Another way I’ve found to deal with my reading funk, in addition to listening to P.D. James novels on audio, is visiting my local used bookstore. Inspired by Kate’s group reading of Anne of Green Gables, I went out to find a copy this afternoon (and, inspired by Emily’s Eco-justice Challenge, I walked!). I had a complete set of the Anne books when I was a kid, but I left them behind when I grew up and have been deprived ever since. Now, though, I’m the proud owner of Anne of Green Gables once again. I realized after I got home that I’ll probably have to go back to find the rest of the Anne books, because will I want to stop after just one book? Probably not.
While I was at the store I couldn’t resist picking up another couple books, including E.M. Delafield’s Diary of a Provincial Lady, which looks like tremendous fun, and Barbara Comyns’s Our Spoons Came from Woolworths. It’s a Virago Modern Classic, which interests me automatically, but the back cover description was especially intriguing:
Sophia is twenty-one years old, naive, unworldly, and irresistible — most particularly to Charles, a young painter whom she married in haste and with whom she plunges into a life of dire poverty. Desperate, Sophia takes up with the dismal, aging art critic Peregrine, and learns to repent both marriage and affair at leisure. How Sophia survives to find true love is delightfully told in this engaging and eccentric novel, which also gives a wonderful portrait of bohemian life in London in the 1940s.
It’s the bohemian life in the 1940s part in particular that got my attention. My used bookstore had a number of interesting-looking Viragos, but I decided I couldn’t carry them all home, so I may have to go back to get more later. And I just mooched Rosamund Lehmann’s Invitation to the Waltz, so I’m thrilled to have yet another Virago on the way.