Library Loot

This is a sign that I’m a hopeless bookaholic. Despite listing books I’ve had for ages and still haven’t read – not mentioning all the to-be-read books all around the house – yesterday I went to the library and came home with these books:

  • The Fanatic by James Robertson is historical crime fiction, described on the back cover as ‘an extraordinary history of Scotland: a tale of betrayals, stolen meetings, lost memories, smuggled journeys and disguised identities.‘ I’d enjoyed his second book The Testament of Gideon Mack a few years ago. And how could I resist bringing this book home when I saw it began in Bass Rock, which is just up the coast from us – see my photo here.
  • Stories of the Railway by V L Whitechurch. From the book cover I learnt that V L Whitechurch was a celebrated crime writer and an expert railway enthusiast. He wrote a large number of crime short stories set in the golden age of Britain’s railways – this selection was originally published in 1912 as ‘Thrilling Stories of the the Railway‘. I’d read about him on Martin Edward’s blog and was pleased to find a copy on the library shelves.
  • The Oxford Murders by Guillermo Martinez. I’d read about this book, a mix of murder and maths and wondered whether my elementary grasp of maths would be enough for me to follow the equations  and cryptic symbols involved in solving this mystery.
  • The London Train by Tessa Hadley. There seems to be a theme here in my choice, following on from the Stories of the Railway. In this book, the London train between Wales and London, connects two stories that are interlinked through ‘a single moment concerning two lives stretched between two cities’.

And last but by no means least two books on watercolour painting, because this is now taking up some of my reading time. On Thursdays I go to a local art group and dabble in paint. I mentioned this a while ago on my blog and people asked to see some of my paintings. Here are two I don’t feel too embarrassed to show:

14 thoughts on “Library Loot

  1. Hello Margaret,

    The Tessa Hadley looks like a good read. I have heard nothing but good things about her books, but have yet to actually read any of them.

    I too am a hopeless bookaholic. I am supposed to be on a book buying ban until my TBR pile reaches manageable proportions, but it just has to be done …. went grocery shopping earlier and came home with ‘The Executioner’ by Chris Carter …. safely smuggled into the house!!!

    Your paintings look great to me, the colours in the first piece are very restful and easy on the eye. My eye for drawing and painting is terrible, it’s no wonder I dropped art at school just as soon as I could. My mother-in-law decided to take up watercolours a few years ago now and it was amazing just how good she became. I think she dabbled in pastels as well, although she always maintained that watercolour was by far the easier medium to work with.

    She gave up after a few years, saying that she didn’t think she was good enough. Good enough for what? we asked. So long as you enjoy it, that’s all that counts. It doesn’t matter if you tear it up and throw it out later, so long as you have derived some peace and enjoyment from doing it, then what’s the problem?


    1. Because they have books in the supermarket I have to walk past the shelves very quickly otherwise I always end up buying something. Well done for restricting it to one book.

      Thanks for the encouragement for my painting, Yvonne. I was hopeless at art at school – we just used to chat a lot in art lessons. As you say it’s the enjoyment that’s important and I’m surprised I can actually draw something that resembles anything. But there are some very good artists in the group, who put me to shame.


  2. Margaret – What a nice lot of books! I like historical mysteries, so I am looking forward to finding out what you think of The Fanatic. And your paintings really capture the scene without distracting detail. I like the blend of colours in the first one, and they both really place me. Nicely done! And I’m happy for you that you’re exploring this side of you.


  3. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! I can always find books to read in the library, in the grocery store, on the internet … there is no limit to the many places I will go to acquire books. It doesn’t seem to matter how many I already have or how much I want to read them!


  4. Margaret, I always love to see what you’ve picked up in your library. There are usually many books that I’ve not known about and then I’m searching around to see if they are available here. LOL

    By the way, very nice paintings. I especially love the one of the church. It looks almost sepia colored. Good for you. I wish I could even draw a circle without if being lopsided! 🙂


  5. What beautiful artwork, Margaret!

    Such a familiar tale of woe. I have to go to the library every week it seems, even when I don’t need books. Two more yesterday…

    I covet Stories of the Railways and am going to see if Devon libraries has it. In the meantime I can recommend The Ghost Now Standing on Platform One, edited by Richard Peyton, as a good anthology of ghost stories set on the railways.


  6. I really enjoyed ‘The Oxford Murders’ but it wasn’t met with the same enthusiasm by all my reading friends so I’ll be interested to see what you make of it.


  7. The London Train sounds interesting. I often, as a child, went by train from London to see my relatives in Wales. Lovely pictures, my attempts at watercolor didn’t turn out too well.


  8. I am sure you will enjoy the Tessa Hadley book. It is a little unusual, as you will find out so I won’t spoil it for you. I read it last month, and posted it in my blog booklist.


  9. I enjoyed seeing your paintings; especially love the second one. My husband and I both had grandmothers who were wonderful amateur artists but sadly neither of us inherited the talent. Oh well, we have other talents.

    I don’t go to the library during the winter because it’s just too hard getting around, so I make inroads into my TBR pile then, but now I’ve started going to the library again. And my wish list grows ever longer of course.


  10. Stories of the Railway is a fascinating book, particularly for those of us who have a passion for railways, trains, and locomotives. Your choice of books from the library is great and loved seeing two train related books. Your watercolor paintings are very nice as well, perhaps you will paint some train scenes in the future. Nice post, thank you for sharing.


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