Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Small Stack of NYRB Classics

Since reading and loving The Slaves of Solitude this past week, I was motivated to take a look at all the other NYRB Classics I have hanging around my shelves.  A few months ago I wanted to participate in an NYRB Reading Week, but sadly I just didn't have time.  However, Thomas from My Porch posted a striking photo from his collection that inspired me to take this:

The photo is a little fuzzy, so here's the list from top to bottom:  

The New York Stories of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton
The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy
The Pilgrim Hawk by Glenway Westcott
The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson
The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay
Stoner by John Williams
The Post-Office Girl by Stefan Zweig
The Fountain Overflows by Rebecca West
The Mountain Lion by Jean Stafford
The Summer Book by Tove Jansson
Don't Look Now by Daphne du Maurier

My stack isn't nearly as impressive as Thomas', but there's still plenty to choose from -- so far, I've only finished one from the stack, Don't Look Now by Daphne du Maurier.  I have a vacation coming up in a couple of weeks, and I'm already thinking about which books to pack in my carry-on.  Right now I'm leaning towards The Summer Book and The Dud Avocado.  Any suggestions?  Which of these would be best for a vacation read? 


  1. Your stack is so lovely and colorful. I haven't read any of your choices, but have seen good reviews for The Post Office Girl and The Summer Book. I really enjoyed your thoughts on The Slaves of Solitude and ordered a copy for myself. I should get it in the mail next week!

  2. I haven't read any of these, but I would love to hear your recommendation on which ones to check out. In a few weeks I'm heading back to the States for the first time in two years, and one of my plans is to hit this bookstore that has a great collection of nyrb classics. I'm not sure where to start, though...

  3. I am in the middle of Slaves of Solitude right now. And your stack makes me wonder if I have any Tove Jansson in it. I just read a collection of her short stories. That would be great if I had more of her stuff and didn't know it.

  4. Anbolyn -- I think The Summer Book is an appropriate vacation read! And I just loved Slaves of Solitude, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    Ellen -- so far I've only read a few NYRB Classics -- my favorites (besides Slaves of Solitude) have been Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim and The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley, plus Don't Look Now by Daphne du Maurier. If you like Gothic I highly recommend it.

    Thomas -- I hope you enjoy Slaves of Solitude. I haven't read any of Tove Janssons works for adults but I loved the Moomin stories as a child. And your past postings on NYRB classics have inspired me to start collecting them as well. I'm always on the lookout at library book sales and at Half-Price Books.

  5. The Post-Office Girl is brilliant! Exhilarating but also devastating. I couldn't get through the Dud Avocado, a book that apparently divided a lot of readers.

  6. The Dud Avocado is one of my all-time favorite reads. I vote that one for sure!

  7. The Summer Book sounds delicious and so does the name of your blog. Hello from a new follower and a chocolate addict!

  8. They are beauitful! I have some of those books in Virago editions.

  9. Mrs. B -- maybe I'll save The Post-Office Girl for after vacation, sounds like it might be a little sad.

    Brenna -- people seem to love it or hate it, so I'll give it a try. I'm also participating in the Paris in July readalong/challenge, so it fits nicely with that as well.

    Anachronist -- thanks! I look forward to exploring your blog.

    Verity -- I didn't know NYRB published some of the Virago titles -- I'll have to look at the list on LibraryThing.

  10. Very lovely. I recently bought a new bookshelf and attempted a color coded shelving method but it's not working.
    Happy REading!

  11. I put a copy of your photo on the NYRB Classics blog (with attribution and a link). If you don't want it there, let us know. And thanks for the nice post!

  12. Love the Dud Avocado and Towers of Trebizond. Enjoy!

  13. I saw Sara's post on the NYRB blog so thought I'd stop by and mention how much I loved Stoner. A friend recently gave me The Slaves of Solitude, so I'm now looking forward to it even more!

  14. I found your post via A Different Stripe. Seeing as The Towers of Trebizond was my favourite read last summer, I would highly recommend you read it now! Even if you are not traveling to that part of the world as you read it, the book is all about travel, with wonderful class and period insight. Happy reading!

  15. I have both The True Deceiver and The Post-Office Girl on my shelf to read (after the summer- not currently with my bookcases!), so if you want to save those for a buddy read... just saying :-)

  16. Isn't Don't Look Now wonderful. One of my favorite short works. Towers of Trebizond has been on my shelf for years--I loved Macauley's Pleasure of Ruins and really need to read Towers someday soon. I've also wanted to read more Wharton and I've heard the New York stories are good. Such a tantalizing stack with some many goodies--enjoy!

    from JaneGS on REading, WRiting, Working, Playing

  17. Care -- Ooh, I should try color-coded shelving someday. I have my Persephones separated out, I think I should work on the entire TBR shelf, just for fun.

    Sara -- of course, you're welcome to the photo. And thanks for the link!

    Kim -- I'm getting a lot of feedback about The Dud Avocado so I think it's at the top of the list. And The Towers of Trebizond has that wonderful first line!

    Lisa -- one of my favorite bloggers raved about Stoner, so I snapped it up when I found it at Half-Price Books.

    E'clair -- I think Towers of Trebizond will make the summer reading list, if I can't squeeze it during my vacation.

    Aarti -- that's a great idea! I want to read both of those but they're not particularly summery, so maybe a fall readalong or buddy read?

    Jane GS -- I loved the du Maurier stories, so wonderfully creepy. I've read a some of the Wharton stories from other editions but she wrote so many! My favorite so far is Roman Fever. The Ghost Stories are really good too.

  18. I've been told that The Dud Avocado will make a reader long for Paris, so perhaps it depends on where you're going!

  19. I loved the Summer Book when I read it earlier this year--it seems a perfect vacation read. I agree with Mrs B that The Post Office Girl is brilliant. Somehow I think you can't do wrong with any of their books! Lovely pile.

  20. i love the design of nyrb classics and especially the weight of them & the lovely, crisp white paper. they have a look and feel of quality

  21. If you have a strong stomach, you might try "Kaputt" by Malaparte. Beautifully written, but difficult subject matter.


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