Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Blogger-Inspired Wishlist Ep. 2: A Short Story Collection and Three New Authors

Blogger-Inspired Wishlist is a feature where I post recent additions to my wish list, which had been inspired by reviews from my fellow bloggers. It includes some synopsis, as well as some excerpts of the review which have intrigued me, complete with a link to the blogger's original post.

In this second episode you'll find me adding four more books into my wish list, three of which are from authors new to me.

Wessex Tales by Thomas Hardy
Inspired by: Reese @ Typings

In addition to his great "Wessex Novels," Thomas Hardy wrote Wessex Tales (1888), a collection of six stories that, for the most part, are as bleakly ironic and unforgiving as the darkest of his great novels -- Jude the Obscure.

Readers will experience Hardy's uncompromising, unsentimental realism in Wessex Tales, and for those seeking a taste of the Dorset poet and novelist, they represent an ideal start.

From Reese's review:
"Those two stories, while perhaps not Tess of the D'Urbervilles tragic, are more what one thinks of as typically Hardy... Anyway quite entertaining, and much more varied than I was expecting."

Reese and I agree, to read (and enjoy) Hardy's you need to be in the right mood. What if you want to but are not in the right mood? I think this short story collection would be the best choice!

Madam, Will You Talk? by Mary Stewart

Widowed Charity Selborne had been greatly looking forward to her driving holiday through France with her old friend Louise - long, leisurely days under the hot sun, enjoying the beauty of the parched Provencal landscape. But when Charity arrived at their hotel in the picturesque French town of Avignon, she had no way of knowing that she was to become the principal player in the last act of a strange and brutal tragedy. Most of it had already been played. There had been love--and lust--and revenge and fear and murder.

From Jane's review:
"I absolutely loved the setting, starting out in Avignon and ending up in Marseille, with terrific car chases, visits to ancient Roman and medieval French sites and landmarks, cafe lunches, moonlit strolls, kidnapping, and lots of derring-do along the way.

The romance is pretty sappy, but palatable. The suspense is marvelous--definitely couldn't put it down as I neared the end of the story."

A cozy mystery set in Southern France is enough to hook me up! 😉

The Foolish Gentlewoman by Margery Sharp

Light, humorous novel in the usual Sharp style, Isabel Brocken, a sentimental English widow, extends her hospitality to a rather mixed group of friends and relatives who have been left without living quarters by the war.

From Mallika's review:
"A charming piece of fiction. The story is gentle and told with humour and yet also realistic all through. I loved reading this book and how Margery Sharp told this unusual little tale. She gives us a good feel of post war England, with the changing face of the neighbourhood—some people having lost their lives, others moved away, old houses lost or badly damaged; the different views and problems."

Seems like a charming, delightful book!

Near Neighbours by Molly Clavering
Inspired by Heavenali @ heavenali 

At number 6 Kirkcaldy Crescent lives Mrs. Lennox and her five children (all in their late teens or early twenties). Number 4, the house next door, Miss Balfour, a gentle and unassuming spinster who was constantly surprised to find "how astonishingly nice and good people were when you knew them..."
What she did not know and would not have believed was that the people who knew her could not help living up to her belief in their good qualities.

From Heavanali's review:
"An unashamedly delightful read – without being in way sugary or silly. Molly Clavering has created a cast of characters her readers can become immediately invested in. Her central character Dorothea Balfour in particular is a wonderful character – her back story is somewhat sad, and the reader can delight in her late blossoming and happiness. Near Neighbours is a very cheerful and hopeful novel. Certainly, an author I shall read more of in the future."

Another delightful book from Dean Street Press that is hard to resist!

Have you read any of these? 

Previous Blogger-Inspired Wishlist posts:
- Ep. 1 (Christmas edition)



  1. I haven't read any of these books, but definitely want to read something by Margery Sharp this year. I own Four Gardens but love the sound of The Foolish Gentlewoman. I also own Near Neighbours... I haven't read it but have read three other books by Molly Clavering, all delightful.

    1. It was the sound of The Foolish Gentlewoman too that have intrigued me to check on this book, and it seems charming. I'd plan to read it with New Neighbours (glad you liked Clavering's books!) for Dean Street December.

  2. Wessex Tales does look good. I've read a few titles by Hardy but never tried any short stories. Near Neighbours looks enjoyable too. Hope you enjoy all these when you get to them!

    1. And for once, not-too-tragic Hardy seems nice :)
      Thanks, Mallika, I'm sure I will enjoy especially the Dean Street's books.

  3. Thanks for the shout-out! I hope you enjoy it when you get to it.

    The Mary Stewart looks good to me, too. I read a bunch of Mary Stewart years ago, but not that one, I'm pretty sure.

    1. My pleasure, Reese! I haven't read Mary Stewart, I wasn't fan of cozy mystery years ago, but I think one's taste changes with age... :P

  4. I became interested in more of Margery Sharp after I read Martha in Paris. I'm reading Rhododendron Pie now, and perhaps I will look for The Foolish Gentlewoman, too. Such lovely gentle writing!

    1. Lovely gentle writing seems to fit me perfectly these days. I'll look on Martha in Paris - everything French always interests me! ;)


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