It's My Birthday and I'll Read If I Want To

I didn't buy ALL of these for myself -- some were mere suggestions, and some were genuine unasked-for (but very welcome!) gifts. But is there any better way to celebrate a birthday than with a big pile of books?? (Don't answer that!)

Iris and the Tiger was a gift from my dear, clever Sandra, who provided the cover art.

I've been waiting to read Lila since it came out; Marilynne Robinson is one of my favourite authors, and I'm looking forward to a thoughtful, meditative read of the story already partially told in Gilead and Home, this time from Lila's point of view.

Robert Macfarlane is a relatively recent discovery, and it was a review of Landmarks that first alerted me to his books. How remiss of me, then, not to have actually read Landmarks yet! Language and landscape -- my kind of book. (Technically, this one is a gift from Alice.)

I spotted The Spire at Savers at the weekend, and also not one but three copies of a Rumer Godden I don't possess: An Episode of Sparrows (why three? all the same edition, by the look of it -- weird... I left two copies at Savers in Brunswick if you're interested...)

The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who was a gift from my fan-girl younger daughter, thank you darling xxx

And I was telling my mum how much I longed to buy Linnets and Valerians, but wasn't sure if I could justify it, and she said, I'll give it to you for your birthday. L&V was my second favourite Elizabeth Goudge book when I was a child (after The Little White Horse) but I haven't been able to read it for over thirty years and my memories are sketchy -- red-haired, stubborn little Betsy; there are bees; Uncle Ambrose teaches the children about Greece ('Greece' (grease) is 'a shining light,' says Betsy -- now why did that stick in my head when so much else has fallen away?)

Now my only problem is, which to read first?

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