This Week’s Library Books

I don’t need to borrow any more books, but I had to go to the library to return The Gargoyle (see here) and of course then I couldn’t leave without at least looking at the books. This  week I concentrated on non-fiction as I already have a few novels on the go. I  read non-fiction much more slowly than fiction, so I don’t read many.

The photo below shows part of my local library’s non-fiction section. It’s not large but it has a good selection of books and I always find something of interest there.

non-fiction
Non Fiction Books

I came home with three books (I was very restrained remembering all my unread books):

library-loot-non-fiction

  • I don’t read much poetry but The Poems of Thomas Hardy, selected and introduced by Claire Tomalin caught my attention as I’ve read several of Hardy’s novels, but none of his poetry. Hardy wrote over a thousand poems and this selection traces his experiences of life and love. This reminded me that over a year ago I started to read her biography of Hardy, which I’d put down for a while to read more of Hardy’s own works before finishing it. Time to get back to it soon.
  • Impressionism by Paul Smith. I’ve become very interested in the Impressionists since taking a short course recently. The course concentrated on the sites they painted rather than their lives. To supplement that I’m already reading Sue Roe’s The Private Lives of the Impressionists. This book looks at the social, political and intellectual contexts in which Impressionism came about. Plus it has many colour illustrations of their paintings.
  • Lost For Words by John Humphrys. I like John Humphry’s style – this book is about the “mangling and manipulation of the English Language”. He thinks language should be “simple, clear and honest” and provides examples of cliches, meaningless jargon and evasive language (which I detest).

6 thoughts on “This Week’s Library Books”

  1. Yes, I also went to the library today to take back a couple of books. And, like you, although I didn’t need to, I came back with three more. I am a very sad case.

    I read John Humphreys’ first book about language and loved it. Must look this one you have up. He’s an interesting writer.

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  2. I meant to add, Margaret, that I too read *very*little poetry, so little I’m actually ashamed. But one poem I like a lot is Channel Firing by Thomas Hardy. It’s in a book of WW1 poetry I have and is about how, on the south coast, you could hear the big guns firing in the trenches in France. I wasn’t aware of that until I read this poem. I was just wondering if that one might be in the book you got from the library.

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  3. Cath, there’s a short section in the book on “War” and it does include Channel Firing, written in April 1914, which made me wonder because I thought the war broke out later in the year. I had to check this – war was not officially declared until August 1914 so the firing was in the Channel, “gunnery practice out at sea”. I like this poem with its questioning about the sanity of the world as the corpses are shaken by the noise wondering if the Judgment Day had arrived.

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  4. Yes, I clearly had a complete brainstorm there, Margaret. Of course you’re right and I was thinking about some other poem or possibly even a comment I read in the intro to the book I have. Whatever, it’s an excellent, atmospheric piece.

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  5. I don’t read as much nonfiction either. I’m not sure why that is because I usually enjoy the nonfiction I do read. The Thomas Hardy book looks good. I love the cover art.

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