So, it would appear that I haven’t posted a blog for almost a month. I’m afraid, dear Reader, that my tech skills (or was it my ‘phone?) let me down. I did try and post from my mobile but the app was a bit rubbish and I couldn’t make it work.
So, I’m back from my holidays. I spent some time in Dublin with my in-laws and then went on to New York City. (Lucky me, we have family living in Manhattan.) We had a fab couple of weeks, hanging out, doing NYC-type things.
I was also able to indulge my passion! – one of my favourite things to do when I visit a city is to survey the local bookshops. It helps me to get the measure of a place, even if I don’t speak the language! In New York City there is no shortage of bookstores to sample. What is also refreshing is the number of independents.
‘Three Lives’ on W10th Street in the heart of Greenwich Village is a lovely little establishment where you feel the passion as soon as you walk through the door. It feels like a place that has its finger on the literary pulse. It’s small but beautiful, calm and the stock has been well-selected.
In contrast, sizewise, is Strand Books, on the corner of Broadway and E12th Street, a real NYC institution. It claims to have 18 miles of books on its five floors. It reminded me very much of Foyles in London. It also has trolleys of secondhand books on the street outside where you can pick up some bargains for a couple of dollars (helpful as the exchange rate was not in my favour!)
Here are my literary holiday souvenirs:
The Treats Truck Baking Book was actually a gift for my daughter, who loves baking. In the Dutch Mountains I bought because the title intrigued me. From the blurb it sounded a bit like an Angela Carter, whom I love. I’m also a lover of all things Dutch. Just Kids I had to buy; I love Patti Smith and have heard her speaking about this book, I think I even read an extract from it when it was first published in 2010. Not sure why I haven’t read it yet, but it seemed fitting to do so now. Hot Milk I actually bought in Dublin at the wonderful Rathgar Bookshop. It’s been long-listed for this year’s Man Booker so I’m looking forward to reading that. The last three? Well, there are stories: in New York one is surrounded by high-achievers and their high-achieving kids, so I got a bit panicked and felt the need to get in on this secret! Unlatched was in the $2 truck – I’m a very gentle Breastfeeding Counsellor and am always perplexed by the passion and ire it evokes in equal measure, so I thought it might give me an insight. Happier At Home was a $1 proof copy. I liked Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project (ever on a quest for self-improvement) and this is the follow-up.
So, I’ll let you know how I get on with these in the coming weeks and months. I’ve got so much in my ‘to read’ pile just now and am really enjoying All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I’ll be back with my latest reviews very soon.