Triple Choice Tuesday: Stuck in a Book

Triple-Choice-TuesdayWelcome to Triple Choice Tuesday. This is where I ask some of my favourite bloggers, writers and readers to share the names of three books that mean a lot to them. The idea is that it might raise the profile of certain books and introduce you to new titles, new authors and new bloggers.

Today’s guest is Simon from Stuck in a Book.

Simon is 25 and lives in Oxford, where he has been studying English Literature most of the time since 2004. He describes himself as the only Christian-vegetarian-twin he knows, and when he’s not blogging, studying, or working part-time at the Bodleian library, he’s probably reading a book, baking a cake, or visiting a donkey sanctuary somewhere.

Without further ado, here’s Simon’s Triple Choice Tuesday selections:


Miss-Hargreaves A favourite book: Miss Hargreaves by Frank Baker

I wanted to be a little controversial in making my choices, but I find that I cannot do it. Anyone who knows my blog will have heard me champion this book so often, but… I’m going to pick Miss Hargreaves (1940) by Frank Baker. This indomitable old lady is accidentally conjured into life, and wreaks havoc in a small cathedral town. I re-read it every year – it really does make me laugh and cry, and not least because the lady who told me about it died a year or so ago. Her legacy to me has been invaluable.

 

Family-Roundabout A book that changed my world: Family Roundabout by Richmal Crompton

Obviously the Bible comes first to my mind here, but I’m going to take that as read, and pick Family Roundabout (1948) by Richmal Crompton. Having loved her William stories as a child, I picked this up at random in Hay on Wye in 2002 – when, I suppose, I was still technically a child. I loved this fairly insightful tale of family life – sometimes amusing, sometimes sombre – but the reason I’ve chosen it as a book which changed my life is because of the path it set me on. Through this novel I discovered Persephone Books (despite reading a 1950s edition) and an online reading-group which helped shape which books I would love, and thus my degree, Masters, doctorate… so much.


Love-Child A book that deserves a wider audience: The Love Child by Edith Olivier

Books that deserve a wider audience is rather my speciality, since most of my much-loved books aren’t in print. In The Love Child (1927), by Edith Olivier, a lonely spinster conjures her childhood friend into life (yes… sensing a theme here?!) and, after a period of happiness, a gentle power struggle evolves. This novella is slight in size, but beautifully memorable and not the slightest bit fey. Virago republished it in the 1980s, but it has sadly been left in obscurity now – I had the good fortune to buy it in a charity shop, on a whim, and I think it is something of a modern classic – and an aberration, since Olivier’s other novels aren’t very good. This gem was her first book, and is another I re-read often – always charmed and dazzled and a little saddened.

Thanks, Simon, for taking part in my Triple Choice Tuesday!

I’ve not read any of them, probably because my tastes tend towards the latter half of the 20th century. But these all sound like terrific reads, and I really do like the sound of Edith Olivier’s novella.

What do you think of Simon’s choices? Have you read any of these books?

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15 thoughts on “Triple Choice Tuesday: Stuck in a Book

  1. I’ve got Family Roundabout on my shelf but haven’t got to it yet. And of course I’ve been meaning to get a copy of Miss Hargreaves after reading about it on Simon’s blog:) I haven’t heard of Edith Olivier until recently so will be on the lookout. Interesting choices!

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  2. As i would expect with simon three books that are new to me ,I love simon s blog as it always the one I can look at and go who is this ,he eschews the,mainstream for a wonderful mix of traditional books and modern classics ,great selection all the best stu

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  3. Thanks so much for featuring me on Triple Choice Tuesday, Kim, it was really fun – and really difficult to choose three!
    I’ll just quickly reply to the people who commented –
    Kinga: do seek them out! Obviously I love them all, but I especially love Miss Hargreaves.
    Sakura: HOW you’ve managed not to buy Miss Hargreaves yet, I can’t imagine! But I want you to try Comyns and Carey first 😉
    Stu: Thanks so much for that – what a lovely comment 🙂 I did spend my first year of blogging trying to read all the newly released books, but decided after that just to read what I wanted, and the people who came to my blog would come back if they liked non-mainstream choices. Those are the sorts of bloggers I love!
    Hayely: hurrah! I love it when recommendations are successful – for myself or for others.

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  4. I have all three of these books on the TBR shelf! I probably bought them all based on his recommendations too. I know I definitely bought Family Roundabout after he raved about it.

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  5. Karen – hope you get to reading at least one of them soon! I think you’ll like them all.
    Harriet – thanks! I think you’d like the other two… not absolutely certain, since I remember you found Miss H a bit sinister – and you might find The Love-Child a bit sinister too.
    Polly – 😀 can’t wait to know what you think of them…
    Thanks again for letting me play, Kim!

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  6. Of course I’ve read Miss Hargreaves, hasn’t everybody now? I thought that Simon had succeeded in getting almost evryone who can read to join the Miss Hargreaves fan club. My copy is an old orange Penguin edition. I’ve not read The Family Roundabout but I have read 4 of her adult books and I’ve not read The Love Child either.

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  7. I haven’t read any of these books- not even Miss Hargreaves–but have inked them on my TBR list – they all sounds intriguing.
    Thanks, Kim, for pointing me to a great blog, new to me.

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  8. You’re very welcome, Simon. Thanks so much for choosing such an interesting mix of books. It’s very rare for someone to name 3 books that I’m not familiar with; normally there’s at least one title I know, have read or is in my TBR.

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