Shelfie of the Week #6

A bit of a cheat this week: one, it’s me.  And two, I don’t actually have a photo of my shelf.  There’s a good reason for that, though – the shelf I have in mind no longer exists.  It was hidden away in a cupboard in the spare room in my grandparents’ house, and sadly went the way of all things when they died many years ago.

I have fond memories of that shelf, though.  As a kid I read voraciously, often finishing a book in two or three days.  I needed a lot of reading matter to keep the fire stoked, and that shelf provided some of it.  The books on it weren’t just any old books, but pile after pile of crime classics by some of the biggest names in the genre.  Agatha Christie of course, but also Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy L Sayers, Georgette Heyer, and one or two other gems I can’t now remember.  Something about Dead of Winter, for instance, by an author whose name might have been Nigel something.  I’ve tried searching for that one but never been able to track it down.

The books weren’t stacked neatly on the shelf, but piled in haphazardly one on top of the other, so rooting through the heap quite often revealed new, as-yet-unseen treasure, which I would grab and dash off to consume, rather like a squirrel with a particularly luscious acorn.

Although the shelf is long gone, my love of crime fiction has survived the decades and influenced both what I read, and what I write.  I’ve a lot to thank my grandparents for.

Shelfie of the Week #5

It’s that time of the week again… and it’s the turn of Scottish crime writer Bill Kirton, who says:

“Two offerings. First, some of my own books. I still get a childish kick out of seeing them on library shelves and on my own shelf. This selection shows some of my non-fiction – books aimed at helping students and undergrads to write their academic stuff – as well as my novels. Playscripts tend to be in dog-eared piles in a cupboard.

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The second shot shows some of the books I’ve read over and over again. My PhD was on Victor Hugo and some of my favourite passages are in his works and those of other great 19th and 20th century French writers. Having to analyse them when I was an academic made me very aware of the complexity of the layers the greats manage to create in a single volume.”

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You can find out more about Bill and his many excellent books at his website.  I can thoroughly recommend ‘The Sparrow Conundrum’ for a giggle.

Shelfie of the week #4

This week it’s the turn of Sharon Bidwell, or Sharon M Bidwell, depending on whether she’s writing dark, gothic fiction or romance and erotica.

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Sharon calls this shelf a bit of a ‘cheat’ as it doesn’t currently exist, items having been packed in case of a move. The wallpaper has also changed since this photo was taken. But Neil Gaiman, Edgar Allen Poe, and Shakespeare side by side…a demon, a werewolf, a spider, a raven, and Gaiman’s ‘Sandman’ with his sister ‘Death’. What more can you ask for? Oh…and a music box from Austria. Like Sharon’s reading and writing, eclectic may be the most appropriate word.

Sharon is edging more to her dark side with her own brand of Dark Fiction. You can check out all her writing, dark, light and all the shades between, at her website.  Just watch out for the dragons!

Shelfie of the Week #3

And now… the king of Brit-grit himself, Paul D Brazill!

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True to form, Paul calls this shelf of his own ‘crimes’ (against literature? surely not!) “getting away with it”.  You can find more of Paul’s criminal output, including such gems as ‘A Case of Noir’ and ‘Roman Dalton – Werewolf PI’ over at his blog of Brit-grit and International Noir.  I would say ‘happy reading’ but I’m not sure happy is quite the right word!

Shelfie of the Week #2

This week it’s the turn of multi-talented, multi-personality writer K A (Kate) Laity, who also writes as C. Margery Kempe and Graham Wynd, amongst others.

According to Kate, the top photo is “my brag shelf in the NY home office” whilst photo number 2 is “a wider shot of the campus office primary shelf (brag shelf at top).”  All I can say is, with books like that why not do a bit of bragging?

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If you’d like to track down Kate’s books and see why they’re worthy of bragging (amazing covers… and the contents aren’t exactly bad either!) then pop along to her website, or that of her alter ego Graham Wynd.

There you’ll be able to browse books like ‘White Rabbit’, described by Netgalley as “like the unholy bastard lovechild of Bertie Wooster and Harry Dresden on speed” (and which I can thoroughly recommend, by the way); or the Chastity Flame series, newly available in rather spiffing paperbacks.

Happy reading, and keep an eye out for another Shelfie next week!

Shelfie of the Week #1

As promised, here’s the start of my series on writers (or readers, for that matter) and their favourite bookshelves.  First past the post is Richard Hesketh, who submitted ‘not so much a shelf as a Hidden Objects Mystery’ which he explains is in two parts because of reflections on the glass!

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You can find Richard’s eclectic postings about life after psychiatry over at his blog, The At-Homium.

More shelfies coming soon… and if you’d like to take part too, just email a ‘shelfie’ (no more than 500 pixels wide, please, so I don’t frighten my blog), a bit of blurb and a link to your website or blog, to tessDOTmakoveskyATvirginmediaDOTcom.

Coming soon – shelfies!

Watch this space for a whole new series as authors from around the world and across the genre divide share their favourite bookshelves.

Early shelfers will include Richard Hesketh, K A Laity and Sharon Bidwell.  Each guest post will include a ‘shelfie’ or photo of the shelf, plus a few words from the author on what makes the shelf special.

The first Shelfie of the Week should put in an appearance next week.  I hope it’ll provide an off-the-shelf experience…