feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
I wanted to get in one non-tennis post!

Secrets at St Jude’s – Drama Girl: Carmen Reid Corgi Books 2010

As I read the first half of this book, the third in the series, I was planning Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Boat with white sail on water (Sailboat adventure)
Swallows and Amazons (2016) (PG)
Directed by: Philippa Lowthorpe
Adapted by: Andrea Gibb
From the book by: Arthur Ransome
Starring: (Grown-ups): Rafe Spall, Kelly Macdonald, Andrew Scott
(Swallows): Dane Hughes, Orla Hill, Teddie-Rose Malleson-Allen, Bobbie McCulloch,

This feels a little like a natives’ take on the adventures of the Swallows and Amazons. Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Back of girl whose gloved hand is holding on to her hat. (Girl in a hat)
The Opposite of Falling: Jennie Rooney Windsor Paragon 2010 (Large Print Edition)

I had to push myself to continue reading this, whereas I have devoured several books that have been much more poorly written. This is a book I admired more than liked. I admired the Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Tennis ball caught up at mid net's length with text reading 15 - love (Anyone for tennis?)
The New Girl at ‘Fir Trees’: Maud D. Rees Carey Kingsgate Press, 1948

Perhaps this book suffered a little because I’d just been reading Carola Storms the Chalet School before it, but it’s likely I still wouldn’t have liked most of the characters, anyhow.

The new girl in question Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Secrets at St Jude’s – Jealous Girl: Carmen Reid. Corgi, 2009

I used the word 'breezy' to describe the first book in the Secrets at St Jude's series, New Girl reviewed here and the same word came to mind for its sequel. Read more... )

Polished at 29/7/14.
feather_ghyll: Tennis ball caught up at mid net's length with text reading 15 - love (Anyone for tennis?)
I cught two matches from the ATP Tour Finals at the O2. That is, I half-watched Del Potro vs Federer and the crowd battling it out to reach the semis on Saturday. Read more... )

Apparently there is going to be a film of Swallows and Amazons with Dan Stephens (aka Matthew Crawley from Downton Abbey) playing Captain Flint. I have no issue with Stephens playing James Turner...in several years’ time. I couldn’t find much online on the project, filming seems to have been delayed and it’s described as ‘in development’ on imdb. I was wondering if it would be an adaptation of the stage musical, but I think not now, based on what I've seen about the project.

On Monday night, in what was not a shock, despite Sue Barker’s loyal championing of Federer, Nadal vs. Djokovic, the top two players in the world, playing in the final. I didn’t begrudge the doubles players, exactly, but I did wish the singles match could have started sooner and that there hadn’t been an hour of filler in the studio. I was, again, half-asleep for the last two games.

Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Book shop store front, text reading 'wear the old coat, buy the new book.' (Book not coat)
The bookshelves arrived safely - if a little later than I'd expected and rather needed them so be. It fits in where it was meant to - I was paranoid about my measurement-taking skills, and had been matched to the same colour as other bedroom furniture, so it looks nice. My Ns to Rs (Girls Own) more or less fit in to it with random books on the top. This led to a sorting that meant that I emptied one big box and one small box. I still have boxes of books in plain view, but in my denial, I'm holding on to the fact that I have found some doublers and old Enid Blytons to go to the charity shop like it's a giant leap forward.

And now some tennis (Wawrinka's backhand was a thing of beauty yesterday).
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Greetings! I've been away, yes on a beach, and here are a couple of the books that I read that I think you'd enjoy too.

Introducing Aunt Dimity, Paranormal Detective: Nancy Atherton. Penguin 2009.

This is an omnibus edition of the first two novels in the 'Aunt Dimity' series, which I think I came across in an Amazon 'if you like this book, why not this' way?. Well, I now have another series to collect. The blurb describes them as 'cosy' mysteries, and they very much are, with a slight paranormal element, romance and growing. self confidence for their heroines. They also fit in with a very American type of Anglophilia.

Aunt Dimity's Death Read more... )

The website for the series Aunt Dimity's world should give you some idea of the flavour of the books.

I also read Bluestockings: Jane Robinson Penguin 2010.

It was an impulse buy - I had underpacked and so visited the airport's WHSmiths in a flustered mood, but was high-minded enough to buy this. I'm glad I did, it was quite a few of the things that the similarly themed Willingly to School wasn't. Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
A collection of links, some of them related to recent posts and things of interest, some that I came across quite some time ago.

Swallows and Amazons memorobilia here!

A critical review of Diana Wynne Jones's The Game (in lieu of my thoughts which I never did write up) by a DWJ fan.

Author Hilary Mantel talks about looking for female role models in 19th century novels
with specific reference to Jo March, Katy Carr and Jane Eyre, discussiong her childish reaction to them, and some other aspects, such as the picture of contemporary London and interaction with real personages in What Katy Did Next.

A nice description of 'Remembering my best find'. I don't hink I can remember a best find so clearly, but I do know from experience that it's always worth trying even the least promising shop.

A review of the production of Daisy Pulls it Off that I saw.

Greyladies a new publishing venture that's just registered on me radar - Girls Gone By's older sister? - that I'm definitely interested in.

Wikipedia's potted history of Josephine Elder.

ETA: I nearly forgot, Happy Easter!
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Over the holidays, I made the most of the opportunity to just sit down and read books from cover to cover. I started off with The Big Six by Arthur Ransome, which I really don't think I'd read before. Read more... )

I worked my way through The Woman in White - I believe I called every character a ninny at some junction.

I should have said the same thing about Family Playbill by Pamela Brown, Read more... )

I loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, which was recommended by [livejournal.com profile] callmemadam among others.

And then I read a Bessie Marchant, A Girl of the Northland, Read more... )

The latter was an interesting precursor to reading A Cousin from Canada by May Wynne, Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Black and white body shot a row of ballet dancers (Ballet girls)
The seed of this comes from my thinking that I've read somewhere that JK Rowling said that Noel Streatfeild was a favourite writer of hers. I don't know if it would have occured to me to see Ballet Shoes for Anna as an influence on the Harry Potter series otherwise. Probably.

Ballet Shoes for Anna: Noel Streatfeild. Collins Modern Classic 1998
Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Happy New Year! I've been away reading for a fortnight, among other things, one of Jane Shaw's Susan stories; 'Red Caps at School' by Ethel Talbot, a really slight story, but not as annoying as I found some of her books over the past year; 'Sadie Comes to School' by May Wynne, a busy story with a new American girl, spies, near fatal accidents and an undercooked Christian moral; the much older 'Captain Polly' which was more of a Seven Little Australians/What Katy Did family story. I also read 'Nancy Drew and Company', a collection of academic essays about North American girls' series books, which I gleefully covered with exclamatory glosses, even though I wasn't familiar with about two thirds of the series that were discussed.

I've just finished 'Winter Holiday' by Arthur Ransome, which was a perfectly seasonal book to read at the end of the Christmas holiday, although of course, a Ransome is a good read it any time.

Read more... )

After a lousy 24 hours, I finally caved and spent nearly £9 on a Swallows and Amazons mug from Borders that I've been eyeing for months. My other excuse is that there was a broken mug incident over the holidays. It features illustrations from the books on a green background and the quote about how the books almost wrote themselves. I have yet to use it.

Coming soon (maybe): a review of the TV adaptation of Ballet Shoes and Finding Minerva, which I read over the holidays.
feather_ghyll: Book shop store front, text reading 'wear the old coat, buy the new book.' (Book not coat)
French page dedicated to Eric Leyland. It states that Leyland was a friend of Captain W. Johns - author of the Biggles books - and also wrote under the pseudonym of Elizabeth Tarrant (I didn't know this, I have one of 'her' books!). There's a full looking bibiliography - though they warn that it isn't necessarily complete, due to the numerous pseuds that he used - with pictures of covers. This suggests that there is a series of Stanton's books (I wonder if they are about Statnon's in its incarnation before 'Stanton's comes of Age' or after?
would suggest that it's after.)

Details on the casting for the new Ballet Shoes adaptation. My reaction. ) Also, I really need to reread the book.

The Fossil Cupboard - a message board to discuss Streatfeild's books.

And for Ransome fans, on lj, there's [livejournal.com profile] ransomefans. (I saw a Swallows and Amazons mug of the classic cover, which I had a bit of a struggle over, but couldn't justify buying it right now, 15 % opening weekend discount or no. This was at the new Borders.

P'raps I can engineer a mug-related accident...

Wikipedia offers this list of fictional works invented by EBD (it hurts me a little that they are not chronologically ordered).

[livejournal.com profile] astralis on new girls, honour and girls who don't fit in in girls school stories.

News of two Famous Five productions. Am I the only one who sees the major flaw in looking at the characters' lives decades later? Read more... ). Fan Lucy Mangan weighs in on the subject.

The Series Fic yahoo group - dedicated to exploring British children's series fiction of the 20th and 21st century.
feather_ghyll: Tennis ball caught up at mid net's length with text reading 15 - love (Anyone for tennis?)
The tennis has been on, today and yesterday, but I can't say I've been watching it much, being more engrossed in scrapbooking. It's not necessarily a reflection of the quality of the tennis (the match that got most of my attention was the doubles involving We-Know-Him-From-Queens Mahut) but that I didn't care who won. And now they're showing Blake vs. Haas from yesterday. I wonder if they will show Moya's match tomorrow, seeing as they were talking about it all this afternoon. It's patently obvious that the UK distribution deal has fallen in Sky Sports's favour and Eurosport is getting the scraps.

In other news, I have got the last two Swallows and Amazons/Ransomes that I didn't have: Winter Holiday and The Big Six. I've certainly read WH in the past, but it's nice to own the whole collection. And they were cheaper than I was expecting to pay, so bonus on that score as well.
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Adventure in the West: Alice Ross Colver. The Children's Press, first published in this edition 1955.

'A Modern Ranch Story for Girls' is how it's subtitled, in bright red joined-up handwriting on the cover of my copy. Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Rereading 'Secret Water' the other week was a real treat. Read more... )

I must have read 'Swallows and Amazons', the first book in the series, first, but I probably read them out of order, getting them out of the library and rereading them, and I'm not sure if I ever read them all. Although there was a time when I'd have said the Anne series was my favourite series, and I've been reading new-to-me Montgomery's over the last year, I'm basking in a lot of Ransome love at the moment. Looking back, it occurs to me that I liked 'mixed' series when I was at primary school: the Famous Five, the Lone Piners and Swallows and Amazons, and more girl-centric series the older I got: the Chalet girls, the Annes and the Abbey girls. That isn't to say that it was so clear-cut, I mean, I read Mallory Towers along with the Famous Five and was into the Scarlet Pimpernel in the lower part of secondary school, and I probably started buying my own copies of the Swallows and Amazons books about that time, too, thanks to more pocket money. Due to the availability of library copies if I wanted them (and yes, they were hardbacks with the nifty dust-jackets covered in a plastic binding) and my familiarity with the stories, I didn't hunt down copies of my own. Though if they came my way cheaply, i'd buy them. As a result, I've probably read the most land-bound book, 'Pigeon Post', the most. I had half resolved that this year I'd try to complete my collection of Chalet School books (which is mainly Armada paperbacks - I try not to think about the abridging that has gone on in them too hard), but right now I'm more enthused about getting a complete set of the Swallows and Amazons series.

Reading 'Secret Water' set me off to hunt the interwebs for resources. I may have been looking in the wrong places (livejournal and Google mainly) but there doesn't seem to be much around. I wanted something on the chronology of the books, essays on the characters and their roles, with an eye to gender, and on the themes of the books. The story needs all of them, from instigator Nancy, future naval commander John, the excellent Susan (who I really appreciated in 'SW'), dreamer and mapmaker Titty, to the others. There seems to be some stuff out there about Ransome-the-author, but not as much discussion of the text, just lots of short comments that can be summarised as 'Swallows and AMazons, oh yes, I loved them. Wasn't Nancy great? They're pure escapism'. Surely there's more to say than that!

Here's what I did find:

Swallows and Bolsheviks from [livejournal.com profile] oursin

This knocked my socks off:
Secret waters: Reliving author Arthur Ransome's literary journey along the Essex coast by Graham Hoyland

When my father was the age of an Amazon, one of his teachers was the poet W H Auden, who later called the 1930s "a low, dishonest decade". To adults, perhaps, it was, but to Ransome's fictional children it seems an age of innocence. What parent would now leave their young children (including a six-year-old, Bridget) to camp on an island unsupervised?
[A part of me is outraged on behalf of the excellent Susan Walker.)

Resources: Arthur Ransome/S and A background books [I'd probably need to see reviews before getting them.]

Icons based on cover art by [livejournal.com profile] keswindhover

Any other links would be very much welcomed.


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