Room of One's OwnThe Mussel Feast

I promise to resist doing such things as much as possible, but I really wanted to share the pretty books I picked up today.  The book haul is ubiquitous to the YouTube book vlogging community and something I usually find irritating.  I’m just jealous, I suppose.

I usually buy books secondhand and as cheaply as I can.  This is because I’m very poor, not because I can’t appreciate the beauty of a special book.  In fact, in an ideal world I would like to train to be a bookbinder because I love old books so much that I want to save their lives.

Anyway, this afternoon I went to a book fair in Lewes and bought a pre-loved copy of Saplings, by Noel Streatfield.  It was published by Persephone Books and is a thing of beauty.  The endpapers are gorgeous.

I also bought The Mussel Feast by Birgit Vanderbeke, published by Peirene. My goodness, it is lush – you really need to feel it in your hands to appreciate it fully.  The story appealed to me too, as it was written in 1989, just before the fall of the Berlin Wall.  I visited East Berlin about a month before the wall fell and so can’t wait to read and review this.

Finally, I was tempted by a Penguin copy of A Room of One’s Own, with a gorgeous embossed cover.  These talks or essays are something I read as an ‘A’ level student and which propelled me towards Feminism as an ideological position.  I’m still a Feminist, I just don’t think much of the current wave of popular Feminism; which is body image obsessed and ignores issues affecting non-white, non-western, non-middle class women.

Virginia Woolf was admirably pragmatic and it is practical issues which hurt the most:

“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction”.

That’s my writing career buggered then.