I've done almost all my Christmas shopping. What a painful and expensive experience. My siblings all have partners (!) and I haven't managed to shake off my 'friends' yet… I've tried to be creative with some, by printing and framing some of my photographs, but it's not suitable for everybody.
However, I've found time to buy myself a few things. Today's post brought a decent recording of Victoria's 1605 Requiem Mass by Tenebrae, Simon Armitage's translation of The Alliterative Morte Arthure; two 'Graphic Guides' for teaching use (Foucault and Derrida), and a very curious novel. It's Mary Kelly's The Spoilt Kill, a CWA 'Golden Dagger' winning murder mystery set in the pottery factories of Stoke-on-Trent. It's been revived as a Virago Modern Classic, but my copy is an American first edition from 1961, which has been circulated through the Boston Public Library system, mostly on the Bookmobile. Perhaps it's the insatiable demand for crime novels, but it's rather sweet to imagine Americans settling down for a good read about Stoke and its surrounding areas.
How she could write a murder novel in a pottery and not call it A Spoilt Kiln is beyond me. In a similar vein, the sadly defunct Stoke City fanzine was A View To A Kiln, which has to be one of the best names ever.
Here's a snippet of the heartbreaking Requiem.