"for he would rather have, by his bedside, twenty books, bound in black or red, of aristotle and his philosophy, than rich robes or costly fiddles or g*y harps."
geoffrey chaucer, the canterbury tales
happy tuesday people. i've just put up a new blog post about the pleasures of re-reading books - click on the link in my bio to check it out!
i'm not sure why i've never put these books together in one pic before. there are some favourites in here, including the brilliant and occasionally hilariously rude canterbury tales, frisky madame bovary and a bit of vintage henrik ibsen. ❤
top of the pile is apollonius of rhodes epic story of jason and the argonauts, or as it should be called, medea and the argonauts, as she does all the hard work. 👸
i've mentioned it before, but i'll mention it again, doug metzger does a fantastic job bringing ancient literature to life in his literature and history podcast www.literatureandhistory.com - episode 39 is actually called medea and the argonauts. 👸
do you like the old stuff?
or is 1950 like ancient history? 📚
#literatureandhistory #dougmetzger #apolloniusofrhodes #medea #faust #jasonandtheargonauts #chaucer #gustavflaubert #henrikibsen #goethe #benvenutocellini #pierstheploughman
#bibliophile #booklover #vintagepenguins
Any favourites here? 😎
happy monday people!
stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, it's the beginning of another working week. once more into the breach dear friends, once more. ok, so it isn't that bad. but it always feels a bit henry v on monday morning. 😎
this pic is homage to the publishers. ten books, ten different publishers. it's mainly about the writer's words of course, but we'd be nowhere without the publishers!
i hope your week looks promising. i shall leave you with an excerpt from one of the most inspiring speeches ever written to help you face the week ahead: ✊🏼
"this day is call'd the feast of crispian.
he that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
and rouse him at the name of crispian.
he that shall live this day, and see old age,
will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
and say "to-morrow is saint crispian."
then will he s***p his sleeve and show his scars,
and say "these wounds i had on crispin's day."
old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
but he'll remember, with advantages,
what feats he did that day. then shall our names,
familiar in his mouth as household words—
harry the king, bedford and exeter,
warwick and talbot, salisbury and gloucester—
be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
this story shall the good man teach his son;
and crispin crispian shall ne'er go by,
from this day to the ending of the world,
but we in it shall be rememberèd—
we few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
for he to-day that sheds his blood with me
shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
this day shall gentle his condition;
and gentlemen in england now a-bed
shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
and hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
that fought with us upon saint crispin's day."
henry v, william shakespeare
#henryv #williamshakespeare #bookstagram #bibliophile #booklover #literature #bookstack #publishers #tseliot #yevgenyyevtushenko #ernesthemingway #hgwells #bettysmith #georgesand
"it is inside myself that i must create someone who will understand." clarice lispector
i've rarely popped up in my pics, but this one was unavoidable! it's a #sundayshelfie of my back room paperback shelves. and the reason the books fit into the shelves so well? i made the shelves myself, so they should be the right height!
when i started out on bookstagram i was on a private setting, i didn't have my pic or my name on my profile. but then i realised four things:
1. on bookstagram, in my experience no one is judgemental and everyone is supportive. 🤗
2. if you want people to think about following you, you've got to show them your pics, so why not turn off the private setting. you can always create a separate private account for family and friends. 😎
3. if you want people to engage with you it helps to have your name clearly visible. it's only your name, it doesn't bare your innermost soul. give it a go.
4. it helps people remember you from one post to the next if they can put a face to a name, so why not put your mug on your profile pic? 🤓
of course, you don't have to do any of these - i didn't for several months - but when i did it really helped me make the most of instagram/ bookstagram. 🤓
hope the weekend treated you well. 😁
#shelfie #bookshelves #shelfiesunday #claricelispector #bookstagram #bibliophile #booklover
What was the last book you bought? 📚
mine was an old black penguin edition of george orwell's amazing inside the whale (as featured on my story today) and other essays including shooting an elephant, and politics and the english language. 📚
posted for eagle-eyed hannah @thelittlebookroom who suggested #signetsaturday and pointed out that i had one even when i thought i didn't. that sent me on a search and i found five more in my stacks so here they all are.
also posted for all those who said they liked the tea cups in my recent jane austen pic. ☕
do you have any signets? 🤔
are you sure? 😉
#georgeorwell #janeausten #essays #classics #williamshakespeare #georgeeliot #honoredebalzac #henryjames #henryfielding #othello #signetclassics #signetbooks #bibliophile #booklover #literature #classicliterature #vintagebooks
What is poetry? 🤔
ha! i know what you are thinking. he's bitten off more than he can chew in an insta caption this time. you're probably right! 😎
i was listening to the reading after trump podcast. episode 4 is a discussion with the poet solmaz sharif about the writers that come to mind in relation to us politics today. firstly, sharif says this really interesting thing: .
"i'm becoming more and more convinced that poetry is a form of reading and not of writing. [...] it becomes the poem because i've decided that it's the poem, right, and i've placed it in a poem. but really, it becomes the poem because the reader is then reading it as if reading a kind of lyric moment." 👌
i thought this was beautifully put, and an interesting spin on the definition of poetry. 💙
sharaz and the hosts also discuss orwell, and particularly james baldwin. now i've always found baldwin intensely poetic. his words and his sentences are so very active, his prose mesmerising. take this:
"this continent now is conquered, but our habits and our fears remain. in the same way, that to become a social human being one modifies and suppresses, and ultimately, without great courage lies to oneself about all one's interior uncharted chaos, so have we, as a nation, modified or suppressed and lied about all the darker forces in our history. we know in the case of the person, that whoever cannot tell himself the truth about his past is trapped in it. he's immobilized in the prison of his undiscovered self. this is also true of nations. we know how a person in such a paralysis is unable to assess either his weakness or his strengths and how frequently, indeed, he mistakes the one for the other. this, i think, we do."
i read it in a 'lyric moment'. does that make it poetry or at least poetic? 🤔
posted for the wonderful @donaldelevy 👌
#poetry #penguinpoets #georgeorwell #solmazsharif #jamesbaldwin #readingaftertrump #penguinpoets #vintagepenguins #bibliophile #booklover #literature
Do you have a favourite jane austen? 📚
for me, it's usually the last one i reread, although i would say that sense and sensibility made a huge impact on me when i reread it last year and audio booked along with @hordover 's wonderful craftlit. 👍🏻
since then i've reread mansfield park and persuasion. for some reason i've avoided rereading pride and prejudice. not sure why. perhaps it's because i'm trying to get over watching the dvd of pride and prejudice and zombies with my youngest. 🤣
maybe i will pick up p+p again now i have these exquisite @panmacmillan classic editions. they're so enticing. as is the chocolate, obvs. 😉
#janeausten #janeaustenfan #panmacmillan #classicliterature #literature #bibliophile #booklover #booksandchocolate
What's your favourite short story? 📚🤔
unrelated post and caption alert! i've been reading a few short stories recently, as part of my reading slump rehabilitation, and i've been very impressed. 📚👍🏻
i've read checkhov's the lady with the dog, turgenev's the phantom, dostoevsky's a christmas tree and a wedding, charlotte perkins gilman's awesome the yellow wallpaper, alice munro's the bear came over the mountain and hg wells the crystal egg. and just yesterday i read the lottery by shirley jackson. anyone who has read it will know how i'm feeling now. #shook 🙈
i've always heard that the advice to aspiring writers is to test yourself with short stories, and i can see why. it requires concise character development, building in tension and distlling message in very few pages. if you can do that, you're well on your way to having the skills to write your novel. ✒
and my pic today is totally orange for #tribandtuesday - i finally came across a triband wuthering height's to match my mug. hurrah! balance is restored in the universe. 🐧
#wutheringheights #emilybronte #penguinclassics #vintagepenguins #hgwells #ivanturgenev #antonchekhov #shirleyjackson #fyedordostoievsky #charlotteperkinsgilman #alicemunro #shortstories #greatfiction #orangepenguins #bibliophile #literature #booklover
Can someone just offer me a job that involves hill-walking, reading and sitting in cafes please? 🤣
enough of this commuting nonsense! 😁 i mean, it's not too much to ask is it? 😉
just a quick post today as i'm already deep into the chaotic mundanity of the unavoidable working week, whilst fantasising about my dream job. 🙄
i think it was my scrumptious old virago modern classics that brought on this feeling. great books and great editions, among them one of my top five paperback covers, marguerite radclyffe hall's the well of loneliness. love the book itself too. 📗
@viragopress have brought out a range of newer editions since then, including a great du maurier set and the beautiful 40th anniversary editions which i have three of. i still have a lot of time for the beauties in my pic though. #viragomodernmonday anyone 😁
what's your dream job?
#viragomodernclassics #gertrudestein #margaretatwood #steviesmith #vmc #radclyffehall #emdelafield #willacather #winifredholtby #rebeccawest #vmc40 #antoniawhite #flatlay #bibliophile #booklover #literature #womenwriters
How's your weekend been?
got any reading done? 📚
i unwisely decided that 'completely randomly thrown on the shelves' was not cutting the mustard with my overflow bookshelf, and colour coding was not going to butter any parsnips either. so yesterday i deshelved, and then reshelved alphabetically. that's better. 📚
thanks for all those that helped me out yesterday with working out the everyday prompts. i now have:
m - #mapmonday #marbledmonday #everymanmonday #modernlibrarymonday
t - #tribandtuesday
w - #woofwednesday
t - #throwbackthursday
f - #feministfriday #flatlayfriday #floralfriday #firsteditionfriday #frenchlitfriday
s - #seabirdsaturday #stacksaturday
s - #shelfiesunday or is it #sundayshelfie 📚
hurray! i now have a fall back post prompt for every day of the week. handy for when inspiration falters. 📚
have i missed any?
#bookstacks #bibliophile #literature #booklover #deshelf #bookstacks #billbryson #mitchalbom #zadiesmith #leighbardurgo #vikramseth #paperbacks
Where do you get your insta post inspiration from? 📸
for me, i used to do quite a lot of the monthly challenges that circulate on bookstagram, but i don't seem to have the time these days to keep up with them and plan that far ahead. 🙄
if i don't have a thing that i want to rattle on about (i often do) then i usually do one of three things:
●1. resort to a standard daily prompt. today it's #seabirdsaturday and #stacksaturday tomorrow would be #shelfiesunday then there's also #tribandtuesday #woofwednesday #throwbackthursday - can't remember what monday and friday are off the top of my head!?
●2. have a look through my inspiration folder of great pics and posts by other #bookstagrammers. .
●3. have a look in my @obviousstate planner to see if it's an author's birthday or other significant day (e.g. st david's day, mlk day or harry potter's birthday). 📚
what about you?
do you make it up as you go along or do you have a plan? 🤔
#harrypotter #martinlutherking #inspiration #ralphellison #penguinpoets #penguinclassics #penguinbooks #vintagepenguins #williamshakespeare #robertfrost #aldoushuxley #honoredebalzac #bibliophile #booklover #literature
"in a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
through his writing george orwell documented the dangers of totalitarianism and of misused power, and he fought for social justice. he also fought physically, in the international brigades in the spanish civil war, a war which drew many writers in. ⚔
he warned against misinformation. as a journalist he knew the power of words to shape people's thoughts and actions. journalism seems to be a great grounding for a writer. from maya angelou to tom wolfe, charles dickens, mark twain, ernest hemingway, joan didion and susan sontag there is a long list of journalists who became authors.
the term orwellian is part of our lexicon and he is as relevant now as he was when he was writing, 70-80 years ago. it's always worth dipping back into his writings, especially when people in authority start saying things like "truth isn't truth."
have you read orwell?
which was you favourite of his works?
#georgeorwell #1984 #doublespeak #mayaangelou #tomwolfe #marktwain #joandidion #ernesthemingway #susansontag #dystopia #dystopianfiction #yevgenyzamyatin #spanishcivilwar #bibliophile #booklover #literature #vintagepenguins #penguinclassics
What behaviours define the bookstagrammer? 🤔
anyone pinching and expanding this picture to read the titles is definitely exhibiting archetypal bookstagrammer behaviour. and why wouldn't you want to zoom in on this 'spot the classic' competition! kudos to you if you can get a glimpse of either jack kerouac's on the road or joseph heller's catch 22 in there. 📚
this is maybe(!?) my final post from the wonderful cofion bookshop in tenby. 😁 annoyingly i've just spotted richard llewellyn's how green was my valley in this pic. i'd have bought that if i'd seen it while i was there! 📚
here are some other archetypal behaviours associated with the genus bookstagammus:
●having more book pictures than other pictures in your gallery. ●cursing an overcast day as the light won't be good enough for your picture. ●carrying books with you everywhere - and not to read. ●being caught muttering about the algorithm. 🤣
what behaviours mark you as a bookstagrammer? .
and can you see any personal favourites in my pic?
#cofionbookshop #tenby #visitwales #visitpembrokeshire #josephheller #jackkerouac #bookstacks #bookshop #bookchaos #secondhandbooks #literature #richardlewellyn #bibliophile #booklover