Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov (1859)

Oblomov is the story of a very likeable but lazy Russian aristocrat who spends his days lounging at home in his dressing gown. No, not just when he’s nursing a stinking hangover which the usual cure of a salt ‘n’ vinegar crisp sandwich fails to remedy. EVERY DAY. The depth of Oblomov’s inertia spawned the…

The Penguin 60s Classics Boxed Set (1995)

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Penguin books – you remember, Sir Allen Lane’s ‘ag’ at failing to find a decent book to purchase for his onward journey at Exeter train station prompting him to launch high-brow paperbacks for the masses, rather than simply frowning meaningfully at the WH Smith lady like…

Savage Girls and Wild Boys by Michael Newton

This unusual book may rate as one of my more peculiar charity shop finds, with thanks to British Heart Foundation Bromley. Savage Girls and Wild Boys tells the sad stories of children who have grown up outside the framework of the family/care unit, either brought up by animals in the wilderness, or locked in solitary…

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Yeah so all it is is that MY COUSIN TILLY IS ON SERIES 3 OF THE ISLAND WITH BEAR GRYLLS, the Channel 4 UK series where 16 men and women are left on an uninhabited island to survive against what one participant described as an ‘uncompromising, terrifying environment.’ If you have had any contact with…

The Memory Palace- A Book of Lost Interiors by Edward Hollis

This book is a bit like Time Team meets Changing Rooms, if you can imagine such a beast. Taking his grandmother’s house as a starting point, the author recreates various lost interiors from history, from Roman palaces to the toilets at the ill-fated Crystal Palace. The historical ‘re-imagining’ is wonderful and I was fascinated by…