I received a lovely and unexpected email from Open Road Integrated Media, an epublishing company who seem to have been keenly re-establishing sometimes neglected authors fallen out of attention in a world where the often badly written latest hypery, in bookie terms, is drowned in sticky saccharine puffery
(I had to get that off my chest again)
But, as this post is meant as a thanks and a celebration of discerning publishers, discerning and dedicated bloggers who champion the neglected splendours from earlier decades, lesser trodden paths, hidden byways from other lands and the like, I will put on my best smile, fill the best champagne glass and shout ‘Huzzah’ ‘for she’s a jolly good…..blogger’, applauding ferociously in specific directions…
Open Road Media emailed to thank me for my review of Margery Sharp’s out of print Cluny Brown, and to tell me that they were releasing 10 Margerys on April 12th and would I like advance copies of Cluny and The Nutmeg Tree to download and review (or in Cluny’s case, mention again) Yes, I would, I certainly would. What a treat. Thank you Open Road
And I do believe that it is the sterling work on Margery’s behalf done by passionate reader bloggers who have created a buzz which a responsive publisher ‘in the niche’ has responded to
And so the biggest cheer goes to Jane at beyondedenrock. I had never heard of Margery Sharp before Jane ran her MargerySharp day LAST year, which I missed, but her periodic Margery including posts, and my appreciation of her discernment about half forgotten writers made me take notice, and track down a rare battered copy of Cluny from a marketplace seller. Most of her titles are now only available, battered, at eye-watering prices, so it was a jolly find. Except that I was left with a taste for more. And more was unobtainable outside eye water.
And then Jane also introduced me to another Margery champion, The Margery Sharp blog. I’ve become aware of a wonderful little community championing the rarer, the ones who should not have been forgotten…..and of course the lovely small publishers (Persephone, Pushkin and others) who are also tenderly re-planting books, and sending their cuttings out all over (okay, the metaphor might not quite work)
So, as well as Jane, I also want (nervously) to thank another little clutch of bloggers who have rather grabbed me by the scruff of my neck and thrust new reads, not to mention re-reads into my path. They are all making me aware of ‘so many WONDERFUL books, so little time’ And I am buying, buying, buying, not to mention desperately scouring the shelves of second hand shops, for lists and lists of treasures
So, my new Nemeses (it sounds better than Nemesises, and, what do you know, the spell checker slumbered at Nemeses, but spat at the snakey version with the extra hissing consonants), are found below, in no particular order – they are equally dangerous to the diminishing of bank balances and the cluttering of space, as I earnestly search for second hand copies of rarities. Who knows, perhaps their fierce and championing work may yet yield re-releases of any gone out of print (as in the Sharpists’ successes)
Let’s nervously, gratefully hear it for
HeavenAli (responsible for my happiest re-read of the year thus far, To The Lighthouse)
JacquiWine’s Journal (I will be heading towards Jean Rhys re-reads)
Kaggsysbookishramblings (I expect her to be responsible for another glorious re-read as part of her 1938 Challenge (Homage to Catalonia)
Shoshi’s Book Blog (all things Russian, and much much more – re-reads of Dostoievsky are well overdue)
Of course, thanks to these (and other) bloggers my own self challenge (Reading the 20th) is woefully foundering, as book after book which I intended to read at some point in a glitteringly beckoning future year gets bumped into the present urgent read, due to a splendid and seductive heads up, generally as one of their irresistible challenge. I keep telling myself – ‘I will continue the sequential Reading the Twentieth next week’ At this rate, it will be next decade. Shame on you and your blandishments, ladies!
Meanwhile have some of Margery’s champagne. I’m sure she won’t mind