Monday, 14 December 2015

Brilliant Careers: The Virago Book of 20th Century Fiction

I wanted to share this older  book with people who may not be aware of it.  It is called Brilliant Careers: The Virago Book of 20th Century Fiction.  They also publish Virago Book of Women Travellers. I found a copy of that on for $3.00 in Australia so have ordered it as I love travel writing and had not seen this before.

I digress. I am thinking quite seriously of what I want to read in 2016. As Virago publishes books by women writers I think that would appeal.  I don't want to buy a lot of books next year. I have a lot of TBR books on the shelves. However there is one second hand book shop in the city that is excellent and I do like to browse their shelves. (Cracked and Spineless)
I don't find a lot of second hand Viragos in Hobart. But when I do find the odd one I pick it up and it always looks interesting.

What is nice about the '20th Century' book is that it lists one Virago book for each year of the 20th Century.  It would be good to find a couple on my shelves or at the tip/op/second hand shop and read it towards my Century of Books challenge.

I am thinking about the reading challenge that 2016 will be. I'll post more up around the new year as it's not ready yet.

However I would like it to contribute towards my books on the shelves waiting to be read. I am looking at my reference books on the shelf and trying to fit them into the challenge that will be 2016.

I am looking at the books 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, 501 Must Read Books, the Best American Non-required Reading and the Virago books.  My Penguin books are included in much of this so that goes without saying.

I think if I were to go through the indexes of the above books I would find enough on my challenges that would match the list.  I could stay quite busy for a year.

Then there are two book groups I am beginning the year with.  I may cut that down to one though if it proves to be too much.

I didn't read as much in 2015 as I usually do because I had home projects to complete. Now they are behind me I am ready to have a more cultured year.

I will talk more about that in January.

So for now,  enjoy hearing about the Virago Book of 20th Century Fiction and let me know if you have heard of it before.  Here are some more details.

"A Writer for every year of the 20th Century" is on the front cover. It is a hard cover book with a dust jacket. On the back cover of the jacket is a list of every writer mentioned for each year. Examples are:

1915: Katherine Mansfield
1928: Virginia Woolf

1940:  Martha Gellhorn
1948:  Dodie Smith

1977:  Marilyn French
1985:  Janette Turner Hospital

1989:  Margaret Atwood
1999:  Sarah Waters

The copyright is 2000; Edited by Kasia Boddy, Ali Smith and Sarah Wood

So stay tuned to see what direction is taken in the new year.

Wally says Hi and wants to
know if your Christmas shopping
is finished yet.


  1. the virago book sounds quite fascinating; i like books that are a bit out of the way, unsuspected or even rare. i laughed out loud at the name of the used book shop: "cracked and spineless"! i would spend a lot of time at that place... sort of describes all the good people; my grandfather many years ago once told me: "beware of the person who thinks he's doing something". even now i'm not positive i understand what he was saying, but it was one of those things that sticks in one's mind...

    1. Cracked and Spineless is owned by a guy in his forties who is extremely well read and he has everything in that shop. Classics to fantasy to YA to Modern Lit. He has a great Facebook page as well where he sells many of his books. I think I would have liked your grandfather. That is a very good saying. Thanks for dropping by.

  2. That sounds wonderful - I think I must read it now: it also seems a good way to get a 'taste' for a writer one might otherwise not encounter.


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