Hey, hi. Hello! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I can’t believe that I haven’t posted since 2020. It honestly doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. Firstly, I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who have chosen to stick around. Sorry I haven’t been around. I was struggling pre-2020 with my reading, and because of that I was also struggling to write and post reviews regularly. Then the events of 2020 happened and everything that followed. I don’t think I read any books in 2020, or at least I didn’t keep a record of them. In 2021 I only read 10 new books that whole year. When I did read I struggled to find the words to share my thoughts on what I’d read. So honestly I’ve been floundering a bit on how to move forward with this blog.
Welcome to the first post of my attempt to clear my TBR pile.
Towards the end of June/the beginning of July I stumbled across a video by LilyCReads in which she challenges herself to complete her TBR pile by 2023. I looked at my TBR pile and thought to myself, you know what maybe I can do that too. So I’m going to try and post once a month updates on how I’m doing with this goal, along with reviews of what I read and maybe some other things – like if I buy any more books, or if I visit anywhere interesting. I don’t know if you will like it, but I hope you do and I hope it helps me to get back into the swing of reading. I will also be posting the few reviews I did manage to write that I haven’t posted yet.
I don’t think my goal is too unreasonable. I want to read 19 books in 6 months, which should be doable I think. I’m not going to force myself to read anything if it’s not for me – so with that in mind, I’m going to say that if I hit the 100 page mark and I’m still not interested then I’m going to give myself the permission to walk away from the book. A few of these books I got when I was subscribed to Illumicrate, but most are onces I picked up for myself. It was interesting to see all the books lined up, as I don’t store them altogether.
As it’s almost February, I thought I’d let you know about this year’s London Book Crawl event – it’s its fifth anniverary. This year the London Bookshop Crawl runs from Friday 21st February to Sunday 23rd February. So if you want to take part there’s still time to get yourself organised!
There’s also a Twitter Chat that has been organised for Sunday 16th February at 8pmGMT so that everyone who’s taking part can chat, ask any questions they’ve got, and also give any tips if they’ve got any. I think my biggest tip is to plan which bookshops you want to visit and how you’re going to get there before you get to London. Also be realistic about how many bookshops you can visit each day – it’s surprisingly tiring, but that might be because I just do the crawl over a single day!
If you decide to take part, then I hope you have a great time. You can find more information about the bookshop crawl by either clicking the poster above or by visiting www.bookshopcrawl.co.uk.
Bright and early on Saturday February we caught the train
and headed to London for the #LondonBookshopCrawl. Long-time readers of this
blog will know that this is something I have been participating in for a number
of years (you can find my 2018 experience here). It’s always such fun, that I
enjoy sharing it with you guys. So I
hope you enjoy my thoughts on this year’s crawl.
This year we changed things up a bit, and decided to visit
some of the bookshops in the Piccadilly area of London first. Mainly because
they were open the earliest of the bookshops we wanted to visit, but we also
thought it would make a nice change to see the area in full daylight as in the
past this is one of the areas we’ve visited last.
Our first stop was Waterstones Piccadilly. I can honestly
say that it was the quietest I have ever seen the store. When we arrived there
was hardly anyone in there and it almost felt like a library with how quiet it
was. Still, it did make browsing the shelves a bit easier. They have a great
Young Adult section, and a not bad Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy selection.
After Waterstones we popped into Costa to grab some
breakfast. We had intended to eat in one of the Waterstones cafes, but nowhere
appeared to be open. I really enjoyed breakfast, and the wait wasn’t too long.
We then popped further along Piccadilly to Hatchards. Now this is a gorgeous looking bookstore, that I’m sure all book lovers would enjoy exploring. It’s full of surprises.
Although not a bookstore, Fortnum & Mason is just next door to Hatchards so how could we not pop in for a quick exploration of the ground floor? There are definitely a lot of interesting things to be found.
After this we popped on the underground and headed to
Notting Hill Gate. Getting there was not as easy as first appeared, as we
thought we’d be able to get the Circle Line there but they were working on the
line so we had to do a few line jumps but eventually we arrived.
Notting Hill was just awash with people. It was how I’d expected the start of the crawl to be. There were just a lot of people. That being said, I can see why the area is so popular with fashion bloggers – there are some really pretty streets just off the main roads that would be perfect backgrounds for photo shoots.
I wanted to visit Comic Exchange. It’s a small shop packed
with mainly comics. It has, I think, a reasonable selection – though nothing I
was looking for.
After we stopped for a drink at one of the pubs in the area, we headed back to the tube and on to Tottenham Court Road. From there we headed straight to Foyles. Foyles’s Young Adult and Children sections are huge, and well worth checking out as are the Fantasy and Comic sections. We tried to stop for lunch here, but alas the café was packed.
We popped down Charring Cross Road to Orbital Comics, a
great place for comic lovers and just graphic novels in general. It’s much
bigger on the inside than the outside.
We then headed back up Charring Cross Road to Shaftsbury
Avenue and then the Forbidden Planet megastore. If you love a particular fandom
– whether that be gaming, DC, Marvel, Harry Potter and lots more – then if you
get the chance you should definitely check this place out. Downstairs its book
and graphic novel/comic sections are brilliant. In the book section you can
find not only signed copies but occasionally US editions that haven’t made it
to the UK yet. I also really enjoy browsing through the manga selection.
After this we headed along Neal Street towards Covent
Garden. Along the way we stopped at ARTBOX. Now this isn’t a bookstore, but it
sells a lot of cute Japanese kawaii items and I was curious about it. When we
got there I was a little disappointed as nothing really caught my attention.
Once back on the underground we headed towards St
Pancras/King’s Cross where we finally managed to grab some lunch in the Prêt.
By this point we were really tired and honestly debating whether we wanted to
head home or not. The late lunch gave us the energy we needed to visit the
final two bookstores of this crawl.
We headed out of St Pancras towards Granary Square. Walking
that way was an interesting experience. There has been a lot of building work
going on, and there are a lot of shops that people can visit – everything from
sportsware, to shoes, to clothes, to Google, and I believe there’s a YouTube
place somewhere in there as well. But we passed all this and kept going until
we reached Granary Square where, although it was drizzling by this point, there
was a gorgeous water and light display.
Then our penultimate stop on this book crawl was Word on the
Water, which is a bookshop in a barge on the Regent’s Canal. There are a lot of
books crammed into it from a lot of different genres. Before we left on of the
sellers recited a poem from Edward Lear’s Nonsense collection.
Finally we visited the House of Illustration. We had a quick
poke around their shop, deciding not to explore their galleries. It’s not really a bookstore, but there are a
few picture books and lots of illustrated cards to browse through. Once we left
there we had a quick look at the market behind the gallery before heading back
to the train station, and then heading home.
By the end of it, although it wasn’t particularly late, we
were very tired and looking forward to sitting down and having something to
eat. Although most of the bookshops we visited were ones we’d visited before, I
did really enjoy the fact that the three new ones allowed us to explore areas
of London we’d never really been in before. We might have only picked up six
books (including a freebie) but we still had a really great time.
Thank you to Bex at Ninja Book Box for organising the crawl again this year. It’s amazing how it’s grown from just Saturday to Friday to Sunday. I can’t wait to take part in it again next year. For those of you who can’t wait that long, I believe Bex is organising one for the summer. I’m not sure where it will be, so keep an eye out on @LdnBkshopCrawl for more information.
If you’ve managed to reach this far down the post, I thought I’d share the books that we collected during the crawl. There aren’t too many, which is a good thing as I’m trying to keep control of my to be read pile. We didn’t manage to find something at every stop, but we had fun exploring the bookstores.
Congrats on making it to the end of this post, thank you for reading. I’d love to know if you’ve read any of the books, and if so what you thought of them. I hope to see you time.
I can’t believe it’s 2019 already! 2018 just seemed to fly by. 2018 was not a good year for reading for me. I completely failed my reading goal – I didn’t even make it half way to my goal of reading 52 books. I also stopped posting on here. Sorry about that. I don’t even really have an excuse, except that reading just wasn’t happening for me. Still, I hope you had a better 2018 reading-wise than I did and that you managed to reach your reading goals. So we’re now in the first month of 2019, and I am back and determined to keep on track. Thank you to everyone who has stayed with me, I really appreciate it.
Bout of Books 24
So what do you have to look forward to? Well nothing is set in stone yet, but there will be reviews from me this month for Serpentine by Laurell K. Hamilton and A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas. I’m also planning on taking part in Bout of Books, which starts on January 7th (you can sign up to take part yourself here). In February I will be taking part in the London Bookshop Crawl and I will of course be documenting that (click here if you think you’d like to take part too). On Instagram I’m taking part in bookisglee’s photo-a-day challenge (you can find me here). I’m still subscribed to Illumicrate so there will be unboxings of that. I am also considering doing a monthly Books I’m Looking Forward To post that would include both new releases and books I’ve already got, but we shall see.
Here’s to reaching 52 books this year, and keeping up here on the blog. I hope you had a great December, and saw 2019 in in the style of your choosing. I’d love to know what you are most looking forward to this year, bookish or otherwise, so please leave me a comment. Until next time.
This isn’t a normal post for me both in terms of content and the fact that it’s going live on a Monday. There have been a few things going on behind the scenes recently, and I’ve been struggling to read books (even ones I’m enjoying) for the last couple of months – so much so that I have been struggling to schedule posts, which is why I’ve been late and missed a couple of weeks. Thank you for sticking with me. In light of this I’ve decided to take a break from the blog until July.
I hope you have a really good June, and I look forward to seeing you in July with more book reviews.
Last week saw me talking about my experience with this year’s London Bookshop Crawl (if you missed that, you can find how my crawl went here), this week I’m going to talk about the books I bought along the way. As I was getting ready to write this I realised it’s been a long time since I did a book haul. I kind of miss it.
I’m going to organise this haul by the order in which I visited the shops. I actually only picked up seven books, which considering the size of my to be read pile is not bad at all. These are either books that were recently released (at the time of the crawl) that I wanted to get my sticky paws on, or ones I’ve had on one of my lists for a while. That’s good right?
So my first stop was Foyles. It was actually the place I picked up most of my haul, but we decided that a “buy ’em when you see ’em” approach was probably the best (that way there would be no backtracking).
The next book is actually a manga bound in hardback format. Wolf Children: Ame & Yukiby Mamoru Hosoda with art by Yu is something that intrigued me around Christmas time, and I’ve kept my eye out for it. There’s also apparently an anime? I think it sounds really cute, and the artwork is lovely.
The next book is The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, the first book in her new The Folk of the Air series. I have really enjoyed some of Holly Black’s books, including some of her other ventures into the faery realms so this book has me curious. Never a good thing around the fair folk.
And the final book I picked up at Foyles was Nucleus by Rory Clement, the second book in his Tom Wilde series. I read and loved his first book, and I also recently did a Q & A with Clement. So whilst it’s not a typical genre for me, I’m looking forward to diving into this book.
After Foyles, I picked up a book in the Forbidden Planet megastore. I think this is probably the smallest amount of things I’ve walked out of that shop with.
I picked up Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones, the second (and final?) book in the Wintersong duology. I got the first book in the sixth Illumicrate (you can see my unboxing here) and I really enjoyed it. So I’m curious to see what this book will bring.
I got my final couple of books from Orbital Comics. I almost thought I’d walk out without picking up anything, but then I spotted these two.
The first book I picked up is The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi, the first book in The Amulet series. This book has been on one of my list for a while, and it’s actually the first time I’ve seen it in the flesh. I really love the style of the artwork, and the whole premise sound interesting.
The final book I picked up is Glory to the Losers by Katsuyuki Sumizawa with artwork by Tomofumi Ogasawara, the fourth book in the Mobile Suit Gundam WING: Endless Waltz series. I watched, and fell in love with, the anime as a teen. So when I saw this series I had to start collecting it. I can’t say it’s dissappointed me so far – though it is basically the anime.
Those were the seven books I picked up this London Bookshop Crawl. I hope you’ve enjoyed finding out what I got. Next week I should be back with a new review. Until then.
Sorry this is a little late (this was scheduled to go live at midday, but for some reason didn’t); this is what I did during the London Bookshop Crawl back in February.
On Saturday the tenth of February we got up early, and caught the train down to London for the London Bookshop Crawl. This was my third year taking part, and my experience has been different every time as the Crawl has got bigger and bigger. Instead of it taking place on single day, as it did the previous years, this year it ran from Friday the ninth to Sunday the eleventh and there were activities people could sign up for every day.
Before we caught the train, we decided that we were going to complete one maybe two of the crawls based on underground lines. This way we could visit some familiar places, and also get to explore new areas of London. We thought we’d start with the Northern Line crawl, which was one of the routes created for the crawl (thanks for doing that!). There are quite a few bookshops you can visit
Once we arrived in London we caught the Northern Line to our furthest stop north, Hampstead, where we intended to visit West End Lane Books. We didn’t realise until we got there that the bookshop was a sixteen minute walk away which looked rather complicated on the A to Z; rather than catching the Northern Line we would have been closer catching the Jubilee Line or Thameslink. It was our first stop of the day, and we decided to get back on the Northern Line and head back towards central London.
We got off at Tottenham Court Road station and headed straight for Foyles’s flagship bookshop on Charing Cross Road. It’s a familiar site, and on previous Bookshop Crawls it was the starting point of the adventure. The first place we stopped off was the café on the fifth floor to grab a bite to eat and a drink.
Main entrance of Foyles Charing Cross Road.
Foyles is huge; it covers six floors, and has just about every section you could imagine in a bookstore. I really enjoyed having a look around through several different sections – if you’re a fan of young adult or middle grade books then this is definitely one shop you should check out – and I got several books.
Forbidden Planet Megastore
Once we escaped Foyles, we headed down Charing Cross Road and took a left onto Shaftesbury Avenue to go to the Forbidden Planet megastore. This is one of my favourite stores. There is just so much. It’s got everything from merch from films and TV, to comics, to manga and anime, to books. The only trouble with it is once you get inside there’s little/no phone signal.
Rather than hopping back on the Northern Line, we headed back to Charing Cross Road and walked down towards the next station Leicester Square. Before we reached the station we turned off onto Great Newport Street and visited Orbital Comics. A shop I first stumbled across on my first London Bookshop Crawl. If you’re a comic/graphic novel fan then this is well worth a visit particularly if you’re looking for something less mainstream (though it does have a lot of mainstream stuff).
View from National Theatre towards Waterloo Bridge and Somerset House.
View from National Theatre towards London Eye
Then we headed back to the Underground and caught the Northern Line to Waterloo, where we paid a visit to the National Theatre Bookshop. It was interesting getting to it, and it was also starting to rain after already being a bit damp (which is something of an understatement). We’d visited the Southbank before, but never actually gone inside the National Theatre. The bookshop has plenty of plays, and actually is an interesting place to visit if you’re interested in theatre craft.
Pizza and Heineken
Pizza and orange juice
By the time we left the National Theatre it was well past lunchtime, and we were both starving. There wasn’t anywhere between the National Theatre and Waterloo that we wanted to eat at or wasn’t packed so we decided to head to out next stop. So we caught the Northern Line to Clapham Common, and when we stumbled out of the station we came across Joe Public so we decided to stop for lunch there. It was lovely.
After lunch we headed for our final stop on the Northern Line crawl, by this point in our journey it had really started to pour down with rain, Clapham Books. It’s a small, quirky little shop.
Having finished visiting all the bookshops on the Northern Line we wanted to see, we decided (perhaps foolishly) that we would make a start on the Piccadilly Line crawl. Our first destination was South Kensington because we wanted to have a look at the V&A bookstore. The Victoria and Albert Museum is one of the few museums that we both like, so we were both looking forward to visiting. Unfortunately when we arrived not only was the rain absolutely bucketing it down, the pedestrian tunnel to the museums was closed so we had to go out in it. And the museums themselves had really long queues, none of which looked like they were moving. At that point we decided to give it up for the day, and head back to catch the train home.
All in all, even with some mishaps, we had a really fab day. We definitely got to see some areas of London we’d never visisted before – both Hampstead and Clapham Common are really lovely looking places. I totally recommend joining the London Bookshop Crawl next year if you can make it, to find out more about it and future crawls you can find the sign-up to the mailing list on this page. Thank you so much for reading so far, and next week I will be showing the books I picked up so be sure to come back for that.
So the title of this both rhymes and is a little late – sorry, not sorry. It’s the day before Good Friday and I felt like posting something upbeat, so we have this post. I suppose I better start this post by briefly explaining what the #LondonBookshopCrawl is/was (you can see my post about the day here). So bascially a bookshop crawl is just like a pub crawl, but without the alcohol and with books. This particular one took place in London on February 18th (and if you’re interested in taking part in future ones you can find more into here). You can either watch the video, or head straight down to a photo and list of the books I got during the crawl.
My haul from the 2017 #LondonBookshopCrawl.
The books I got were:
The Song From Somewhere Else by A. F. Harrold [Link]
So this is a little different from my usual post, but I really wanted to talk about this and I thought you might find it fun and/or interesting. First though, just a heads-up, this post does contain a few images.
On Saturday 18th February a lot of book lovers converged on London to take part in the London Bookshop Crawl organised by the brilliant Bex of Ninja Book Box, and I was one of them. There was a list of around fifty bookshops spread out through the whole of London that participants could pay a visit to, if it they fancied to. To start with, there was a chance for everyone to meet up at Foyles between 9:30am and 10:30am to just say hi (or find your group, if you were part of one them).
Foyles107 Charing Cross Rd, Soho WC2H 0DT
Foyles is a very beautiful, modern-looking bookstore. On the fifth floor they have a bright café that sells brilliant drinks and cake – that alone, in my opinion makes it well worth a visit. I particularly like their children and young adult section, as well as their graphic novel section. I’m not so much a fan of the fantasy/sci-fi section though.
After Foyles, Mum and I headed to Victoria station and then out to Herne Hill.
Tales on Moon Lane25 Half Moon Lane, Herne Hill SE24 9JU
Tales on Moon Lane is, in my opinion, a must stop for anyone who has children or who loves children’s books. It contains a wide variety of picture books that will keep anyone enthralled. It also has a good selection of books for 9 to 12 year olds, and whilst its young adult section isn’t the broadest I’ve seen there are some gems in it.
After Tales on Moon Lane, Mum and I popped next door to The Roome, which provided a lovely lunch.
Then we headed to Kings Cross and paid a quick visit to Housmans. We then went on to visit the bookshop in Somerset House.
Inside Rizzoli Bookshop
Rizzoli BookshopSomerset House, Strand WC2R 1LA
This was actually quite difficult to find, as we came at it from Temple station. The setting of Somerset House is very beautiful, and the bookshop itself looks out onto the courtyard. This bookshop is very much art based – and probably links to whatever exhibitions are taking place in Somerset House. It’s small, but neat, and there are a lot of interesting books.
We then continued on to Leicester Square.
Orbital Comics8 Great Newport St, WC2H 7JA
One of the best comic stores I have ever visited – whether you’re after independent comics, DC, Marvel, or like manga this place is well worth a visit. It’s nicely tucked away around the corner from Leicester Square tube station, and easy to miss if you don’t know it’s there. It’s also surprisingly big once you’re inside.
By this time, Mum and I are getting tired. So we decided to head to Piccadilly, and see how things went from there. Before any book browsing took place we headed straight to 5th View Bar & Food, which is located on the top floor at Waterstones Piccadilly. We had a quick snack, drink and rest, before heading down to browse the books.
The yummy food at 5th View Bar & Food.
Waterstones Piccadilly203-206 Piccadilly, St James’s W1J 9HD
This is Waterstones flagship store – and it is hands down the best Waterstones branch I have ever visited. It’s spread over four floors, and there are comfortable places to sit on every floor. The displays are brilliant to look at, and there are a wide selection of books in all genres to look at.
Hatchards187 Piccadilly, St James’s W1J 9LE
This bookshop has the feel of bookshops I remember from my childhood – full of hidden corners and surprises. There’s also quite a wide selection of books – they even have a signed and first editions section – and I quite enjoy exploring the store trying to find something that catches my interest.
After this, and having bought a lot of books, we decided it was time to head home. I had a fantastic time, and I highly recommend giving the London Bookshop Crawl a try the next time it’s organised. If you’d like to take part in the next Bookshop Crawl then you can find more info here.
Hopefully if you follow me on my blog The Flutterby Room things will have been posting pretty normally – I actually managed to schedule two posts a week, which I was super happy about. If you follow me on other forms of social media then you may have noticed that I have been pretty much absent for the past month. I feel that I owe you an explanation for this unexpected absence, but I also don’t want to go into too much detail, as the whole point of this blog is to post about the books I’ve read recently and what I thought of them.
Basically, I have a medical condition that flared up badly and I ended up in hospital for ten days. This has meant that I have fallen behind on answering emails – I honestly cannot remember as I write this the last time I logged into my accounts – and just keeping up to date on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms. I am really sorry if I owe you a response, but I am still not one hundred percent. I will do my best to respond to all emails, comments and communication as quickly as I can. In order to keep posting regularly from August 18th I will be reverting to posting one review a week on the blog.