Persephone Reading Week

11 May, 2010

I had grand plans for this year’s Persephone Reading Week hosted by Claire and Verity but only managed to finish one book, Good Evening, Mrs. Craven: The Wartime Stories of Mollie Panter-Downes which was a delightful volume of short stories. I tried hard to finish A Very Great Profession: The Woman’s Novel 1914-1939 by Nicola Beauman but I’m still only half-way and couldn’t quite finish this weekend. No matter, I can now read it slowly and not feel rushed (but when did I ever read fast?) It’s a brilliant study of women’s literature which Beauman has resurrected with Persephone Books and there is ample discussion and quotations taken from the books which illustrate the evolution of interwar literature, mainly from a woman’s perspective. And who better than Beauman to do this, as she is probably the most knowledgeable of writers when it comes to this subject. For lovers of the interwar period and women’s fiction, A Very Great Profession will put a huge dent in your wallet and increase your TBR pile enormously. What I also find fascinating, and at the same time a little sad, is that the plight of many women do not seem all that different from the current situation (there have been huge changes, but you would be surprised at how many of the sentiments I have come across in my life I find in the literature dating back to the 1920s and 30s. Shocking, I know.)

Anyway, speaking of fascinating things, the first UK Book Bloggers’ Meet-up happened this Saturday. We all met in the Persephone Bookshop on Lamb’s Conduit Street before heading across to The Lamb for some sustenance both liquid and bookish. It was really wonderful to meet so many of you that I’ve become friends with since I started blogging. A big thank you to Simon from stuck in a book for organising this special event.

And of course, I will leave you with some books I got on the day:

Black Venus by Angela Carter which I won from Claire of Paperback Reader
26a by Diana Evans which I got for the bloggers’ book swap on Saturday from Polly of Novel Insights

And of course some Persephones:

Every Eye by Isobel English
A Woman’s Place 1910-1975 by Ruth Adam
Daddy’s Gone A-Hunting by Penelope Mortimer

And I’ve had my first plagiarism alert thanks to a kind reader. Someone called ‘Megan’ has ‘borrowed’ this review and posted it on a book review site word. for. word. Not impressed. Why would you do this? How difficult is it to write your own review? As you can tell, it pissed me off a little. The review site has corrected the error and taken her off the list. Naturally.

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12 Responses to “Persephone Reading Week”

  1. Kristen M. Says:

    How annoying to find you’ve been plagiarized! I’m glad the site helped you out. I wish there was an easier way to check for things like this!

    The blogger meet-up sounds like it was fun!

  2. Shelley Says:

    You were more gracious than I might have been in your discovery of the plagiarism!

    And I have discovered, thanks to your blog, a new term that may apply to my work: “interwar literature.”

    Off to add A Very Great Profession to my Interlibrary Loan list….

    • chasing bawa Says:

      I wouldn’t have known at all except for a sweet reader who alerted me! See, I’m very impressed with the quality of people who read my blog (except for the plagiariser, that is).


  3. Your Persophone reads sound great – didn’t realise that you had succumbed and bought 3 new ones on Saturday too 🙂

    How cheeky! Fancy stealing your review: for what purpose? I suppose you could look at it as a massive form of flattery though 😉

    • chasing bawa Says:

      True. I feel like a celeb (but not in a good way)!

      Of course I succumbed on Saturday. I was intending to only get one book but, as we discussed, it felt a little rude since I came all the way from North London!

  4. Nymeth Says:

    I’m sorry to heat you had to deal with a plagiarist :\ I’ve yet to have that happen to me, or maybe I just never found out.

    A Very Grand Profession sounds so good! I can’t wait to hear more about it.

    And the bloggers meeting sounds great fun! As I was telling Claire, if there’s another one after September I might be able to make it.

    • chasing bawa Says:

      I heard you’ll be in the UK. Looking forward to meeting you!

      Now that Persephone Reading Week is over, I find my reading pace has slowed… But I’m really enjoying the book and can’t wait to discuss it.

  5. Bellezza Says:

    Like you, I ran out of time for Persephone books! Fortunately, there are more which I can read on my own time. It was a lovely week to share with everyone. I’m glad that “Megan” had the sense to remove her stolen post; our high school’s principal was fired last year for the same thing during his commencement speech.


  6. I think that A Very Great Profession is one not to rush anyway and, yes, it does indeed add to the wishlist and TBR exponentially.

    I missed you succumbing to temptation on Saturday but knew you must have! Every Eye is a quick read but one to pay close attention to. I want to read Daddy’s Gone A-Hunting soon myself.

    Ugh, plagiarists. How awful and infuriating.

  7. chasing bawa Says:

    Bellezza: It was great to see what other people were reading, especially the more obscure titles (for me, anyway). Wow, that’s harsh regarding the principal although he/she should have known better.

    Claire: Ha ha, I’m good at hiding all my book buys (although I don’t know why I’m hiding them from other book bloggers!)

  8. novelinsights Says:

    Wow, amazing that someone was so lazy as to just copy and paste your review – but it is kind of flattering (if annoying!). I had similarly grand plans and did read two books but one was only 100 (short) pages!


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