Bookshelf Travelling: 20 June 2020

Judith at Reader in the Wilderness hosts Bookshelf Travelling for Insane Times. I’ve got several bookcases of unread novels and most of them are in alphabetical author order and are double shelved. This is the shelf I looked at last week.

This week I’m focusing on four more books on this shelf, beginning with The Man of Property by John Galsworthy. I am so embarrassed that I haven’t read this as I’ve written so many times that I’m going to read it and it’s still sitting there on the shelves unread!

It’s the first installment of The Forsyte Saga, which I loved when it was serialised on the BBC in 1967 with Nyree Dawn Porter as Irene. It’s set in London in 1906 when the Forsyte family gather to celebrate the engagement of young June Forsyte to an architect, Philip Bosinney. Why haven’t I read it???

Next Bilgewater by Jane Gardam, another book I’ve said on this blog that I’m going to read – and haven’t. I’ve liked the other books of hers that I’ve read, so I’m expecting to like this one too. It’s described on the back cover as ‘One of the funniest, most entertaining, most unusual stories about young love’. ‘Bilgewater’ is the name Marigold Green calls herself – a corruption of ‘Bill’s daughter’.

Then, there is The White Queen by Philippa Gregory. This is historical fiction. I was going to read it until I saw the BBC dramatisation some years ago and it put me off! Set in 1464 it’s about the Wars of the Roses and Elizabeth Woodville the White Queen, married to Edward IV. If you have read this book, do let me know what you thought about it.

And finally, Earth and Heaven by Sue Gee. A novel about a painter and his family in the aftermath of the First World War. The back cover reveals that it is a ‘detailed portrayal of an era which refuses to become part of the past, even today.’ I bought this book because I’d read and enjoyed Sue Gee’s novel The Hours of the Night.

I’m enjoying looking at books I’d forgotten about, and although it’s good to know I’ll probably never run out of books to read, I hope that one day I’ll read all the books on my shelves and Kindle!

Have you read any of these?

20 thoughts on “Bookshelf Travelling: 20 June 2020

  1. You’ve got some fine choices, Margaret. And I know exactly what you mean about promising yourself to read something., but not getting to it. I’ve got plenty of books like that, too. In fact, my current read is a book I think I’ve had for about three years, and I’m just now reading it. There’s just never time to read everything…

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    1. I’ve got too many really, and this lockdown period hasn’t helped as there’s been so many I fancy on special offers! I shouldn’t complain though- they are like a security blanket. No idea how I’ll get round to reading all of them.

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  2. I’ve not read any of them but like you am very familiar with the original tv adaptation of the Forsyte Saga. It always seemed to be on in my grandmother’s house. There is a later version with Virginia McKee I think and Damien Lewis, Well worth watching

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  3. That’s my goal – reading every book on my shelves. It will take me years, but i will get there! As long as the books on your shelves make you smile, whether read or not, that’s what counts. I may steal this idea sometime soon – a great way of inspiring yourself as well.

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  4. Hi Margaret,
    There are so many books on your bookshelf I’d love to comment on, that I’m afraid I’ll post just a couple of notes now, and more later.
    I thought The Secret Place by Tana French was very well done. It kept me guessing until the very end, but more than that, this book was so skillfully written.
    Philippa Gregory–Thoughts: I read one of her books and was dissatisfied by the lack of historical accuracy. I researched critical reviewers’ comments only to note that she is well noted as not being astute as to historical accuracy. So I haven’t read her again. So many authors writing about the historical eras that Gregory writes about are historically astute, that I decided there’s no point wasting time on what might be a good story, but without accuracy.
    The Forsythe Saga–I wish I would! I did not see the 1967 production, but saw a much later BBC production produced in the 1990s. We enjoyed that, but I wish I had seen the earlier one.
    I’m a fan of Elizabeth George, for sure, and I did love Missing Joseph, though I like to read her books in order.
    I have heard about The Widow’s War, but haven’t read it.
    And oh my gosh! I LOVED The Women’s Room by Marilyn French, though I read it decades and decades ago and honestly only remember that I loved it.
    So many great books on this shelf!!

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment – I had to fish it out of the spam!!! I’m not keen now on reading Philippa Gregory’s books if they not historically accurate, thanks for pointing that out. I’m looking forward though to reading Missing Joseph and The Widow’s War. The length of The Women’s Room is rather off-putting, so it’s good to know that you loved it.

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    2. What I meant about my comment about Missing Joseph is that there was a time when I was reading her novels out of order. And several years ago, I started at the very beginning, and thought her first three novels were the best I’ve read. Incredible, taut, so well-crafted scenes! Love her writing.

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  5. I watched that original Forsyte Saga with my mother and one summer in high school read the corresponding books. If you are like me and like a narrative that requires a family tree, you will enjoy it but it is a bit dry. I read a couple Philippa Gregory books before she hit the big time but they seemed historically inaccurate, not to mention full of incest and unpleasant characters. Still, Edward IV and his brothers are quite interesting. My book group has been considering Sue Gee so she is probably in my future!

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  6. Margaret,
    I’m so sorry–I submitted a somewhat lengthy post and commented, but I don’t know what went wrong. It seemed to go through fine, but I see it’s not here. Sigh!!
    I’ll try again tomorrow. I had so much to say! Will try again.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve read all of the Forsyte books, I think you’ll enjoy them. I also remember the original series. I was only 8 then if it was in 1967, I’m quite surprised that I was allowed to stay up to watch it! It was quite controversial and I recall that a voice over at the end said – Miss Nyree Dawn Porter and Mr Eric Porter are NOT related.

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