Sunday, March 25, 2012

In Search of The Shooting Party

Other than a night out to see Danny Bhoy's comedy routine last weekend (which we quite enjoyed) it has been all work and very little play lately.  So with the forecast calling for warm temperatures and sunny skies, R and I noted three second-hand bookshops we haven't been to yet and set off.

A few titles were on my 'look for' list but The Shooting Party by Isabel Colegate was going to be my coup find of the day if I could spot a copy.  It all began with an enthusiastic review by not only a blog friend but a reading enthusiast I hold in high esteem.  When Rachel says drop what you're doing and get your hands on a certain book right this very minute I usually do.  Well, there was this thing with Willa Cather that I tried to ignore but one of her novels landed in my mailbox anyway, courtesy of you-know-who.  Book Snob is passionate about spreading the word when it comes to a good read let me tell you!

So R and I visited Re: Reading where I browsed but didn't buy, Balfour Books (above photo) where I bought a much-read copy of Jenny Wren by E. H. Young and Indifferent Heroes by Mary Hocking.  This is the second in a trilogy but sounds so fantastic that I'm willing to spend the rest of my days in search of the first and third books in the series.  The very astute owner noted my choices and pointed out The Other Elizabeth Taylor by Nicola Beauman to which I replied "Read it and loved it!".  Next up was Ten Editions with impossibly high shelves stacked with so many books, mostly non-fiction, that it's going to be saved for another day.  Less than a mile away was my go-to shop, BMV Books, and my last hope to find The Shooting Party.

Not only were several copies in stock but I found a pristine edition that had been reduced by almost half!  They also had very reasonably priced copies of an Elizabeth Bowen I don't have and an L.P. Hartley which has been on my wishlist for ages.  It's all about the hunt and delayed gratification, right?  Then, lo and behold, I spied a copy of Manservant and Maidservant by Ivy Compton-Burnett which I'm quite sure is a first edition and priced at only $2.  Thinking of Simon from StuckInABook I had to snap it up as he's a fan and would have cheered me on no doubt.  I've never read anything by this author so I'm curious to discover the appeal.

Being more than pleased with my finds it was time to get out and enjoy the sunshine and buy my long-suffering husband and book search partner some lunch.   


  1. Our library doesn't have a copy of The Shooting Party, so I broke down and bought one off of - thank you for the recommendation, I'm looking forward to reading it.

    I read Willa Cather's "My Antonia" a few months ago and enjoyed every page of her beautiful prose. Which Cather are you reading?

  2. I read The Shooting Party when it first came out, which I have a horrible feeling was before Rachel was born! It's still on the shelf but my memory of it is very hazy. Vaguely remember the film, too.

  3. Believe it or not, I recognised Manservant and Maidservant from the photo - even without being able to decipher a single word on the spine! I worry myself...

    I just read a little book on Ivy Compton-Burnett, which has made me desperate to read more by her (luckily I have about ten I haven't yet) - believe love or loathe Dame Ivy, so I've got my fingers crossed for you.

  4. Oh. I think Re: Reading has to be the best name ever for a bookstore. (And it's a used book store? Brilliant1)

  5. I was almost afraid you were going to say you didn't find it which would not have been a good ending. I am so glad you did. Rachel's review was very compelling and this title has made its way to my tbr list. Enjoy!

  6. Isn't it great when you discover a 'new' second-hand book shop - and you have come up trumps with three!

    I haven't read The Shooting Party but vaguely remember the film. Well done on tracking it down.


  7. You know I read Manservant when Simon hosted the read along, and I enjoyed it, but I haven't yet gone back for more despite owning a few more ICB titles. Her style is a bit challenging, but in a quirky way.

  8. Ah yes, that was many many years ago I read The Shooting Party. I seem to remember the film, too.

  9. Yay you found it!! What a great haul as well - fab books in there. You have a book by one of those authors currently en route to you from me as well...ooooh exciting!!!

    So pleased The Shooting Party is in your hands. You WILL LOVE IT I promise. :)

  10. I also read Rachel's review of "The Shooting Party" and want to read it. Well done, you must be happy to have found such a gem. Enjoy!

  11. Michele, If we enjoy the book half as much as Rachel did then I'd say it was money well spent! O Pioneers! is the Cather that is languishing on my shelf. Everyone seems to really enjoy her books so I am just going to have to bite the bullet this year!

    mary, Isn't that a sad fact of life? We have high school students applying for work at the library who were born in the late 90s! Wasn't that just yesterday?

    StuckInABook, I would expect nothing less from you, don't worry yourself. It's a skill honed from many years of practice!

    Audrey, Pretty catchy isn't it? They had a large sofa by the front window where you could browse through your books in the sunshine, lovely!

    Stacy, The hunt is half the fun but if all else fails there is always TBD. Their prices seem to be creeping though now Amazon is at the helm *sigh*. The book is wonderful so far, hope you enjoy it once you dig in!

    Cottage Garden, And not only is it fun to find a 'new' shop but we've discovered new neighbourhoods to explore in Toronto as well! I must get my hands on a copy of this film...I had never heard of it. Enjoy your day!

    Thomas, Lovely of you to drop by! Thanks for letting me know how you got on with Ivy. Quirky is very okay with me..well, most of the time anyway.

    Susan, Where have I been?!

    bookssnob, That bin at the airport had better start filling up, I'm so looking forward to finding out which book you sent!
    So far, so good, Rachel!

    Sunday Taylor, Rachel and Simon are my reading guru's, if they enjoy a book and shout about it then I will read it. It has been everything Rachel said so far!

  12. Great haul! I've heard of all those authors but not those particular titles. They're going on the TBR list!