Sunday, November 04, 2007

The ever-changing bookshelf

The bookcase by my computer desk has a new look this afternoon, thanks to some Amazon certificates, Borders purchases, and publisher freebies.

And after reading several historical novels in quick succession (three in a week is a record for me lately) I've picked up Susan Fraser King's Lady Macbeth, which arrived as an ARC last week. I wasn't sure I'd get one, as the HNS reviewer got her own copy. I'm pleased.

One of my recent purchases, 2nd shelf far left, is the omnibus edition of Sigrid Undset's Kristin Lavransdatter, which was translated recently by Tiina Nunnally (whose name I've seen on many translations from Scandinavian languages). You can read more about Ms. Nunnally and her literary efforts in an article from the Seattle Times. I already own Kristin Lavransdatter, in three Bantam paperbacks dating from the 1980s, but never managed to get through it. The article explains why others had the same difficulty: the original translation used a clunky, faux-medieval prose style. My recent reading (and enjoyment) of GWTW inspired me to try again with this one, as this is a historical novel/trilogy I feel I should read.

We were in Chicago briefly this weekend, and I have to say that the Borders at Water Tower Place has a better selection than any bookstore I've been in for a while. I bought two paperbacks I'd never seen anywhere else: Brian John's House of Angels (3rd shelf from bottom, far left, blue headless woman cover which I really like), 2nd in a family saga set in 18th century Wales, and Christine Lemmon's Portion of the Sea (same shelf, far right), a contemporary/historical family saga about several generations of women on Sanibel Island.

The gallery of reusable cover art has been updated with a few new entries.

It's 5pm here, and nearly dark. Welcome to the end of Daylight Savings Time.


  1. Anonymous11:09 AM

    Next time you're in Chicago you should drop by the 57th Street Bookstore. And another Chicago store, Women and Children First has an excellent selection of historical fiction --- possibly the best I've ever seen in one place. That may be because so much historical fiction is written either by or primarily about women.

  2. Oh, thanks for the tidbit on Kristin Lavransdatter! I actually liked that earlier translation (I guess I'm in the minority) so I'm keen to read this "better" version!

  3. Lucy, thanks for the suggestions - I'll check them out next time. I'm in Chicago often but am not very familiar with its bookstores, other than Powell's.

    What I liked about the Borders is that they had a number of British books (saves me paying for postage).

    Julie, it's interesting, when I first read the original I was so young (grade school) that I may not have realized it was a translation. I'll be curious what you think of the new version if/when you read it.