The new curate seemed quite a nice young man, but what a pity it was that his combinations showed, tucked carelessly into his socks, when he sat down. Belinda had noticed it when they had met him for the first time at the vicarage last week and had felt quite embarrassed. Perhaps Harriet could say something to him about it. Her blunt jolly manner could carry off these little awkwardnesses much better than Belinda's timidity. Of course he might think it none of their business, as indeed it was not, but Belinda rather doubted whether he thought at all, if one were to judge by the quality of his first sermon.—Some Tame Gazelle by Barbara Pym (Open Road Media, 2014, first lines)
Come Join Me: Announcing the Open Road Twitter Book Club
For my Tuesday post, I usually provide my Quick Facts about the book I'm featuring. But today I'm going to do something different.
I'm excited to announce that I will be the first guest host of the Open Road Twitter Book Club, run by Open Road Media (@OpenRoadMedia), and I hope you'll join in the conversation.
I picked Barbara Pym's Some Tame Gazelle for my book club selection for a couple of reasons. First, and maybe most important, I love Barbara Pym and wish more people read and talked about her books. It's also a great place to start with or revisit Pym because this novel was her first published book (1950) and includes many of her trademark themes: the story features older women, sharp (and witty) commentary on social norms and the minutiae of everyday life, great descriptions of food, and a look at male-female relationships.
Here is the publisher's summary:
Belinda and Harriet Bede live together in a small English village. Shy, sensible Belinda has been secretly in love with Henry Hoccleve—the poetry-spouting, married archdeacon of their church—for thirty years. Belinda’s much more confident, forthright younger sister Harriet, meanwhile, is ardently pursued by Count Ricardo Bianco. Although she has turned down every marriageable man who proposes, Harriet still welcomes any new curate with dinner parties and flirtatious conversation. And one of the newest arrivals, the reverend Edgar Donne, has everyone talking. A warm, affectionate depiction of a postwar English village, Some Tame Gazelle perfectly captures the quotidian details that make up everyday life. With its vibrant supporting cast, it’s also a poignant story of unrequited love.I last read Some Tame Gazelle a number of years ago, so I'll be reading it along with you over the next few weeks. I'm confident there will be a lot to talk about when the club meets for a Twitter chat on September 28 (specific time to be announced). The hashtag will be #ereadtogether.
One of the reasons I love Pym is her keen observations of the world around her. Her books don't focus on deep subjects but on real life, and many of her themes remain relevant decades after she wrote them.
If you decide to join the Open Road Twitter Book Club, be aware that the eBook of Some Tame Gazelle will be on sale in September for $1.99 (that is, the Open Road Media edition). Of course you can read any edition or even listen to the audiobook if you'd like; it doesn't matter.
I hope to see you on September 28 for the Twitter chat (#ereadtogether). I think it's going to be a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to putting together some discussion topics to get us started—including what the heck combinations are!
Let's get reading!