Sunday, 29 April 2012

Book Shelves - Miscellaneous

Lounge - Built-ins
I did a Blog back in March about the book shelves in our den, trying to express my enjoyment of having books in the house, both to enjoy reading and to enjoy collecting. I thought I would continue this theme today and highlight some of the smaller book shelves in the house and how the missus and I have organised them. The den houses some of our bigger book shelves and, in the lounge, we've got a set of built-ins that we had a local carpenter install for us; and a great job he did too. You can see part of them in the photo on the right. I'll try to discuss them in a future Blog and highlight them in more detail.

But today, I'm going to highlight the smaller books shelves in the Family Room and on the upstairs landing. (Next time I'll feature the lounge) Take a deep breath. ;0)

The Family Room
Family Room

We don't have much room for books in the Family room, of course, it's taken up with the TV and such, but to the right of the fire place you can see a couple of rows in the unit that are dedicated to books. (There are close-ups.. )

Enid Blyton
 The top row of books are mainly those belonging to my wife, Jo. When she came over from England, she brought some of her own personal favourites, including Enid Blyton's Malory Towers series. She didn't have the complete series, but over time, I've managed to fill in the gaps for her so she has the complete collection. I have also found 4 books in the St Clare's series. They make a very nice addition to our collections. Rounding out the top shelf six small design books, highlighting different rooms in the house.

Some favourites
 The next row features some of my favourite books, not of any particular genre. The missus suggested the method of display and I've got to admit it's kind of cool; a nice mix of books, colours. Some of my favourite authors are featured. From the far right, you've got Minette Walters, two by Fred Hoyle, Karin Alvtegen, Nevil Shute's On the Beach, John Wyndham, Phylis Gottlieb, Lionel Davidson and HG Wells. From top to bottom, are books by HG Wells, Georges Simenon, Ngaio Marsh, Ray Bradbury, Nevil Shute, Kingsley Amis, John Wyndham, Karin Slaughter, David Rotenberg, Lynn Hightower and Nicholas Blake.

More favourites
 Working your way from the that last group, are Stieg Larsson, Tanya Huff, Robert Heinlein, William Gibson, Elizabeth Ferrars, John Dunning, Jeffrey Deaver, Carson McCullers, John Twelve Hawks, William Goldman and John Le Carré. The horizontal books feature again, Le Carré and Karin Altvegen as well as two Margaret Atwoods, Jane Austen, 2 Edmond Hamilton and John Brunner. Rounding off the shelf two small books on British birds I found in an antique store and another of my wife's favourite author, Jane Austen..

The Landing

Half landing
On the half landing, which you access from the front hallway and which obviously gives you access to the upstairs is a bookcase we picked up at one of our local auctions. It was actually a dark brown, but the wife gave it new life and freshened it up with a new coat of paint. The top two shelves are actually from a wall-mounted bookcase but it fits on top perfectly and gives a bit more substance to the landing. The bottom three rows include design magazines that Jo brought over from England and has collected since she came into my life. :0) The books for the main part were also bought at auction, boxes of books that we got for $20 or so. There are some nice atlases as well as encyclopedias and some classics, such as Moby Dick, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, a James Herriot, etc.

The top two shelves include a variety of books, some series and a mix of mine and Jo's. Starting at the top left shelf, you'll find The Borribles series by Michael de Larrebeiti, which I bought during my university years. The bottom book is one of the missus' My Dear Mister Churchill. Rounding out the selections are a nice mix; an early GK Chesterton mystery, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, PG Wodehouse and The Inimitable Jeeves, Daphne du Maurier's The House on the Strand, Margaret Millar's Ask Me for Tomorrow and William Lederer's The Ugly American.

Moving over to the right, you find one of my favourite mystery series, Donna Leon's Commissario Guido Brunetti series, set in Venice. I've Blogged about this series previously. I started reading them when I first moved to Vancouver Island, having been intrigued first by the cover, then the write up of the first book I purchased. I haven't necessarily read them in any particular order and you probably don't have to. But if you would like an excellent series to read, one that gives you the feel of both the characters and the locale, this is a must. It features great stories, great characters and yummy sounding food. Look it up.

Anyway, back to the shelves.. I can see now that strangely enough, the left side shelves are showing on the right side of the Blog.. lol.. Ah well. Anyway, this next section features both mine and Jo's books. From the BBC Radio series,  I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue is the Mornington Crescent books. As well, Jo's Victorian selections are featured; Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, Wuthering Heights and The Professor. Some of my Charlaine Harris books are also there, two from the Sookie Stackhouse True Blood series and three of the Lily Bard Shakespeare's mysteries. Both are excellent series. Rounding out the shelf are The Hound of the Baskervilles and A Miracle on 34th Street. I think Jo liked the splash of colour the books made..

The final section is set aside for our Penguin Books. There is something wonderful about the very simplicity of the Penguin cover. You can look at a book shelf and easily identify which books are Penguins. And even worn a bit, they still look great. So there you have them, some of my Penguins. They are book-ended by two of my very favourite books, written by Rohinton Mistry; A Fine Balance and Such a Long Journey. A Canadian writer, he writes with eloquence and sympathy, with stories set in India. Tragic stories in many ways, but still, stories that draw you in. You should check them out.

The Penguin books are a mix of favourites and classics -

Frederic Hoyle - Fifth Planet
Kingsley Amis - The Riverside Villa Murder
John Wyndham (one of my all-time favourite authors) - The Chrysalids, The Seeds of Time, The Midwich Cuckoos, The Kraken Wakes
HG Wells - The War of the Worlds
Graham Greene - The Honorary Consul and Brighton Rock
HE Bates - The Purple Plain, Dulcima and The Scarlet Sword
Aldous Huxley - Brave New World
DH Lawrence - The Virgin and Gypsy
George Orwell - Burmese Days, Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four (an all-time Top Ten favourite)
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
John Mortimer - Rumpole of the Bailey and Rumpole and the Age of Miracles.

There you have it. I've rambled on about book shelves and lists of books/ authors. I could do it forever. It's all part of the enjoyment of reading a good book and admiring it when it's out on display. Have a great one!
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