Category Archives: blog

Blog birthdays and looking forward

A year ago this month I started blogging. Actually my first post appeared on August 3. I only realized this recently and the milestone passed without a hooray. But really that’s okay, and it’s never too late to celebrate. I’ve been thinking a lot about the blog, particularly through the extended silence this summer and though it seemed like a bit of a chore at times I’ve done exactly what I originally wanted to do here and I enjoy it.

I intentionally set out to blog about books I’d read and my pursuits on the balcony where I garden in containers. The blog has recently expanded to make room for my needlecraft hobby, some baking pursuits, and raised-bed gardening, pretty much any of my interests, though the main focus is always around books.

Some things may change as I dive into a new pursuit which is my return to graduate school in 2 weeks to study epidemiology. Much of my time will be spent studying the who, what, where, and why of disease distribution among the masses. This will demand much of my time but in order to remain sane and pleasant I’ll continue to read, craft, and blog but at a slower pace. Well, because that’s what I want to do.

I also have a backlog of books to chat about which I will get through in the next few posts.


The Persephone Forum

An email just popped into my inbox announcing the launch of The Persephone Forum.

In blog format Persephone will highlight their books and open the floor for discussion. The first book to be discussed is William – an Englishman, the first book published. To facilitate discussion the blog post includes a thoughtful summary of the book, an extract from the preface, and information about the author.

Book discussions will follow the sequence of publication.

Love this idea! I haven’t read William but this evening I will surely sit down and browse the site.

The email also has some news about an eco-friendly offer.

If anyone asks…

…I’m still around 🙂 Work has me spinning as fast as I can but I’ve been reading some good stuff. Soon I will be able to sit down, catch up on reading blogs, and write about these lovelies

The Enchanted April (Virago Modern Classics) The Long Song The Hand That First Held Mine Island Beneath the Sea: A Novel

Persephone Biannually is here (!)


Even with the postal issues in the UK, my copy of the Persephone Biannually, Catalogue, and bookmark have arrived. Receiving a catalogue of books is always a dangerous event because there are so many that I would like to have.

I saved the biannually for my flight to Philadelphia today for a conference. This conference is pretty giant so I don’t know if I’ll get much reading or posting done while I’m away for the week but I do know that there are lots of great bookshops and museums to visit in Philly and lots of stuff to learn and folks to catch up with.

The biannually features a short story by Dorothy Whipple called A Lovely Time. I’ve never read Whipple before although I have Someone at a Distance waiting in the wings.

And though this is old news, I’ve been quoted on the bloggers page for my thoughts on Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. Pretty exciting!

Persephone secret santa


Forget a white Christmas (those of us in the south don’t have them anyway) Book Psmith is dreaming of a grey Christmas this year and is hosting a Persephone Secret Santa.

Making my list and checking it twice…

Oroonoko review featured on Girlebooks site

The piece that I wrote after reading Oroonoko, an ebook that I downloaded from Girlebooks about an enslaved African prince, has been featured on the site.
This is exciting news for me and I am humbled that Laura thought my review worthy of posting. You can see the post here.

Consolidating (already!)

When I began to blog…only about a week ago. I wanted a separate blog to chronicle reading Virago Modern Classics (VMC). So I set up both pages but now I’m thinking that really I’d prefer one blog and will use the tags feature to distinguish my reading challenge. So what follows in this post and the next are a copy and paste of the Virago Page by Page blog.

Starting Out
08/04/2009 by viragopagebypage

Since I’ve delved into the world of reading and blogging about reading, I’ve noticed that many readers set challenges for themselves. It seems they pick a challenge that will be interesting and fun, that will further their reading goals, or that will actually be a challenge, say stepping outside of their usual reading comfort zone. So I figured why shouldn’t I challenge myself to step out into a new reading venture. I am challenging myself to read through the VMCs. All of the VMCs I currently own, I found at used bookshops in the area. I think there are over 400 of these so my collection has plenty of room to expand. I will add a widget from my LT catalog so that I can share my collection. I think this will be a pretty interesting challenge because I have yet to read a single VMC (I know, *gasp*). Although I have yet to read any of these books, a few things intrigued me. These are books written by women at a time when women writers were not encouraged to pursue their craft. The books all have dark green spines (new reprinted editions look a bit different) which aesthetically make them an interesting subject for collecting (I will post later about the editions and history of the books). Each cover has an art reproduction which are all very pretty. I am not sure yet if they have anything to do with the story or how they are selected. The green spines are no longer being printed so that makes them harder to find and makes for fun visits to used shops. And of course I can’t forget that there are already so many folks out there (women and men) who read and collect these- This I haven’t seen for other publishers (not that i know about the universe of book collecting) although there are cult followings of certain wizard and vampire books…

I have started my very first VMC which I picked based on a review of a fellow LT group member (Thanks LizzieD). This book is The Rising Tide written by Molly Keene who previously went by the pen name M.J. Farrell. The story follows a family in the early 1900s. A family of 4 daughters, a brother, father, and what seems to be a meddling mother. Their lives are touched by the brother’s new wife and World War I.

I have been doing some thinking about how I want to structure the blog and what I want to get out of blogging. I am not sure yet if I will do a traditional review, offer general thoughts on a particular theme in the book, offer a history of the author or the setting, or what. I suppose I could do all of these things. I know for sure that I will blog about what I read, the adventures of collecting the books, and learning about them. My collection currently has it’s own shelf and are arranged in ABC order by author’s last name instead of the order in which they were published as VMC. I figured I could easily find them on the shelf this way.

Recent finds
08/03/2009 by viragopagebypage

book pile

Sometimes trips to local used shops are so rewarding *sigh* Here’s a bit of book porn for you. I came away with a few green spine VMCs and a few Dial Press printings. There are also some sci-fi books and other non-VMCs published by Virago that were able to sneak in there. It’s kind of like a treasure hunt. I’ll say it was a good haul.

Reading through VMCs

08/03/2009 by viragopagebypage

a VMC shelf

I’ve been thinking about a blog for a while now. I decide to do it and put it off. I decide that it will be about one subject, and I change my mind. I pout, I read other blogs, I make up my mind and then change it again. Blogs seem to be all the rage-everyone is writing about every subject imaginable. I’ve been journaling for some time and I enjoy the freedom I have there but I found that a blog still interested me. It seems that with the blog there is more flexibility-posting pictures, including links, tags for organization, and readers that talk back. So what do I write, where does my 2 cents fit in, and what becomes of my journal?

So here begins my blogging adventure. It took me a while to figure out. But when I did I figured it would be worth a shot. I am a reader of books. I collect and organize them on Library Thing (LT). Over the past few years I have become aware of feminism and feminist literature, including theory and most recently feminist science fiction. So I was browsing LT for other book ideas when I came across Virago Modern Classics (VMCs) published by Virago and Persephone Books. There are entire legions of folks who are devoted to reading and collecting books from these 2 publishers. I was intrigued-a series of books reprinted that highlight forgotten women writers.

A used bookseller suggested that I blog about collecting these books. It didn’t occur to me then to collect them, I was simply looking for a few to read. I picked up a few and so here I am-I seem to have tumbled into a new hobby. To answer the above questions-Future posts will focus on a history of VMC, my experience now collecting these works, and my thoughts as I read the books. My 2 cents nestles perfectly here and my journal is ever important.

Welcome to the blogosphere

So this is the warm up, where you stretch your fingers before the keys and then jump in, you introduce yourself and your blog.

After much back and forth I am here with my very own blog. That’s pretty exciting for me considering I didn’t think I wanted one of these things. I’ve been thinking about things that I’d like to use this for. Not really a journal because I have that. The main thing that appealed to me was the ability to include photos, links, videos, and other interactive things that I can’t collect in a written journal. The journal I seem to use to walk through and figure out things. It is a bit more personal and mostly I feel like I have to set aside time and thinking power to write (I know this is irrational). The blog though, can catch anything and pretty much anywhere. This comes in handy because I spend most of my day in front of the computer.