Book picks similar to
The Provincial Lady in Russia by E.M. Delafield
Saturday Night Cocoa Fudge
Gloria Teague - 2008
It's also about the Deep South and sweetly flawed women who taught her what she was meant to be and what she was not meant to be. Their corner of the world was filled with folklore, superstition, and mystical ideas. Her grandmother believed and practiced most of these, passing them onto the next generation. The little girl's life was populated with strange relatives, quirky neighbors and mysterious bible verses that could stop the flow of blood. Being a member of this bizarre family made life worth living. These people were so fiercely loyal in their love for her, for each other, she felt they deserved to have their story told. "Gloria has written some southern style, real to life episodes that are sure to entertain you in her Saturday Night Cocoa Fudge. Be careful how much you laugh - they could have happened to you." - Dusty Richards, Spur Award Winning Author"With wit and wisdom, Gloria Teague takes us back to the innocent days of childhood in this delightful little book peopled with glorious eccentrics." - Charles W. Sasser, author of God in the Foxhole and Devoted to Fishing.
Hungry for Home
Cole Moreton - 2000
Cole Moreton tells the story of the Blaskets through the eyes of the Kearney family, who lived there for generations until 1947 when they paid a terrible price for their isolation-a young man's life. Moreton discovers a few survivors still alive within sight of the Great Blasket, but most had left Ireland for America, settling in Massachusetts. Hungry for Home is a beautifully written and gripping account of a quest for a vanished people, and the Kearneys' incredible journey into the twentieth century is "a moving, atmospheric testament to the mythic lure of home". Entertainment Weekly.
African Laughter: Four Visits to Zimbabwe
Doris Lessing - 1992
The visits constitute a journey to the heart of a country whose history, landscape, people and spirit are evoked by the author in a narrative of detail. She embraces every facet of life in Zimbabwe from the lost animals in the bush to political corruption, from AIDS to a successful communal enterprise created by rural blacks, and notes the kind of changes that can only be appreciated by one who has lived there before.
Do Not Pass Go: From the Old Kent Road to Mayfair
Tim Moore - 2002
In the wonderful world of Monopoly it still only cost £50 to buy a house in Islington, you can move around London with the shake of a dice and even park your car for free. The author visits all these places and charts his erratic progress around those streets, stations and utilities, in a well-researched history of London's wayward progress in the 66 years since the launch of the world's most popular board game
Lenin Lives Next Door: Marriage, Martinis, and Mayhem in Moscow
Jennifer Eremeeva - 2014
A brief visit involves a lot of paperwork, and, if you want to hang around for any length of time, they make you take a leprosy test.” For American writer, Imperial Russian enthusiast, and veteran expatriate, Jennifer Eremeeva, this is just one of many observations about Russia, where she has lived for twenty years with “HRH” her “Handsome Russian Husband,” (although there are days when she thinks of him as her “Horrible Russian Husband”) and their daughter, Velvet. When Jennifer quits her job to write full time, she’s inspired by the grey dingy building across the courtyard, which houses a research institute dedicated to preserving Vladimir Lenin’s embalmed corpse. The result is LENIN LIVES NEXT DOOR. Based on Eremeeva’s two decades in Russia, LENIN LIVES NEXT DOOR knits together vignettes of cross-cultural and expatriate life with sharp observation, colorful historical background, and engaging humor. Each thematic chapter is an anecdotal exploration of an aspect of life in today’s Russia, told with the help of a recurring cast of delightful Russian and expatriate characters. LENIN LIVES NEXT DOOR introduces readers to Russians in their everyday milieux: at their dachas, in three-day traffic jams, and celebrating their 300+ public and professional holidays with mayonnaise-based salads. LENIN LIVES NEXT DOOR is Russia with just enough air let out of its tires!
How to Rule the World
Tibor Fischer - 2018
A city robbing and killing people since 50BC.The Vizz: an industry in crisis. Baxter Stone, a film maker and television veteran, a lifelong Londoner (who thinks he sees better than others) is having problems in the postbrain, crumbling capital. Swindled by an insurance company, he's in in debt; a Lamborghini is blocking his drive and MI6 is blocking his mobile reception. He hopes to turn it round and get the documentary series that will get him the Big Money. But what do you do if history is your sworn enemy and the whole world conspires against you? Is there any way, you could, for a moment, rule the world justly?Darkly comic, How to Rule The World follows Baxter's battle for truth, justice and classy colour grading as it takes him from the pass of Thermopylae, to the peacocking serial killers of Medieval France, and the war in Syria. A trip from the Garden of Eden to Armageddon, plus reggae.Demonstrating Fischer's inimitable talent for eviscerating social satire, How to the Rule the World is a magnificently funny read to stand alongside his best loved works, the Man Booker shortlisted Under the Frog, The Thought Gang and Don't Read This Book If You're Stupid, all of which Corsair will publish in e-book next year.
Matthew Kneale - 2020
A rich farmer fears he'll go to hell for cheating his neighbours. His wife wants pilgrim badges to sew into her hat and show off at church. A poor, ragged villager is convinced his beloved cat is suffering in the fires of purgatory and must be rescued. A mother is convinced her son's dangerous illness is punishment for her own adultery and seeks forgiveness so he may be cured. A landlord is in trouble with the church after he punched an abbot on the nose. A sexually driven noblewoman seeks a divorce so she can marry her new young beau.These are among a group of pilgrims that sets off on the tough and dangerous journey from England to Rome, where they hope all their troubles will be answered. Some in the party who have their own, secret reasons for going.Matthew Kneale is the author of English Passengers and Rome: A History in Seven Sackings. His new novel, Pilgrims is a riveting, sweeping narrative that shows medieval society in a new light, as a highly rule-bound, legalistic world, though religious fervour and the threat of violence are never far below the surface. Told by multiple narrators, 'Pilgrims' has much to say about Englishness, then and now.
The English Girl
Katherine Webb - 2016
The new novel from Sunday Times bestselling author, Katherine Webb.Joan Seabrook, a fledgling archaeologist, has fulfilled a lifelong dream to visit Arabia by travelling from England to the ancient city of Muscat with her fiancé, Rory. Desperate to escape the pain of a personal tragedy, she longs to explore the desert fort of Jabrin, and unearth the treasures it is said to conceal.But Oman is a land lost in time - hard, secretive, and in the midst of a violent upheaval - and gaining permission to explore Jabrin could prove impossible. Joan's disappointment is only alleviated by the thrill of meeting her childhood heroine, pioneering explorer Maude Vickery, and hearing first-hand the stories that captured her imagination and fuelled her ambition as a child.Joan's encounter with the extraordinary and reclusive Maude will change everything. Both women have things that they want, and secrets they must keep. As their friendship grows, Joan is seduced by Maude's stories, and the thrill of the adventure they hold, and only too late does she begin to question her actions - actions that will spark a wild, and potentially disastrous, chain of events.Will the girl that left England for this beautiful but dangerous land ever find her way back?
Some Country Houses and Their Owners
James Lees-Milne - 2009
Here are sharply observed accounts of dinner with Vita Sackville-West at Sissinghurst; Winston Churchill's bedroom at Chartwell; T. E. Lawrence's dilapidated Dorset cottage; and war damage to a great house in Derby. All are infused with his love of beauty and his sympathy for those giving up their ancestral homes forever.Generations of inhabitants have helped shape the English countryside - but it has profoundly shaped us too.It has provoked a huge variety of responses from artists, writers, musicians and people who live and work on the land - as well as those who are travelling through it.English Journeys celebrates this long tradition with a series of twenty books on all aspects of the countryside, from stargazey pie and country churches, to man's relationship with nature and songs celebrating the patterns of the countryside (as well as ghosts and love-struck soldiers).
The Mary Celeste Papers
Paul Gallimore - 2012
Follow the fates of a group of ultra-ordinary railwaymen as one of them happens across a mysterious ship's log and thereafter falls victim to a major crime. Scooped up by a tide of events way beyond their control, the unlikely band of heroes become the focus of a full-blown, worldwide, media whirlwind and all the while unanswered questions are piling up around them. Paul Gallimore's first novel is a hugely original fusion of ideas, where raw humour transmutes into whodunit, and science fiction blurs with cold fact. What is it that this delightful assortment of misfits has accidentally dragged out into the open? Did the US Navy really conduct a top secret experiment into invisibility in 1943? Just what did happen to the Mary Celeste? And will the truth finally lie somewhere in the ocean between Fulham and Philadelphia? The Mary Celeste Papers is an intelligent, well written, thought provoking funny book; filled to the brim with fully-formed, larger than life characters whose fortunes will grab your attention and hold it in a vice-like grip until the final page has been turned. The Mary Celeste Papers is a people book; about little guys on a big stage and you absolutely deserve to read it.
No Priest But Love: The Journals, 1824-1826
Anne Lister - 1993
. . . Rediscovered after nearly two hundred years, the story of [Anne Lister's] desire--and of the comic, gallant ways in which she satisfied it--seems especially poignant . . . . What Lister's diary suggests is that . . . the passion women find together has always existed, and we have only now begun to uncover its remarkable, lyrical history."--The Women's Review of Books"An interesting historical record, edited with great sensitivity . . . . [Lister] reveals her lesbian affairs with remarkable honesty, offering a rare insight into the mores of the time."--Sunday Independent"As a document of one woman's revolt against convention and as a celebration of love between women, this is an uplifting book."--The IndependentUpon publication, the first volume of Anne Lister's diaries, I Know My Own Heart, met with celebration, delight, and some skepticism. How could an upper class Englishwoman, in the first half of the nineteenth century, fulfill her emotional and sexual needs when her sexual orientation was toward other women? How did an aristocratic lesbian manage to balance sexual fulfillment with social acceptability? Helena Whitbread, the editor of these diaries, here allows us an inside look at the long-running love affair between Anne Lister and Marianna Lawton, an affair complicated by Anne's infatuation with Maria Barlow. Anne travels to Paris where she discovers a new love interest that conflicts with her developing social aspirations. For the first time, she begins to question the nature of her identity and the various roles female lovers may play in the life of a gentrywoman. Though unequipped with a lesbian vocabulary with which to describe her erotic life, her emotional conflicts are contemporary enough to speak to us all. This book will satisfy the curiosity of the many who became acquainted with Lister through I Know My Own Heart and are eager to learn more about her revealing life and what it suggests about the history of sexuality.
The Lost Pianos of Siberia
Sophy Roberts - 2020
Yet there is another tale to tell.Dotted throughout this remote land are pianos — grand instruments created during the boom years of the nineteenth century, as well as humble, Soviet-made uprights that found their way into equally modest homes. They tell the story of how, ever since entering Russian culture under the westernizing influence of Catherine the Great, piano music has run through the country like blood.How these pianos travelled into this snow-bound wilderness in the first place is testament to noble acts of fortitude by governors, adventurers, and exiles. Siberian pianos have accomplished extraordinary feats, from the instrument that Maria Volkonsky, wife of an exiled Decemberist revolutionary, used to spread music east of the Urals, to those that brought reprieve to the Soviet Gulag. That these instruments might still exist in such a hostile landscape is remarkable. That they are still capable of making music in far-flung villages is nothing less than a miracle.The Lost Pianos of Siberia is largely a story of music in this fascinating place, following Roberts on a three-year adventure as she tracks a number of different instruments to find one whose history is definitively Siberian. Her journey reveals a desolate land inhabited by wild tigers and deeply shaped by its dark history, yet one that is also profoundly beautiful — and peppered with pianos.