I'm taking a break from chronicling what must seem to you to be the longest vacation in Lisbon ever, to offer another reading assignment. Yesterday, the books I ordered from Amazon arrived. I don't buy books very often, as most of what I want to read is available at either the public library, or the Alderman or Clemons libraries at the University of Virginia.
As a Health Sciences employee, I have access to Iliad, which is UVA's inter-library loan system. One of the very first things I did after getting hired--I was still in orientation--was sign up for Iliad and request Outbreak of Love by Martin Boyd, which languishes in the "Ivy Stacks" which are inaccessible to regular folks like me. We Health Sciences people pick our books up at the med school library and when Outbreak of Love arrived, I thought the clerk gave me a strange look. No matter, I was delighted to have access to all the books in the Ivy Stacks that I hadn't been able to get my mitts on before. Several months later, I requested another book. I can't remember what it was, but I got a curt email telling me that my request was denied because the book wasn't "work-related." Nonplussed, I tried again with a third book. This time, a librarian called me. "Is this book work-related?" she asked. I knew there was no way I could convince her that Six Months in the Sandwich Islands by Isabella Bird (1873) was in any way related to the health sciences. I confessed that it wasn't, and I was denied the book. And that was the last time I used Iliad. Apparently Health Sciences employees are expected to confine their reading to the health sciences. I can only surmise that the word "outbreak" in the title of my first request is what got it past their work-related filter. OUTBREAK. OF. LOVE.
Since I can't use Iliad, I use amazon, and I can usually find cheap used copies of whatever I can't find at the library. Yesterday came Miss Buncle's Book by D.E. Stevenson. I read the "Mrs. Tim" series by D.E. Stevenson, and they made me want to read more of her. Our public library does have several of her books, but not this one, and this one, for reasons I can't remember, is the one I wanted to read. D.E. Stevenson wrote comfortable novels about British women and families. They are exactly the sort of thing I like to read: tea cups and lisle stockings and charwomen and quiet villages. I can't wait to get started on Miss Buncle, although since the anticipation is half the pleasure--it was in my Amazon cart for over a year-- I will probably read several other things first. Incidentally, in searching for cover images, I found two interesting book blogs: The Bamboo Bookcase, and Leaves and Pages both of which have recent reviews of Miss Buncle's Book. I also found this collection of D.E. Stevenson cover art.
Tell me two things: Are you familiar with D.E. Stevenson? What book have you bought lately that you're looking forward to reading?