The book that got away

Hello friends! This week, I’ve become obsessed with books that elude me in some way. They include:

1. Books I didn’t finish, even though they began well and promised to be very satisfying (Judith Flanders’s The Invention of Murder, which I began when pregnant but didn’t get far before having the baby. When I come back to it, I’ll have to start over.)

2. Books I’ve lent to friends, but can’t remember who or when (Old Filth, by Jane Gardam, where are you? Do you have it, Katharine? Eugene, did you take it out west?).

3. Books I’m convinced will be good but to which I failed to do justice as a reader, and which I’ll have to re-approach some day (Paul Theroux, My Other Life).

4. Books I swear I own, but cannot find for the life of me! I’m ransacking my house right now for Claire Tomalin’s biography, Jane Austen: A Life. I ran across a reference to it the other day and read the first few pages on Amazon (addictive: I dare you to read them and not buy the book immediately). Claire Tomalin is my favourite biographer. I own most of her books. I’m actually, ridiculously, saving one (Mrs. Jordan’s Profession) indefinitely because I don’t want the day to come when I have no Claire Tomalin books to look forward to. And now I’m ready for my Jane Austen moment.

If only I could find the blasted thing.

Am I alone here? What are your books that got away?

In other news: quick reminder that I’m at Mississauga Central Library on Saturday, reading, signing, and talking about the Victorians. Details here.

And I’m interviewed in OurKingston this week. Worryingly, the article’s called “A Promise of Violence”. I assure you, I did not get aggressive with the reporter.


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15 Responses to “The book that got away”

  1. Lily says:

    The Traitor and the Tunnel seems so close yet so far across the ocean…

  2. rayraY says:

    OMG! i just found my copy of Scribbler of Dreams after 3 months of searching and last Christmas i found Airman which i had been looking for for…i don’t even know how long! i lend several books out at once and forget which ones they are.

    You are not alone, Y.S Lee….

  3. Ying says:

    Thank you, rayraY! (Though I’m worried for both our collections, now.) And Lily, it’s getting closer! Just saw a draft cover for the North American edition and it’s stunning.

  4. JaneE says:

    I can totally sympathize. I lose books all the time for months and not even realize it until I feel like reading them. Unfortunately, many of these happen to be library books….. (oops). I did lend a book to a friend of mine once, many, many moons ago, and it never got returned…I’ve long since forgotten what it was! 😛

    Can’t wait for the release of ‘The Traitor in the Tunnel’…hoping I can get it from an English friend of mine when it’s released in the UK though!

  5. trillian says:

    I’ve read The traitor and the tunnel! thank you very much for that book i adore it! the plot at Buckingham palace with queen Victoria is very fascinating as well as the relation between James and Mary; the scenes at the tower of London are very touching; I’m french (sorry for mistakes) and i have one question: are you planed to come to Paris for a reading or anything else? that would be great for french readers!!

  6. Ying says:

    OH NO to the library books, JaneE! Do you have a good relationship with your local librarians? 😉 And I hope you enjoy Traitor whenever you get it!

  7. Ying says:

    Thank you so much, trillian! I would love to come to Paris for a reading but it’s not something we have planned. If and when I do, I’ll announce it loud and clear!

  8. rayraY says:

    When are we (North Americans) gonna be able to see the cover?is it yellow theme or purple themed?
    I don’t know, but half of me pictures it to be yellow themed, with Mary hiding in the yellow room, or purple themed with Mary in one of the tunnels.
    but i always guess a lot of things, and I’m usually wrong.

  9. Mara A. says:

    I have never lost a book (I’m far to fond of all of them for that to happen), but there are several still on my To Read List that I have checked out from the library several times, but have never finished them – even though I absolutely loved what I did read, and now I have to start them all over again (The King’s Shadow by Elizabeth Alder is the best example I can think of. It is sitting on my shelf once more right now, waiting to be finished! And this time, I mean to; it’s an awesome book!)

  10. Ying says:

    I’ve just seen an early version of the cover, rayraY, and it’s neither yellow nor purple. But you’re not totally wrong, either. How’s that for cryptic? 😉

  11. rayraY says:

    Too cryptic.
    *sniffle sniffle*

  12. Ying says:

    *hardens heart* I can’t spoil the big reveal, can I? :)

  13. rayraY says:

    Hmphity hmph hmph hmph.

  14. Lily says:

    so… when is this big reveal?

  15. Ying says:

    I’m afraid I don’t have a date yet, Lily. Candlewick’s designer is still working on it, so I have to wait until they’re really, truly finished.

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