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Amazon just sent me an two copies of Deanna Raybourn‘s Silent in the Sanctuary, when I only ordered one. Maybe I should read both at once? It did, of course, mean that my post this morning was unceremoniously dropped on my feet as I lay in bed this morning, with the order of “Stop buying so many books!” coming sternly from my other half. I also received Tasha Alexander‘s A Poisoned Season, so today will be spent curled up in Camellia’s, with a pot of lapsang souchang and crumpets with honey. It’s raining outside, and so my plans to go and catch the West End Live outdoor concert in Leicester Square with friends have been shelved since I don’t go out in the rain for anyone less than Kristin Chenoweth.

There seems to be a burgeoning trend around writing historical thrillers set in the 19th C, with widows as their heroines. It makes sense – they were among the most comfortably off in Victorian society (at least if they were upper class and came into a nice inheritance) – they didn’t have a man to defer to, and they were considered invisible and asexual, which is handy when all the men around you have been conditioned to be misogynist idiots who think women shouldn’t have the vote. I very nearly ended up tilting my MA dissertation Spinsters, Widows and Whores: the single woman in Victorian literature. I’m really wishing I had done, since I only ended up writing about the former and 20,000 words on single women didn’t exactly do it for me. I’m fairly sure I went bonkers at the end and referred to Bridget Jones as a modern example. *shudders* Aside from Raybourn and Alexander, Brian Thompson has also gotten into the act with The Widow’s Secret – novel which, from my cursory flick through in Waterstones the other day, combines a fabulously right-on protagonist with sensation novels, one of my favourite genres EVER. That one is going to have to wait until next month, however. I really need to stop spending my entire paycheck on novels.

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I went to Waterstones, and spent a little more than that £20 book token. I got two books I’d been meaning to read for ages – Joe Hill’s Heart-Shaped Box, which I’m 15 chapters into and loving like a masochist loves handcuffs, and Sarah Hall’s The Cullochan Army. The latter is a dystopian, Handmaid’s Tale-esque novel set in the North of England – it may not be exactly the right title, but the chances of me wrestling it from my mother to check are pretty much zilch. I also got The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2008, which is full of details about literary agencies, publishing companies and how to do your own publicity. All a little premature, since all I’ve done so far is written one novel in dire need of editing, and sold one short story (and I’m still waiting for the contract for that one). Hopefully it’ll glare balefully at me from my bookshelves and force me to get past the rut of writer’s block that keeps sneaking up on me.

 To date, I’ve only read one book in the week I’ve been home, Stephenie Meyer’s Eclipse. Unless you count re-reading a Buffy graphic novel that was a present for my 19th birthday and I discovered in a drawer, anyway. I still haven’t finished Letters Between Six Sisters, since it’s the kind of thing I like to read in installments, and the whole thing spans the better part of a century. Dorothy Parker couldn’t throw this book with great force across the room unless she wanted to call the builders in afterwards. I’m loving it, though, but I’m dreading taking it home on the train next week. I’m about halfway through Russel Brand’s My Booky Wook, after seeing him in St Trinians last night – it’s an enjoyable read, but there’s only so much self-destruction and bad grammar a girl can handle.

I’ll do a big glut of reviews at some point – tomorrow, I’m off to Haworth in Yorkshire. I’ll be staying across the road from the Bronte Parsonage, where my aunt works, so there’ll be lots of long, bracing walks on the moors and abusing my aunt’s staff discount in the museum bookshop…Photos may follow, if I can talk my parents into lending me their digital camera…