I came across this lovely blog on my world wide wanderings recently, described by author Blithe Spirit as ‘a virtual bookstore’, dedicated to books from the era of Virginia Woolf, 1882 to 1941.
It’s a great idea; like many people I have an idealised bookshop in my head (almost certainly uneconomic in these cruel times) where I could press my favourite novels onto browsing customers. However, as the last thing Bloomsbury needs is another bookshop, it’s most unlikely to happen.
On a smaller scale, I also have a virtual bookshelf, which I intend to install in my guest bedroom, just as soon as I have a flat big enough for one (guest bedroom, not shelf). Guests’ books, like guests’ visits, should be amusing, witty, light and not too long. Here’s my list:
- Francois Sagan: Bonjour Tristesse.
- Kingsley Amis: Lucky Jim.
- Evelyn Waugh: Scoop!
- Virginia Woolf: A Room of One’s Own.
- Winifred Watson: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.
- Stella Gibbon: Cold Comfort Farm.
- John Lanchester: The Debt to Pleasure.
- Nancy Mitford: The Pursuit of Love.
- Wendy Cope: Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis.
- Genevieve Dariaux: A Guide to Elegance.
- Henry James: The Europeans.
- Dorothy Parker: Not So Deep As A Well.
Poetry to polemics, serial killers to lady killers, broad comedy to black humour. I’ve been seized by a sudden desire to take a week off and re-read all of these, fuelled by a constant supply of Darjeeling and macaroons. What would you be pleased to see on the bookshelf when you arrived for a vist?