Saturday, September 15, 2012

Crewe Train for November!

Well, that was easy.  I'm not sure we've ever had quite a consensus like that.  Rose Macaulay's Crewe Train for November it is.  We'll start discussing Saturday November 17.  See you there! 

Anyone is welcome to join!  If you're new and would like to post here on the blog, please drop me an email at and I will send you an invite.  Anyone can register for the forum.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Time to Choose a New Book!

Ready to vote on a book to discuss this fall?  I was going to come up with a theme, but in the end I decided to offer a list of books that I've been wanting to read and hope you might find one amongst them you'd like to read and discuss as well.  Two of these are out of print and I have noted that next to the title.  I did check, however, to make sure all were available from Amazon (and I am sure other book vendors likely will have them, too, or please consider seeing if your local library has them on their shelves).  In both cases there are copies at Amazon in the US, Canada and the UK (and often at very, very cheap prices).  So without further ado:

Gate of Angels by Penelope Fitzgerald -- "In 1912, rational Fred Fairly, one of Cambridge's best and brightest, crashes his bike and wakes up in bed with a stranger - fellow casualty Daisy Saunders, a charming, pretty, generous working-class nurse. So begins a series of complications - not only of the heart but also of the head - as Fred and Daisy take up each other's education and turn each other's philosophies upside down." (176 pp.)

All Our Worldly Goods by Irene Nemirovsky -- "Set in France between 1910 and 1940 and first published in France in 1947, five years after the author’s death, All Our Worldly Goods is a gripping story of war, family life and star-crossed lovers. Pierre and Agnes marry for love against the wishes of his parents and his grandfather, the tyrannical family patriarch. Their marriage provokes a family feud that cascades down the generations." (272 pp.)

The Innocent Traveller by Ethel Wilson (OP) -- "Precocious in childhood, irrepressible in old age, Miss Topaz Edgeworth’s singular accomplishment is to live out an entire century in unflagging – and mostly oblivious – optimism. At once outmoded and unconventional, tyrannical and benign, Topaz leads a largely unexamined life. But the magical quality of her consciousness, revealed through stunning narrative technique, makes her into one of the most delightful characters in Canadian literature. Published in 1949, The Innocent Traveller is Ethel Wilson’s most original literary achievement." (245 pp.)

Crewe Train by Rose Macaulay (OP) --"On the death of her father, a retired clergyman, Denham Dobie is forced to leave her wild and carefree life in Spain and is thrust into the gossiping highbrow circle of her well-meaning relatives in London. Thrown into a world of publishers and writers, this awkward young woman—a tomboy and rebel at heart—sees their society for the self-absorbed, self-satisfied world it is and offers a devastating, and very funny, social commentary within her own moving story. A bitingly funny, elegantly written comedy of manners from the incomparable Rose Macaulay." (256 pp.)

The House in Paris by Elizabeth Bowen -- "When eleven-year-old Henrietta arrives at the Fishers’ well-appointed house in Paris, she is prepared to spend her day between trains looked after by an old friend of her grandmother’s. Henrietta longs to see a few sights in the foreign city; little does she know what fascinating secrets the Fisher house itself contains.  For Henrietta finds that her visit coincides with that of Leopold, an intense child who has come to Paris to be introduced to the mother he has never known. In the course of a single day, the relations between Leopold, Henrietta’s agitated hostess Naomi Fisher, Leopold’s mysterious mother, his dead father, and the dying matriarch in bed upstairs, come to light slowly and tantalizingly. And when Henrietta leaves the house that evening, it is in possession of the kind of grave knowledge usually reserved only for adults." (288 pp.)

I'll tally votes on Friday September 14.  Since we're a little late in choosing, how about we reconvene to discuss on Saturday November 17.  Please cast your vote!

New List Coming Soon!

Sorry for the delay, but a new list of books to vote on will be coming soon!  If you are interested in joining the Slaves and would like to receive an invite to post on the blog, please email me directly (  I need an email address in order to send out invites (and unfortunately do not have access to them behind the scenes).  Anyone can have access to our forum where book discussions take place.  Watch this space for our next book!