Summer Hols 2018: reading haul

Buying books is what we do … sometimes we even read them!

BH book haul

Ouch – where did those six weeks go, then?

I vividly remember sitting in a pub on the last day of term, almost too exhausted to take in the fact that we were finally finished.  That seems like about 10 days ago.  The rest has passed in a blur of walking (with blisters you wouldn’t believe); sleeping under canvas at every opportunity (I reckon upwards of two weeks); sleeping in general (storing up resources for next term and dealing with the futility of trying not to dream about school); writing resources for school and this blog; reading; and buying books …

For the past few years, I’ve fallen into a natural pattern of spending almost all of every summer holiday away from home (a break from my home town as well as my job), which means I pack as light as I can when I leave, knowing I’ll be returning much heavier with new-bought reading materials.  I never really learn, though.  This year, I’ve even taken the plunge and bought a few e-books (although that decision was also made on cost grounds): as it is, I’ll probably have to leave some behind at ‘my Snowdonia home’ (aka ‘her place‘), and arrange to collect them another time.

Here’s what I picked up this summer.  Conscious that this blog is, by nature, a bit monomaniac, I’ve included everything I bought, regardless of subject matter.  Plenty are, obviously, related to my teaching, but it doesn’t do you any harm to realise that I’m also into SF, Crime, Gothic, and Victorian Lit, too … others are still Shakespeare-related, but more aligned to my general interests than my teaching.  Some volumes are doubtless destined for Mount Tsundoku: I’ve highlighted – in bold orange – the ones I’ve managed to read:

  1. Asquith, Clare:  Shadowplay:  The hidden beliefs and coded politics of William Shakespeare (a belated (5 months!) birthday gift from my bestie)
  2. Bate, Jonathan:  The Genius of Shakespeare (I lost this for a few days after a camping trip and thought I’d left it in a field near Buxton; it was a terrible feeling)
  3. Brooks, Max:  World War Z:  An Oral History of the Zombie War (a charity shop purchase, read pretty much in one gulp)
  4. Cain, James M:  Double Indemnity (similar to the Brooks book, although this was much better)
  5. Charry, Brinda:  The Arden Guide to Renaissance drama:  An Introduction with Primary Sources (e-book)
  6. Connolly, AnnalieseRichard III:  A Critical Reader (Arden Early Modern Drama Guides) (e-book)
  7. Eliot, TS:  Selected Essays
  8. Fletcher, Anthony, and Stevenson, John:  Order & Disorder in Early Modern England
  9. Gladwell, Malcolm:  Outliers (Oxfam bookshop purchase)
  10. Harkaway, Nick:  The Gone Away World (e-book)
  11. Harkaway, Nick:  Gnomon (e-book)
  12. Hill, Susan:  The Mist in the Mirror
  13. Kendall, Paul Murray:  Warwick the Kingmaker (local second-hand bookshop)
  14. March, Jenny:  The Penguin Book of Classical Myths (I’ve a horrible feeling I already have this at home, but for a quid, it was better to be safe than sorry)
  15. Martin, Robert Bernard:  Tennyson:  The Unquiet Heart (A Biography)
  16. McEwan, Ian:  On Chesil Beach (to replace a copy lent to a student and not returned – I start teaching it again next week)
  17. Melnikoff, Kirk:  Edward II:  A Critical Reader (Arden Early Modern Drama Guides) (e-book)
  18. Nicholl, Charles:  The Reckoning:  The Murder of Christopher Marlowe
  19. Thomson, George Malcolm:  Sir Francis Drake (Oxfam book shop – who could resist?)

Did I mention I haven’t actually got room for these back at the flat?  And a long, uncomfortable train journey back home?

What’s your summer book haul been like?  I’ve shown you mine …


Author: Boar's Head, Eastcheap

Hyperactive English Teacher and Tutor; Shakespeare-obsessed 'Villainous abominable misleader of youth'; 'old white-bearded Satan'; Friend of the Orangutan

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