Last Friday I went book-shopping, specifically for a couple of books for RIP 6, and because it was one of the last days of my holidays and it doesn't feel like a holiday until I've bought some books - buying one in Montreal doesn't count as fulfilling my holiday book shopping! I did find what I was looking for, and whole lot more. Pure pleasure. I also discovered a bookstore that I have walked past for the past oh, 3 years at least, and never gone in. I don't really know why, except I thought it was tied to the Canadian National Gallery across the road, since the book store featured a lot of Canadian art books in the windows. When I decided to explore some of Ottawa's few bookstores I haven't been in, last week, I thought I would try Nicholas Hoare. I was absolutely delighted and thrilled and felt right at home within minutes of walking in. I only had 15 minutes and found 5 books in that time, though I had cheated and gone to their new online site, here and had a list of titles I was looking for already in hand. Which is a good thing since I only had 15 minutes, and once I started browsing, I got immersed and had to keep reminding myself that I wanted to look at this and that, too. Stuff dreams are made of, a book store where I could happily spend many hours discovering books only available in England, or featuring English and Canadian authors. I intend to go back as soon as possible. Unfortunately they close at 5:30, which is 1/2 hour before I get to their store from work, which is the top reason really that I've never gone in. It's always closed when I go by!
So this is what I found last week:
-The Lore of Scotland - Westwood and Kingshill. I've had my eye on this one for a couple of months, and finally I just couldn't resist it any longer! It's a thick book, and looks well-researched, and covers so much myth, folklore, tales from Scotland.
-The Morville Hours - Katherine Swift - I bought it because Nigel Slater (my favourite English cook) couldn't resist reading it twice. Ok, I'm only partly kidding! I also bought it because it's the story of the house she comes to love, and the history she uncovers while she is gardening, of the people who lived there before. Time and gardening, past and present, the hours of living - perfect for winter reading, I think.
-South Riding - Winifred Holtby - I hadn't even heard about it until finding it on Nicolas Hoare site. Now I find it's been in print in England ever since it was published in 1936! It's set in South Yorkshire, and is the story of a teacher who promotes modern ideas in the school she comes to teach in, and runs into the lord of the manor across the way, and of course they disagree on everything. It's also one of the first novels to try to show how putting responsibility onto the local councils changed politics especially at the local economic level, in Britain. Plus, it's set in Yorkshire, where I lived when I was there. Since we have our own maddening city council here in Ottawa (guaranteed to put your blood pressure up every time they make an announcement these days it seems), I can also relate. It's sounds boring and political, and it's not. The heroine is a woman fiercely determined to improve the lot of her students, and this is what gets her into the business of the local council and eventually to the landowner who owns everything.
-The Dirty Life - A Memoir of Farming, Food and Love - Kristin Kimball - I love her sweater on the cover! Really, I bought it because I love the idea of how the author meets her husband and leaves everything behind in order to start up an organic farm, selling locally. They've made it work, and this is the story of how they did it, and what they learned. In my wildest fantasies I run away to the countryside too and become self-sufficient on the land as well, and of course we've already been organic for over 20 years, so this book is like my alternate life if I had a husband with the least inclination to farm. I don't, and he never will, whereas Kristin's husband is the one who was completely into farming which is how they met (she came to interview him for a magazine article)
- and a Christmas present for my husband, which I can't list here in case he sees (but very British and appropriate for him!)
I still have a list of books I wanted to look at there, so the question is not if, but how soon I shall return......
I also made it to one of my regular and favourite independent bookstores on Friday, Collected Works. They are in the midst of renovating, and are waiting for their Christmas stock to come in, so stock is a little bit low at this time, and I still managed to find two books!
Anya's Ghost - Vera Brosgol - thanks to Chris at Stuff Dreams Are Made Of, for his review here. For RIP VI
Woods Wolf Girl - Cornelia Hoogland - This is a book of poems, just out this year, by a Canadian poet. It is a collection about - you guessed it, Red Riding Hood, The Wolf, and the Woodsman. The poems are about all the ways Red Riding Hood walks into the woods, and what (who, the Wolf of course) she finds there. It is also about how we are Red Riding Hood in our lives, and the places we might find the wolf lurking, and where the woods might be in our lives. It looks fascinating, and I had to have it. I'm on a fairy tale themed poetry reading kick right now, and this looks perfect. For RIP VI
Then, because this was what I set out for (and resigned to never finding a copy of the first book anywhere else in the city) I headed out to Smithbooks, a subsidiary of Chapters (our version of Barnes and Nobles here in Canada), to finally, finally, get my hands on a copy of:
Feed - Mira Grant. For RIP VI. Yes! I was victorious! A zombie book that I've been hearing about on and off for a year now. Deadline is the sequel, out now, so if I like this one, I can see the sequel under my Christmas tree, possibly.....
As they had a buy 3-get 1 one free event on that weekend, I had to fulfull that promise and bought two more for me, and 5 books for the kids (not named here, all learning readers for them):
Magic Bites - Ilona Andrews - I keep seeing this written up in places, and it looks like an interesting and fun urban fantasy
Midnight Fugue - Reginald Hill. I saw a review of this lately, considered one of his best ones in the Dalziel and Pascoe series, so when I saw it was out in softcover, I grabbed it.
Now I feel like I've been on holidays!