I thought I’d explain…
As a self-confessed book-nerd – I find myself getting caught up on the strangest tangents, research and segues as I read. I find words, recipes, references, clothes, and run off like Alice after the White Rabbit, trying to find out more about them — only to realise its been hours – I have achieved nothing productive, I still haven’t made dinner and my cats are staring at me:
So I have of course, catalogued all these interesting bits and pieces of information in a rigid and systematic no fail system: little piles all over my desk: listed in notebooks, written in margins and scrawled across scrappy bits of paper. And I thought – why not add some organisation to this chaos?
And – why not share it with the world at large – because – after all, when you have tiny pieces of trivia, thoughts about books and FEELINGS about characters, that few if any other people in the world may be interested in —-
You do what any other self-respecting social media drenched generation-ite does: you share it damm it!
Why Blue Castle?
One of my favourite books in the world is L.M. Montgomery’s The Blue Castle. Possibly one of the most under appreciated books in the universe – but the reason for which I think can be solely linked to the MOST TERRIBLY named male romantic lead in the history of the universe: BARNEY SNAITH.
So, despite the most beautifully named named heroine, the heart-squee-ing romance and the adorable and hysterically funny plot, it has staked out only the tiniest corner of the world.
BUT I am committed to furthering their cause no matter what – and my own blog space = unrepentant Blue Castle proselytising. You have been warned.
What to post?
Well my favourite books of all time tend to be ones that had a profound influence on me when I was growing up – or books/genres that I have discovered, since growing up, that are just plain adorable.
The not-so-short list includes (but isn’t limited to):
- Georgette Heyer – because she. is. the. greatest.
- Elizabeth Gaskell – would kick Jane Austen’s butt – and John Thornton/Margaret Hale? Give me them over Darcy/Bennett – any day.
- Victoria Holt – because all roads lead to gothic castles, destitute governesses and tall, dark and grim (but hiding the soul of a poet) lords of the manor – possibly on or near a large black stallion
- Betty Neels – the ultimate queen of the perfect romance and the best name-thinker-upper of characters of all time: Professor Jake van Belfeld; ‘My name Krijn, I’ll spell it.” He did so.’ see? perfect.
- Lucy Walker – who made rangy, lean Australian men with skin like leather, who drink and smoke like chimneys – still some how seem tantalisingly attractive. (This is despite the fact that being Australian myself, I know the aforementioned characteristics, do not generally, in any way, mix together to make an attractive person — it just doesn’t happen -trust me.) But LW makes me believe it’s possible…Plus best descriptions of Australian bush. Ever.
- Madeleine Brent – Moonraker’s Bride, Tregaron’s Daughter, Merlin’s Keep; it’s like James Bond and Georgette Heyer had a book baby…and this was the result – they are SO good – I just wish he had written as many as Ms Heyer…
- Agatha Christie – queen of crime – and hilarious characterisations of people.
- LM Montgomery – agh – Emily, Anne-with-an-e, Gilbert, Diana, Valancy – if I had lived on PEI we could have all been best friends…
- Bronte Sisters – Jane, Rochester, heights that wuther and tenants in halls – sigh.
- Trixie Belden series – if only Trixie and Jim had got together – they were 35 books of UST…and then you just STOPPED. Without warning – with no ends tied. You broke my 13yr old heart.
I group the following together for the best and funniest characterisation and actions of selfish peoples:
- PG Wodehouse
- Oscar Wilde
- Peter Mayle
- Jane Austen (yeah – she’s still on my list — but waaaay down) 🙂
These are because of the food:
- Brian Jacques
- Enid Blyton
- Susan Coolidge – all that Katy did do was in a class of her own
My first foray into gothic romances:
- Susan Howatch
- Catherine Gaskin
- Jane Peart – the Brides of Montclair – which 12 yr old me thought were the most beautiful covers of books. Ever.
- Any and all Gothic Romances from the 60s, 70s & 80s (also known as women-running-scared-from-houses)
- Plenty of what is sometimes called Contemporary Romance from the 60s, 70s & 80s, aka tall,dark & misogynistic…
Besides loads more.
It’s from these I have found use(less?)/(ful?) information that is to be unleashed on the world at large…