'I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.' L.M. Montgomery

'There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.' Irving Stone

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Few New! And BBC Too!

This week has been a good week for finding new authors to read! And I have no will power so I have ordered 4 new books and picked up several free ebooks.

 M.J. Farrell (aka Molly Keane)
An Irish novelist, born in County Kildare. Have never heard of Ms. Farrell until I happened on to this review @ A Work in Progress of one of her books, Mad Puppetstown. The title intrigued me. She writes Kailyards/ comfort novels! I started looking for this book and found it to be quite expensive! In fact it seems most all her books are expensive as they are out of print. But I am tenacious and I persevered until I found them for 99 cents! Plus shipping of course. Check them out here at Alibris  I think I would love to collect all her books, we will see! Here are a few book covers.

Denis Mackail   

Denis is the brother of Angela Thirkall! He was born in London. I read a good review for Greenery Street @ The Captive Reader and just had to have it! So off I went in search of it. I ordered a copy from AbeBooks There doesn't appear to be any nice covers of his books available :( They must have been rather bland.

George Moore

Another Irish author, born in County Mayo. I came across him on BBC Radio 4 Classic Serial program. Moore's novel, Esther Waters, was featured in a 2 part dramatization recently. If you hurry over today you can listen to it. Part 1 is only available thru today but part 2 will be available for 2 days more. If your not familiar with BBC radio do yourself a favor and check it out! We can listen to it here in the States on computer. Not on mobile devices though as the apps are not available to us here. They have tons of great dramatizations of great books and serials that you can subscribe to the podcasts of.  Back to George Moore! I'll give you links and tell you more about BBC Radio at the end. I went off on a search for George Moore and found his books on Project Gutenberg for free in digital form. They are also available thru manybooks.net If you would like traditional books you can purchase them new and used at Amazon US - UK or Alibris  (Tip:You can choose Text on the Gutenberg site and read them on your computer if you don't have an ereader.)
I downloaded Esther Waters and A Drama in Muslim. (click the link for a goodreads description of Muslim)

BBC's program description that enticed me:  
Set against a background of gambling and horseracing; Esther Waters is a stirring tale of how a servant girl makes her way in Victorian England.Forced to leave the home of her brutal stepfather, Esther takes a job as a maid at 'Woodview', a country estate owned by a nouveau riche racing family. Celebrated author Colm Toibin championed Esther Waters as a neglected Classic for Radio Four's Open Book programme. He encourages listeners to read the novel again because he thinks it has a wonderful story with fascinating characters, a heroine we'll come to know and love, and it's one of those books you just can't put down. Esther's tale is a slice of Victorian life that is rarely shown; single parenting, wet nursing, divorce, gambling, and religious zealotry. Through her we discover exactly what it feels like to be poor and powerless. The book was banned until Gladstone revoked it, saying it was compassionate, moral and humane; and after that it became a best seller.

There was a 1948 British movie made of Esther Waters too.

Another author I discovered on BBC Radio 4 Extra was Catherine Louisa Pirkus. A wonderful program titled The Lady Detective featured dramatizations of several books with woman detective's as the main character. I listened to The Redhill Sisterhood by Pirkus. And that set me off on a search for Catherine. I could not find a picture of Catherine :( You can read her novels online here and I found 2 audio books here or if you want to purchase a traditional copy Alibris has many.

And I ordered 2 more books in the Moosepath League series. I got them from Moosepath Press and both are autographed by the author to me! I only have one more to buy to get the whole set.
So, I guess I should get off of here and get busy reading! But first the BBC Radio...

I listen on a daily basis' to 3 of the BBC Radio stations online. BBC Radio Scotland (there are 6 radio stations in the nation), BBC Radio 4 (speech, drama, analysis and the arts) and BBC Radio 4 Extra (comedy, drama and children's programming).

I just finished a great series on Radio Scotland called Tartan Noir and it had 3 episodes of interviews with multiple popular Scottish crime novelists (Ian Rankin, Denise Mina, Stuart McBride, Val McDermid and William McIlvanney.) Very interesting! Also listening to a series now on Killing:The History of Murder in Scotland. In the evening there is good music programs on and news and local stories are on during the day. The Comedy Club, Good Morning Scotland are just a couple more of the excellent shows.

On 4 Extra there are great comedies new and old. Lots of drama's, Adam Dalgleish The Private Patient is running now and you can catch up on the past episodes. There is a Hercule Poirot playing and an Edgar Wallace. Elizabeth Gaskell's Mary Barton is also playing. Thomas Hardy Short Stories might be something that interests you.

Radio 4 will be starting a double Philip Larkin on March 31st. He only wrote 2 novels, Jill and A Girl in Winter. They will be doing a dramatization of both.  Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere is on and will be available to listen to for a year!
There is a documentary, Noise: A Human History - Prof David Hendy presents a 30-part series exploring the role of sound, and listening, in the past 100,000 years of human history. And a very long running soap opera The Archers.

There's got to be something there that interests you! Something for everyone. Browse around the sites and find what appeals to you. I get the newsletter in my email so I know what's going on. I feel like I've found a goldmine with these stations, as we don't have anything like this in the States. I only wish we could get the mobile app here!

Is it any wonder I never get anything done around, with books and radio and blogs! The vacuum has to get ran today though so I'm off to do it now! I've said that all week but really, I am going to do it now!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Peggy Ann


  1. You have been busy! I really like Molly Keane's/M.J.Farrell's writing. Thanks for the links to the Dad's Army radio spin off. Honestly you could spend most of your life listening to the BBC - entertaining though. I've been meaning to get Greenery Street for ages. I must sign up for that radio newsletter!
    The dust can wait Peggy!

    1. III'S know what you mean about the BBC consuming your time! I put things in my favorites and if I get to listen to them before they expire great. The time difference makes it hard to listen to the live shows.

  2. I loved Greenery Street! I have the Persephone edition, and I wrote about it here:

    1. Thanks for the link to your review, Nan. It's very good. Amazing we both cited the same review in our posts!

  3. Tartan Noir sounds great! I adore Radio 4. I've just bought the first of the Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Howard after hearing it serialized on R4.


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