The Books I Bought

Caption: This is an opened page from the large and colourful Beatrix Potter: (A) Journal.  It’s recreated as a photo album for the cover jacket and the heavy book has been turned into a sterling work of art with its many splendid images that may have run up to you the reader, straight from a friendly enchanted forest.  Stick-on envelopes once stamped, posted and sealed together with letter paper, old Christmas cards and charming brochures all make up for nifty, opened flaps and pockets in the diary as they sit nestled alongside handwritten Potter tales and sketches of her famous characters in the Lake District; a popular one being of Peter Rabbit.

I haven’t yet had a chance to study the journal but it’s the kind of pleasurable activity that demands a quiet evening, some good music and wine.  I purchased mine today for 27 euro from Past Times, 14 Wicklow Street, (opens up to Grafton Street),  Dublin, a store famous for its generous and unique assortment of items bearing British nostalgia.


A wave of new literary fiction titles run a riot in Dublin, an international city becoming ever popular for its serious multicultural fiction.  I purchased one storybook too many in this last week but I just can’t help myself.  Book buying is a luxury I  long willed myself to make concessions for many times over even in my younger leaner days when it meant that I was literally down to my last Malaysian ringgit and would go without lunch. I had to have a book from somewhere; secondhand or dog-earned, yellow and torn, what did it matter.

I’m relieved that I haven’t yet encountered a wave of chick-lit titles that are so common in the summer months and which appeared to stand out like a factory assembly line in mainstream bookstores in Ireland last year.

This time, it’s different and there are titles that broach for far more insightful, introspective reflections and which one would expect to see launched only in the  autumn/late winter months. My favourite contemporary authors are out. Newer exciting ones are being launched amid a tidal wave of bravado.  I’ll outline these  titles as I read them.  They include the 2010 Writer’s Market for UK and Ireland, an essential directory for writers compiled after the economy crash to outline the realistic demands of the publishing industry as it stands today and too, for the probable future; Not Enough Hours by Owen Fitzpatrick, a wonderful new book on time management and a successful spin-off from one of Ireland’s popular reality shows, a collection of short stories called An Elergy for Easterly, by Petina Gappah,  a writer, lawyer and Swiss resident and also one of Zimbabwe’s  more important writers to emerge  – I learnt this from The Bookseller UK, The Thing Around Your Neck a collection of short Nigerian stories by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who had talked to me about these stories at the Dubai Literary Festival last February, Monica Ali’s In the Kitchen and oh, several other titles.

At the moment,  my hands are full of stardust. – suzan abrams –

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