WWW Wednesday: Spring and Summer-y reads

May is here and Spring is in the air (on and off) the bluebells are out and the lately it's even been warm enough to sit and read outside. I've been trying to read seasonal appropriate books too - vaguely sunny and upbeat - if you've got any suggestions let me know! 'WWW Wednesday' is a weekly meme hosted at Taking on a World of Words. To join in just answer the three questions and leave your link in the comments at the host site :)

The Three W'S:
What did you recently finish reading?
What are you currently reading?
What do you think you'll read next?

I just finished  The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall-SmithThe first in a series of books about a lady detective in Botswana, it was a lot of fun and I loved the characters, but it kind of felt like lots of short stories rather than a novel. Re-watched that pilot too and really enjoyed it. It's so well cast! Bit slow to get going, but funny and warm and I love the Botswana accents (although most of the cast seem to be English and American so maybe they're not so authentic. Idris Elba, David Oyelowo, Anika Noni-Rose, Jill Scott...) Review coming soon at basedonthebook.

“People with something to hide wore sunglasses indoors. They were the ones you had to watch very carefully.”  - The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

I read I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith, next. For a very English, girly, YA classic, and to get yourself in the mood for Spring, this is worth a shot. Read my review of the book (and the film) here.

"...no bathroom on earth will make up for marrying a bearded man you hate.”  
- I Capture the Castle

At the moment I'm reading Vanity Fair and Gone with the Wind. Vanity Fair started off so well, but now I'm struggling. I don't like any of the characters except for Dobbin (and I want to shake him half the time.) Also, the narrator isn't as funny as he thinks he is. But I'm persevering.

“If a man's character is to be abused, say what you will, there's nobody like a relative to do the business.”   - Vanity Fair

Because I am struggling with Vanity Fair, and because I'm weak like poor Ashley Wilkes, I'm re-reading, or should I say dipping into, Gone with the Wind again. Yes, because of the subject matter and the time of writing, bits of it are toe-curlingly racist, but other than that it's such a good read. The characters, the dialogue, the depth - it's addictive. Although the plot-lines are pretty miserable it's also surprisingly fun, although things do start to get depressing towards the end.

'"Mistress! What would I get out of that, except a passel of brats?"
...and then her jaw dropped in horror as she realised what she had said. He laughed until he choked, peering at her in the shadows, as she sat, stricken dumb, pressing the handkerchief to her mouth.'  -Gone with the Wind

Next I'm going to read... well, actually I don't know yet. But you know how they sometimes put blurbs for 'other titles you might like' at the back of books? I read the suggestions at the back of my Gone with the Wind yesterday (which is a very tatty old copy published in 1974) and they all sound awesome, if bizarre. I was thinking of trying either:

by Susan Howatch

"A glorious, full-blooded novel which centres on Cashelmara, a coldly beautiful Georgian house in Galway, ancestral home of Edward de Salis.  The fast-moving plot follows the turbulent fortunes of an aristocratic Victorian family through half a century of furious encounters, ill-advised liasons and bitter-sweet interludes of love. "

'Another blockbuster from Susan Howatch' - Sunday Times


'The Birds fall Down
by Rebecca West

"An engrossing recreation of the momentous events that led up to the Russian Revolution...seen through the eyes of Laura, eighteen year old daughter of an English MP and grandchild of an exiled Russian royalist - a vivid canvas, shot through with intrigue, conspiracy and murder, bringing to life the days of tumult that changed the world."

'An outstanding achievement' - Sunday Telegraph

or possibly...
'Castle Dor'
by Arthur Quiller-Couch and Daphne Du Maurier

" A spellbinding love story and a superb evocation of the romance of Cornwall, Castle Dor is a book with unique and fascinating origins. The unfinished last novel of the celebrated 'Q', Sir Arthur's daughter passed the manuscript to her friend Daphne du Maurier, whose storytelling skills were perfectly suited to the old master's tale.  The result is a magical recreation of the legend of Tristan and Iseult, transplanted to nineteenth century Cornwall."

'A novel in the spellbinding Du Maurier tradition.' - Manchester Evening News

...that's if any of them are still in print that is. I'm also going to look for Sofia Khan is Not Obliged, in the library. I've heard good things!

Are you doing 'WWW Wednesday' this week? Any ideas on what I should read next or have you ever found a book through recommendations in the back? 


  1. I really, really want to read I Capture the Castle. I almost bought it a few weeks ago but I already had 3 books in my hand. Vanity Fair is on my TBR too. I've heard it becomes quite philosophical towards the end!

    Nicole @ whatadifferenceawordmakes (wordpress)

    1. I was surprised how much I liked 'I Capture the Castle', I was expecting it to be overrated but it was great :) Thanks for the heads up about Vanity Fair, haha, hopefully I'll actually get to the end!

  2. You have great line up of books. Happy reading. Here is my post

  3. What lovely books! I've read (and re-read) GWTW several times over the years, but not lately. I have a copy just waiting for when I have the time.

    I also love Daphne du Maurier, and haven't read Castle Dor...so I must check it out.

    Enjoy! Here's MY WWW POST

    1. Thanks! Gone with the Wind is great for re-reading I think, I notice new stuff every time :) And I like Daphne Du Maurier too, Castle Dor is definitely the one I'm leaning towards!

  4. Wow you have quite a selection of hits there - I loved I Capture the Castle but haven't read Castle D'Or.

    1. I think Castle Dor's at the top of my list now :) Agreed, I Capture the Castle was great!


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