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Vintage Burgess

There are lots of ways to find new friends on Twitter. I have a tendency of jumping of top of conversations and talking to everyone – even if I don’t know all of the people involved. Also I often talk to people who my friends have re-tweeted. I did a combination of this last week when Vintage Books (@vintagebooks) re-tweeted a comment by @stujallen about their re-releases of Anthony Burgess’ books and saying that his best known work was perhaps not in fact his best. Ever eager for new books to read I asked for recommendations. And I got them. Also the wonderful, wonderful Vintage team have sent me them to read.

So not only did I make a new twitter friend but I now also have the chance to read these amazing books. I’m going to be starting with Byrne which to my chagrin I had never even heard about. Very excited. The other that was recommended by @stujallen was Earthly Powers.

So here is a look at the gorgeous new covers and a first look at the shelves in my almost-completely-finished library!

Settling in with my other books.

The first to be read (red read?)

Beautiful frontispiece (excuse the poetry behind – I’ve been working hard today)

Beautiful design.

Probably my favourite cover – The Complete Enderby.

I can’t wait to get reading. If you want to read more about them head on over to the Vintage site to take a look at their Burgess pages.

I’m off to finish my poetry so I can read!


This Week

This week I have been stressed.

Honestly that could be the end of that. However I have been up to a few things that might be worth mentioning. My latest cookbook review has been posted on the Huffington Post blog looking at ‘Boutique Baking’ by Peggy Porschen.

I’ve been writing political poetry, I’m not sharing much of it online but I am thinking of combining the found poetry idea with political poems to see what comes next. I’ve also looked at more paint colour combinations than is healthy. I now sit and talk about interior decor. My apologies for becoming so deeply dull.

I have read a huge number of books recently and took loads back to the library so I’ll just name a few. ‘Matched’ and ‘Crossed’ by Ally Condie were great although it took me a while to get into them. ‘The Secret Countess’ by Eva Ibbotson sounded like it would tick lots of boxes for me and I was thrilled when I liked it as much as I thought I would! ‘Miss Wonderful’ by Loretta Chase which was an unusual pick for me but I actually really enjoyed it. A lot of the books I’m reading at the moment are ones that were 9 or 10 rated by The Book Smugglers. I also decided to re-read ‘The Daughter of Time’ by Josephine Tey after reading Nicola Upson’s series about the author. Another recommendation was ‘Hexwood’ by Diana Wynne Jones which Zoë Marriott recommended and I have three more that she suggested for when I am in the middle of moving. I finally read ‘Looking for Alaska’ by John Green (I’ve been spacing them out to save them) which I thought was wonderful but it still only sits at #3 or 4 on my John Green list. I’m glad I didn’t start with it, anyway. ‘The Iron King’ by Julie Kagawa was a surprise and another that took me a while to enjoy but I’ll be getting the rest of the series. I’m now reading ‘Half-Brother’ by Kenneth Oppel which is great so far.

And, if that isn’t enough I have four books to read that I picked up at Edge Lit yesterday. For once all of the books I got at a convention were ones that I wanted to read – no swapping required! It was a brilliant day out where I saw friends that I don’t see often enough, met some people I only knew from the internets and (if I didn’t terrify people too much) made some new friends as well.


Talking About Food

A very quick update over here to say that I am going to start putting a few foodie type reviews up. I have been talking to several people about doing some ‘real’ restaurant reviews but I want to get some practice in before I try it out properly.

I’m looking mainly at places that are local to me but also will probably write up places that I have been when on my travels. When I’m writing poetry I often go to cafes because I am in-between houses at the moment and so go crazy if I don’t escape in between. This means that there are going to be more coffee shop reviews than restaurants. Also, I like cooking more than eating out most of the time!

The other point that I have been thinking about lately is how important it is for me to make clear that I don’t get paid for the reviews, I am very nervous about accepting review requests when the restaurant would know I am going to be writing it up. This is only a hobby for me, I would love to have a budget but right now I don’t and so I won’t be eating at many top end places but at the same time I know for certain that the best places are not the most expensive and vice versa.

In a related note I’ve been pretty unwell lately and so recipe testing has been put to one side, I’m gradually getting a bit better so I should be able to get back on track and write up some of the cookbooks that I have been sent to review.


This Week

This week (and a bit) I have been without my computer. Not a lot of fun. Most of the things I need I can access apart from my bookmarks which has been annoying but it could have been much worse.

I’ve been playing around with all of the photographs that I took on my trip to Wales recently but I hadn’t realised just how long it takes to sort through them all! Will be a while before they are all finished and organised.

Over here in England we’ve had a sudden upswing in temperatures. Now, for most people this is great news. Me – not so much. Warm weather makes me feel sick, lose my appetite and have an almost constant headache. I have the summer version of SAD! So I’ve been grumpy, complaining and hankering for frozen yoghurt almost constantly. I have developed a new way of looking at this though; many of my friends love the heat and are very happy so I’m trying to see it as something that makes them feel better than something that makes me feel worse!

I’ve been focusing on my new line of custom poetry on Etsy as well so a lot of other things have been put to one side for the week. I’m hoping to be able to get through a lot of work this weekend and make sure things start leveling out next week.

One of my biggest projects at the moment is working out how to merge my Jackdaw 19 business with my V.C. Linde business. One of the things that I have done is to start merging my boards on Pinterest. I’ve joined up my business and Etsy ones but for the moment I am leaving my art ones alone. Eventually I’ll also try and link blogs through to Pinterest as well but that will take a little longer and I don’t want to try and do it all at once.

I’ve been reading ‘City of Lost Souls’ by Cassandra Clare. Finally. I love her books, all of them and I made myself wait until I had finished launching my poetry until I bought the new one. I have to admit to savoring it a little as well because I could easily have read it in a day. The other main bulk of my reading is poetry, I’m working really hard on developing my style and keeping on top of practicing and re-defining my own poetry and reading as much as possible is key to that. I’m switching between some great anthologies and some individual collections. The anthologies I usually read are chronologically organised so I can see how periods of history affected the writers.

Today I am working on my poetry, finding new areas to promote and seeing who might be interested in it all. That and reading through some more cookbooks!


This Week

This week I have mainly been working. There has also been a lot of reading.

Having not posted a round-up last week I’m a little behind on the links. I reviewed ‘Tea With Bea’ by Bea Vo, ‘Food You Can’t Say No To’ by Tamasin Day-Lewis and ‘Adventures with Chocolate’ by Paul A. Young on the Huffington Post UK blog.

Over here I have done a review of ‘The Cook and the Gardener’ by Amanda Hesser. I have finally gotten around to posting all about my business (just in time for me to go and add a new section to the website in the next couple of weeks!) and I’ve also added some new pictures and recommendations from my visit to Shropshire.

I’ve read ‘Dreadful Sorry’ by Kathryn Reiss which was excellent, ‘I Am Legend’ by Richard Matheson which I really didn’t enjoy and some fantastic thrillers. Having seen a recommendation on Twitter I picked up ‘The Obelisk’ by Howard Gordon and finished it in about six hours flat and then even more surprisingly did exactly the same with ‘Lock Down’ by Sean Black. I can’t wait to get more from both authors. I also read ‘Perfect Death’ by Kate Ellis, I try normally not to jump right into the middle of a series of novels but I wanted to try this out and it did stand alone well, and I’ll try and find others as well now. The other books I’ve been reading have mostly been poetry – partly because I love reading it and also to find some new poems to use when I’m doing my ‘After Poetry’ project and writing-in-the-style-of poets.

I’m planning a trip into town to look for some new cookbooks to review because I have completely run out and so until I’ve found some new ones the reviews will be quiet for a while.

And now I’ve got a quick reading break in the sunshine before getting back to work on a very long to-do list for my business-side. There will probably also be a large cup of tea involved.