A Serendipitous Find

Book--Merry Hall


My local library has a small shelf of free books in the lobby. Usually, this shelf is full of Harlequin romances and out-dated children's nonfiction books. However, since I live in a constant state of hope, I always check the shelf. Yesterday, my optimism paid off. There was a lovely hardback copy of Merry Hall by Beverley Nichols. In my pre-blogging days, this would have meant absolutely nothing to me. I had never heard of Beverley Nichols. However, several bloggers I follow are very fond of Nichols' books and I have been wanting to try one. He was best known for his gardening books which, apparently, are charming and gently humorous. Merry Hall is the first in a trilogy about his renovating of a Georgian manor house. I was very pleased to stumble across it and it brightened a rainy day. Look at the lovely endpapers. Don't you want to dive right in and live there? Though the more I look at it the more unsure I am about the faces on the vase. They are a bit disturbing, aren't they?

Merry Hall--endpapers


There was also a copy of Don't Tell Alfred by Nancy Mitford on the shelf. I already own that so I left it for someone else. It was hard though. What if it languishes there while all the Harlequin romances are chosen? That would be so sad. If it is still there the next time I visit the library you know I am going to have to bring it home. Some people feel impelled to provide a good home to all the stray animals they encounter. I house all the stray books.

Have you read anything by Beverley Nichols?


8 comments

  1. I always check the library sale shelves too, even though the books aren't free (they're very reasonable). And I found a copy of the same book there! I've also found some Persephones, and some of Nancy Mitford's books. I love book serendipity!

    I usually see at least one or two books that I've given to the library for the sale shelves. I think of it as the bookish circle of life.

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    1. I have never found a Persephone book at any used book store in the US. I am jealous!

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  2. You don't have to be a gardener to enjoy this. In his very waspish humour he tells of the purchase and renovation of Merry Hall, initially concentrating on the garden. He also introduces his neighbors, a very mixed bunch. This was the most enjoyable of his books that I have read. You have a treat ahead!

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    1. Well, I am not much of a gardener so that is good. I am looking forward to it and am so pleased I stumbled across it.

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  3. I've read most of his books, including his mysteries. Nichols was a terrific snob, but he makes me laugh.

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    1. I didn't know he wrote mysteries too. I'll have to try those too.

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  4. The Hawaii library system has a huge Friends of the Library system. So at lots of bookstores they have a designated bookstore," where they sell donated books and books the library doesn't need anymore for about .50 cents or .25 cents. You never know what you're going to find and I always look! I've gotten some amazing books there! So glad you found this book. I haven't read anything by her but it sounds interesting!

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    1. The library at the next town over from me has a book sale room but the one in my town doesn't. It just has one shelf by the entrance where they put things they are getting rid of that they don't think are worth keeping for their annual sale. It is amazing what I find there sometimes--though maybe it just means I have strange taste in books!

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