January indulgences

PereineThe phrase ‘January sales’ has never excited me. You will never find me in those queues of who camp outside shops in the early hours of Boxing Day waiting for the doors to open on the incredible bargains inside. In fact I try not to set foot in shops if I can help it until January is well and truly over.

But I confess that I have been on a bit of a buying spree in the last week.  I blame this on the weather. Torrents of rain day after day creating rivers on the road surfaces and lakes in my garden where there is supposed to be grass. Because its been unseasonably warm for the last two months, the daffodils have started to flower way earlier than normal. The poor things must be wondering what’s hit them and shouldn’t they just go back to sleep? Can’t say I blame them. All I want to do is snuggle up in front of the fire. Its at times like this hibernation begins to sound attractive.

To console myself I indulged in some online book shopping. Last year was the first time I’d read anything under the Pereine Press imprint (White Hunger) by  Aki Ollikainen. It was a delight to the senses from the minute I saw the tastefully understated cover to the quality of the paper and of course the writing. I started 2016 with a hankering for more. As Pereine say, these are collectors items. Arriving soon I hope will be the first batch from their back catalogue to enrich my reading of literature in translation:

  • Portrait of the Mother as a Young Woman by Friedrich Christian Delius. This is the third book published by Pereine in 2010 as part of their Female Voices theme.  
  • The Blue Room  by Hanne Orstavik published in 2014 in the Coming of Age series
  • The Murder of Halland by the Danish author Pia Juul. Pereine number  8 came out in 2012
  • Stone in a Landslide by Maria Barbal. Published in 2010, this is Pereine number 2 and is the first English translation of a Catalan classic. 
  • Under The Tripoli Sky by Kamal Ben Hameda, a coming of age novel set in Libya before the Gaddafi era
  • Periene number 5 is Tomorrow Pamplona by the Dutch author Jan van Mersbergen

Now you’d think that little haul would be enough to satisfy anyone’s retain therapy needs. But not a bit of it. A few other acquisitions mysteriously made their way into the Booker Talk household this week. Namely The Daughter of Time and The Franchise Affair, both by Josephine Tey. She’s a Scottish author who wrote detective stories from the 1930s to her death in 1952. A new biography of her has just been released and reading to review of that last week convinced me she’s someone I’d like to get to know.

I’m not going to read any of these new purchases until at least May however because having agreed to join the Triple Dog Dare I’m going to spend the first four months of the year just reading what was already on my bookshelves come December 2015. But hey, none of these need more than a cosy shelf to sit on until they’re ready to be taken down and opened.

What have you all been buying lately?


About BookerTalk

What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

Posted on January 10, 2016, in Sunday Salon, world literature and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. I really need to stop buying books until I have cleared a few off my TBR. Last week I bought Infinite Jest.

  2. Pereine books are wonderful aren’t they! ‘The Mussel Feast’ was one of my top reads of a couple of years ago, I really recommend it (though I realise that searching for new book suggestions was not the point of this post!)

  3. When all else fails, blame the weather! 😉 Some nice finds. I hope you enjoy them!

  4. I have been very good so far this year and have only bought books for other people. that is nearly as good (although not quite) as buying them for yourself, isn’t it?

    I went to hear the founder of Pereine Press talk about eighteen months ago and have been meaning to explore their output ever since, but our local library doesn’t have any in stock and I am really trying to cut down on what I buy. I shall wait until you report back on your purchases and then indulge in just one that takes my fancy.

    • I found some bargain copies on Abe Books – 69p for the book and £2.50 or so for the postage which I couldnt resist. otherwise I wouldn’t have been buying either

  5. Ugh TOO MANY BOOKS! But I did pick up two of the “premiere” Austen and Brontë “fanfiction” books yesterday: Longbourn and Wide Sargossa Sea both of which I’m very excited about!

  6. I’ve got a few of these on my piles, so I’m really curious to see how you will get along with them.

  7. Peirene Press are great – their books never fail to take me to new and interesting places. You’ve gone for a nice selection there. I really enjoyed the way The Murder of Halland pushed back against expectations of the crime genre.

  8. I just bought an novel called “Dear Committee Members” by Julie Schumacher. It is an academic satire written in the form of letters of recommendation. I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve heard it is very smart and funny.

    I, too, want to read “Daughters of Time”!

  9. I just finished reading White Hunger, and can see the temptation to buy all those Pereine Press books. Feeling a little envious about it. 🙂
    But, I did buy a few books of my own after Christmas with the one gift card I was given; When Books Went To War, The Enchanted April, and Born To Walk. I just love when they arrive in the mail…

  10. I’ve ever heard of any of these. It’s almost like you’re from another country!?! Oh, wait…you are from another country. 🙂 But really, I’ve never heard of any of these, but they look very diverse and I’m extremely impressed.

    I did buy a couple of things over the holidays: 1. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow and 2. Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart. I started on the Hamilton, but it’s a big one so I might wait until later for that or spread it out. I’m not sure when I’ll get to Stewart’s.

    • I discovered them only by reading other people’s blogs Bryan. They are a boutique agency that brings out only 3 books a year so they choose only the most interesting and diverse.

  11. I need to buy the new Elizabeth Strout novel. I think I’ve seen Josephine Tey’s name around. Have you read her mysteries?

  12. Like you I avoid the shops during the sales (and I usually do my Christmas shopping before December so I have this long shopping-exclusion zone!) but online shopping is a different story. I had been coveting a couple of homeware things and may* have indulged in the sales…


  13. Daughter of Time found it’s way onto my bookshelf this week as well

  14. I’m working really hard NOT to buy any more books. Though I confess that I have ordered Women and Appletrees by Moa Martinson simply because it was unattainable through the libraries. 🙂 I’m trying to be really good…really…trying… 🙂

  15. January is such a bleak month that *any* cheer up has to be good – and I know few as good as books. I love both of those Teys – wish I was about to read them for the first time!

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