So the day started somewhat badly, even apart from the fact that I was late..Ange has got a kindle Power, or Flame, or whatever the new one is. A Kindle, she has crossed to the dark side. She told me this as we waited for the tube at Waterloo. This will make our annual book day a lot less fun if we are just sitting in front of a laptop clicking on Amazon. But it’s ok, Ange is not one to stop on the faithful paperback, our annual tramping around London, slowly weighing ourselves down with paperbacks has some life left in it yet.
For the first time this year we ventured up to Marylebone High Street and the wonderful Daunt Books. How we haven’t made it here before is beyond me, I’ve read about it and friends have recommended it to me but I’ve never made it. So in we go, I have my list, I find about 3 titles off it in the first 5 minutes, tidy. Then I hit the travel section, the sky lights let the grey London sky cast it’s dull light into an aladdins cave of books, and, to my delight Daunt have got a travel section set up properly. Guides and Literature set up for each country/region, not separated and by author…love it.
5 books later my books are packed and then repacked in the bag by the two assistants, with a number of bookmarks slid in between the pages and we are back out into the rain.
Next up is the Stalwart Foyles. A quick refresh in the cafe, where we ate and drank while watching some kind of fly/bee climb the window, only to reach the top pane of glass and tumble all the way back down to the table top. Small things. Spent most of my time around the poetry shelves in here. Robin Robertson’s The Wrecking Light was the first book on my list this year and I also had a look for a couple of poets that I had seen on the poetry on the underground adverts on the northern line. I debated over a Haiku anthology, before selecting A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe, poems by Fernando Pessoa, which will compliment The Elephants Journey by Jose Saramago as my holiday reading during my two weeks travelling round Portugal in June. I’ve not got very many of Saramago’s books left to get, and I added The Double to my collection as well as Murakami’s Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman. I can’t seem to go book shopping without getting a Murakami, even though I have no idea what is going on in his novels most of the time.
Lastly we headed past, and veered into Stanfords. Again another properly organised travel section, well shop. Down in the Latin American section I picked out The Jaguar Smile by Salman Rushdie, as well as Evelyn Waugh’s 92 Days. Hmm but that put me on 13 books for the day, I would like to say that I’m not superstitious, but I added Graham Greene’s The Honorary Consul into the mix, which I randomly got 20% off for some reason as well as another book mark.
We finished the day on the Southbank, sitting in the cool afternoon sun sipping a beer, another book day, and more than enough books to keep me going until next year.
Barbara Kingsolver – The Lacuna
Lian Hearn – Blossoms and Shadows
Ann Patchett – State of Wonder
Andrew Miller – Pure
John Gimlette – Wild Coast
Fernando Pessoa – A Little Larger Than the Universe
Mohammed Hanif – A Case of Exploding Mangoes
Saramago – The Double
Conn Iggulden – Empire of Silver
Robin Robertson – The Wrecking Light
Murakami – Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
Salman Rushdie – The Jaguar Smile
Graham Greene – The Honorary Consul
Evelyn Waugh – 92 Days
new books and the refreshing tea and raspberry tart from Le Pain Quotidien that kept me going..