Without further ado, the books:
- Shirley by Charlotte Bronte - I consider Charlotte Bronte to be one of my favourite authors based on Villette being my favourite book, but I haven't actually read all of her novels. I got this Penguin English Library edition second hand.
- The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James - This is one of the few titles I still had to buy for my Classics Club list. I loved Daisy Miller, so I'm hoping that this will be a longer exploration of similar themes. Bought in a 'buy one, get one free' deal with the following:
- The Italian by Ann Radcliffe - I've been meaning to read something by Radcliffe for the longest time. I do enjoy a good sensation novel, and this one promises much in the way of melodrama.
- Empire by Niall Ferguson - A non-fiction book on the history of the British Empire. I've been reading more non-fiction lately, and this one just took my fancy. Bought second hand.
- We by Yevgeny Zamyatin - This is one of the first dystopian novels, and it supposedly inspired George Orwell when he was writing 1984. Bought second hand.
- Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton - I'm interested in reading more books that are classics in non-Western countries, and this is a classic of South African literature, set against the backdrop of apartheid. Bought second hand.
- The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham - Another book that's on my Classics Club list. This will be my first Maugham, and I'm excited to try it. Set in colonial Hong Kong, adulterous wife Kitty is forced to accompany her husband as he journeys into a cholera epidemic. Bought second hand.
- The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Armin - I'm not usually one for these 'cosier' types of classics, the sort published by Virago/Perspehone, but I couldn't pass up this beautiful edition, as it's so rare to find something like it in a second hand bookshop. It's about four women on a month long retreat in an Italian villa.
- The Birth of Love by Joanna Kavenna - I got this one in an amazing book shop, where everything was £2. I've had my eye on it for a while, so finding it was a stroke of luck. It's a triple narrative focussing on childbirth through the ages, from a doctor persecuted for suggesting that unwashed hands cause fever in childbirth, to a modern home-birth, to a futuristic breeding farm. It sounds excellent.
- A Little Book of Language by David Crystal - Bought in the Ashmolean museum. I have A Little History of the World from the same series, which was excellent, so I know this one will be equally good.
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston - I didn't actually buy this one in Oxford, but it was waiting for me when I returned home. It's my classics club spin pick, so I'll be starting it soon.
- Sexual Chemistry: A History of the Contraceptive Pill by Lara Marks - Also bought in the amazing £2 bookshop. I've checked this out of the library before, but never got around to it. It promises to include a lot on the social history of the pill and it's role in feminism, so it should be very interesting.
And a bonus picture. My unborn son may not have a cot or a pram yet, but he does now have three Roald Dahl prints to go in his nursery, by his bookcase (when we buy one):
Have you read any of the titles above?
If so, I'd love to know what you thought of them.