Saturday, March 20, 2010

Book heaven

This is Strand, aka my idea of heaven. I went here three times in five days. 18 miles of bookshelves! That's a whole lot of books, and happily for me, a whole lot of YA.

Yes, we have YA sections in bookshops in the UK. But they are small. This YA section was HUGE. There was even a 'YA sports fiction' shelf. WTF?!

As you can probably guess, I bought a book or two. I could have filled a whole suitcase, but I had to leave SOME room for clothes, right?

On the first day I bought:

From bottom to top, that's:

Going Bovine, by Libba Bray
The Adoration of Jenna Fox, by Mary E Pearson
Boyproof, by Cecil Castellucci
Jellicoe Road, by Melina Marchetta
Tithe, by Holly Black
Break, by Hannah Moskowitz
The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
Beyond the Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier

Then a couple of days later, I supplemented that lot with:

The Secret Year, by Jennifer R Hubbard (an ARC for $1.99!)
Will Grayson, Will Grayson, by John Green & David Levithan (another ARC for $1.99!)
Willow, by Julia Hoban
Tenderness, by Robert Cormier
Story of a Girl, by Sara Zarr
Once was Lost, by Sara Zarr

I read Story of a Girl on the flight home. The voice is spot-on, and ALL the characters are portrayed as real, actual, interesting people with lives of their own - not just plot devices. It's a perfect read.

So I also met up with the completely fabulous Nova Ren Suma. Nova writes YA AND middle grade. How cool is that? It was very exciting to finally meet up with someone who's been so lovely and supportive and fun to chat to on the interwebs. And she was even more awesome in person, if that's even possible. Check out her debut novel, Dani Noir. It's a treat. And I can't wait to read Imaginary Girls, which is to be published summer 2011. I have a feeling it's going to be ever so slightly blimmin' brilliant. (Nova, if you're reading this, please come to London SOON.)

Here's a pic that perfectly represents my trip (well, except for the mardy face... I really WAS happy most of the time, honest):

It rained. A lot. Proper, torrential storms. Please note the droplets of rain on the hat and the soggy t-shirt. It was way too windy for umbrellas, so I was pretty much soaked for most of the time. But I didn't let that stop me from doing some serious shopping. See below.

I was going to finish off this post with a picture of ribs from Blue Smoke, but I figured some people might not find ribs particularly appetizing... Let's just say they were lip-smackingly good. Nom nom nom.


  1. Sounds like a fantastic trip. I really hope to make the pilgrimage to Strand one day. The best YA section I've seen in the UK is Foyles but this sounds even better. :D

  2. Beyond jealous. Have read Break, which I really enjoyed..Have heard wonderful things about Going Bovine, although I don't fancy it myself..tell me if I'm wrong.

  3. They were *selling* ARCS??????

    That is very bad. Grrrr to the Strand!

    Otherwise, big YAY for trip!!

    (I hated Going Bovine, so I agree with the above commenter: it'll be interesting to see what you think about it!).

  4. Lauren- I need to check out Foyles ASAP.

    Keren and Sarah- will let you know about Going Bovine! As for the ARCs I just assumed Strand had special permission from the publishers, since it's such a bookselling institution!

  5. Oh I LOVE Strand. Were the ARCs from the basement? I almost moved in there last time I went. Just so many great books. And you got a few I'm dying to read (Going Bovine and Will Grayson especially).

    More about New York please! :)

  6. Really weird that they are are able to sell ARCs. Also very cool though because I know people are desperate to read Will Grayson. I shall be interested to hear how you get on with it.

    So good to have you back though and I heard (via Achuka) that you did some important deal stuff so I think you deserve a congrats!

  7. What a great list of books! And what an adventure to have such a completely packed book store.
    Lindsey Petersen
    ps LOVE the hate. And your face looks intent, not mardy, (even though I don't know what that means!!!!)

  8. Keris and Becky- Reading Will Grayson at the mo. It's REALLY hard to put down! The ARCs were in the children's section. I didn't go to the basement - was I missing out?

    5kidswdisabilities- Mardy is a great word. I suggest you try to incorporate it into your daily life. It sort of means 'moody' or 'grumpy', but I think it has more charm than either of those!

  9. Ooh, I am so late in telling you that you are amazing and thank you so much for saying that! I loved meeting you. Want to go to London now!!

    And I'm especially happy that you enjoyed STORY OF A GIRL! Guess what I have waiting for pickup at the library as of *this morning* based on your recommendation?


    Can't wait to read it!

    What was that other sad, sad book I was supposed to read? You know I like 'em gut-wrenching ;)

    p.s. I bet _your_ book is going to be blimmin' brilliant too. DYING to read.

  10. Nova- Never apologize for being late when the novel GETS YOU! You've been well and truly got, and I couldn't be happier for you. I want to get got pronto!

    I really, really hope you enjoy Elsewhere. I used to call it 'life-changingly good'.

    Think the other book was Looking for JJ, by Anne Cassidy. Now this is a whole different kettle of fish! It might not be to everyone's tastes, but I LOVED it. It really makes you think. Normally I'm anti-thinking, but I make an exception for this book!