Old, New, Borrowed, Blue

My to be read pile (ok, TBR room), could be said by some to be on the verge of uncontrollable. It obviously doesn’t stop me from adding to it regularly or visiting the library for a temporary rehoming of books.

I will admit though that I occasionally forget which books are waiting (im)patiently to be read. So I thought I’d start having a rifle through and see what jumped out at me. Sadly for you, inspiration struck and I thought a good way of highlighting them would be looking at older books, newer books and borrowed ones. So the obvious extension was to through in something blue.

So, in each post I will showcase a book that has been on my TBR for some time, a new one, be it one I’ve recently bought or a book with a future publication date, a book I have borrowed and one with a blue cover.

First up an old book.

Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper published on 27 August 2015 by Fig Tree.

‘Tell me about home, please. Tell me about the weather. About the heat or dust or still-ness. Anything. And tell me about you. I keep your photo on the side without the gun. For balance.’

This is a love story that spans fifty years, three lives, two continents and an ocean. It tells of school teacher Etta, who settles in the Canadian prairies during the Great Depression and of the two pupils who fall in love with her: Russell, a city boy who takes to farming despite his twisted leg, and Otto, who struggles in school but always tries hard – even when he’s sent to fight a war in a distant land. It is a story of love and joy, pain and passion, memory and forgetting – and one incredible journey. It is the story of Etta and Otto and Russell and James.

Now for something new.

The 24 Hour Cafe by Libby Page published on 23 January 2020 by Orion.

Welcome to the café that never sleeps. Day and night Stella’s Café opens its doors for the lonely and the lost, the morning people and the night owls. It is many things to many people but most of all it is a place where life can wait at the door. A place of small kindnesses. A place where anyone can be whoever they want, where everyone is always welcome.

Meet Hannah and Mona: best friends, waitresses, dreamers. They work at Stella’s but they dream of more, of leaving the café behind and making their own way in life.

Come inside and spend twenty-four hours at Stella’s Café; a day when Hannah and Mona’s friendship will be tested, when the community will come together and when lives will be changed…


A Rose Petal Summer by Katie Fforde published on 21 February 2019 by Century.

Caro Swanson has taken a job in a remote part of Scotland.

She’s answered an ad in The Lady: being a companion to an elderly gentleman who lives in a country estate could be perfect! Surely it’s time to make a change and do something different for a while?

The fact that she may also see Alec, the young man who she met some years previously and who she has always thought of as her ‘one who got away’, is of course purely incidental.

Soon Caro is falling in love – not only with Alec but with the stunning country house she’s now living in. But the estate is in financial difficulties, and Caro soon realises there’s only one way to rescue it.

So begins a magical romantic summer, one that will take Caro from Scotland to London and the south of France, in search of a classic lost perfume that might just restore all their fortunes.

And finally a book with a blue cover.

The Bones of You by Debbie Howells published on 16 July 2015 by Pan Macmillan.

I have a gardener’s inherent belief in the natural order of things. Soft-petalled flowers that go to seed. The resolute passage of the seasons. Swallows that fly thousands of miles to follow the eternal summer.

Children who don’t die before their parents.

A community in shock

When eighteen-year-old Rosie Anderson disappears, the idyllic village where she lived will never be the same again. Local gardener Kate is struck with guilt. She’d come to know Rosie well, and thought she understood her – perhaps better even than Rosie’s own mother.

A family torn apart

Rosie was beautiful, kind and gentle. She came from a loving family and she had her whole life ahead of her. Who could possibly want to harm her? And why?

A keeper of secrets

Kate is convinced the police are missing something. She’s certain that someone in the village knows more than they’re letting on. As the investigation deepens, so does Kate’s obsession with solving the mystery of what happened to Rosie.

So there we are, four different books just waiting to be read. Have you read any of them? Do you have your own list of old, new, borrowed and blue? Do let me know.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. The cover of The Bones of You is really striking! The 24 Hour Cafe sounds very appealing, I like stories about communities.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janetemson says:

      So do I. I think I’ll be reading The 24 Hour Cafe very soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kate W says:

    I love this delve into the TBR. I think Etta and Otto is on my shelf somewhere…
    For me this time (looking at my shelf as I type!):
    Old: Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
    New: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (yay!)
    Borrowed: Miracle in the Andes by Nando Parrado
    Blue: The Fields by Kevin Maher

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janetemson says:

      Thank you. Great selection from your TBR. I have The Fields lurking at the back of the bookcase too, somewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely idea! I have many books which fall into these categories – a stack of review books in today from the lovely British Library today would fill three of them, and the Mary Oliver poetry books I’ve borrowed from my local library will do for the last! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janetemson says:

      Thanks. I do love British Library Crime Classics, and yes, they would easily fill three of them!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have The 24 Hour Cafe too which I’m really looking forward to reading. I’ve enjoyed another book by Debbie Howells but haven’t read The Bones of You. I do enjoy a Katie Fforde and this one sounds lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janetemson says:

      I hope you enjoy The 24 Hour Cafe when you get to it. I always love a Katie Fforde book so I’m wallowing in this one for a bit 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a good idea for a blogpost. I love the sound of Libby Page’s new book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janetemson says:

      Thanks! It does sound good. I’m going to have to read it soon 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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