My thanks to everyone who took the time to read the comments on the last post and to those who contributed to the discussion - there's a lot there to take in, and please do continue to have your say, but I hope to be able to return to the points raised later and condense them for further debate, as that might be useful.
But for now, back to books themselves, and a few recent arrivals which I hope to read soon.
First up, Amanda Vickery's Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England. "The Georgian house is a byword for proportion and elegance, but what did it mean to its inhabitants? In this brilliant new work, Amanda Vickery unlocks the homes of English men and women, from the Oxfordshire mansion of the unhappy gentlewoman Anne Dormer in the 1680s to the dreary London lodgings of the bachelor clerk and future novelist Anthony Trollope in the 1830s."
Living in a Georgian house myself - albeit a Scottish one, so outwith the book's direct ambit - I have a particular interest in reading this.
"The perfect companion for the gardening year", Anna Pavord's The Curious Gardener is a collection of her best writing on all aspects of gardening which forms " a treasury of practical advice and an inspirational companion for the entire year." I've flicked to the start of the October chapter and found the essay "The Answer Lies in the Soil" which begins "Soil isn't sexy. It's sad but true". (You could always make your own - scroll down!).
"A delightful book - a bit butterfly-ish itself with magical moments of metamorphosis and exquisite precise detail; informative, lovely and unexpected, about obsession and learning and adventure and joy..." That's Patrick Barkham's The Butterfly Isles: A Summer in Search of Our Emperors and Admirals, his account of his summer's quest to find the 59 species of butterfly to be seen in the British Isles. From the Devon coast to the Scottish Highlands, this book ranges widely but is obviously suffused with enthusiasm and "infectious delight".
To fiction now, and again illustrating the influence of the blogs, I've just bought Tales Of Protection by Erik Fosnes Hansen on the strength of Juxtabook's review. (For more fiction, please come back later).