to see you soon!

Marie x

meggie said...

Your books look so lovely waiting to be enjoyed!

twiggypeasticks said...

Lovely, lovely books! I LOVE Brideshead and watch it and rewatch it again and again......
Mr Twigs bought me Larkrise to Candleford for Christmas which I'm currently reading, he just bought me a Reginald Hill for my birthday too, that's next on my list. My lovely SIL gave me some Amazon vouchers for my birthday so I have a lovely pile of crafty books on order, can't wait! Lucky Twiggy :)
xx

Shirl said...

Mapp and Lucia on DVD. Dee would love the costumes!

Isn't it wonderful having a lovely pile of books to look forward to. Mine are in boxes at the moment, ho hum ... ;0)

Alison Boon said...

You certainly have some wonderful reads to keep you entertained.

Pretty Practicals said...

Hi, sorry I haven't dropped by for a while, life seems to be rushing past me very quickly.
What a lovely selection of books for your bedside. I tend to just have one book on the go at a time, presently I'm reading The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama... I thought it would be heavy going, but it is very accessible.
Hope all is well chez vous, Liz