Bookish Friday

Places in Books I’d Love to Visit

One of the best parts about reading is losing yourself in the place and time of a book. Below are my & Laura’s top 5 places in books that we’d love to visit. Only one is a real place, but for another two, we had the chance to visit the film set!

1. Hogwarts (Harry Potter)

This should require little explanation – as a pair of now later 20-somethings, Harry Potter is a defining factor of our generation and we sat at home many days hoping an owl would show up with our acceptance letter to Hogwarts. Our 11th birthdays were hugely disappointing in that regard. Though our mom did take us to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter when it first opened, so we’ve gotten about as close as we can to Hogwarts!

2. Neverland (Peter Pan)

I have, and always will, love Peter Pan. I’ve dreamed of Neverland for as long as I can remember, pretended to be Peter Pan, everything, the works. If anyone knows of a surefire was to find oneself some pixie dust, please do let me know!

3. Guernsey (Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society)

The obsession with Guernsey was Laura’s at first, and then when she found out I have a pen pal on the island, it intensified greatly. When the movie was announced and I decided to read the book, we both got very excited. And, as opposed to Neverland and Hogwarts, this one is actually real so we might eventually get there!

4. Hobbiton (Lord of the Rings The Hobbit)

So this one is a slight cheat because a, we haven’t actually read LotR or The Hobbit, and b, we’ve already been to the set of Hobbiton from the movies. But! It was 12 years ago and we want to c, read the books, and d, go back because the hobbit holes are more than just white washed plywood these days.

5. Velaris (A Court of Mist & Fury)

To anyone who has read Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses series this one should be a big old “duh.” It is described in just normalcy and beauty and with a bright starry sky, who wouldn’t want to go there? Downside, it’s not a real place so this one will forever exist in my dreams.

Bookish Friday

Happy 1 Year Blogiversary!

TODAY is the ONE YEAR anniversary of this particular iteration of Celebration of Books on the Interwebs! Geez, what a mouthful! And what a wonderful year of books it has been!

A BIG GIGANTIC THANK YOU!

When I first started transitioning the old site onto WordPress, I didn’t really have any real expectations of what I wanted out of it. My sister and I had always thought of Celebration of Books as just that, our own celebration of the books we read and if other people happened to like reading the reviews, that was strictly a bonus. Well, boy did all of you lovely readers surprise us!

Blog Stats Since May 11, 2017…

Posts: 150+ • Followers: 100+ (Thank you all!) • Likes: 530+ • Visitors: 1,130+ • Views: 1,430+

Just, wow!

Book Stats Since May 11, 2017…

Laura & I have reviewed:

Fiction (97 books) vs. Nonfiction (50 books)

Fiction Subgenre: Fantasy (43 books) vs. Historical Fiction (26 books)

Nonfiction Subgenre: Sociology (12 books) vs. Memoirs & Biographies (28 books)

Thank you again for joining us on this adventure and we look forward to another fun year of reading!

Bookish Friday

Characters I Would Want as Friends

This week hasn’t been the greatest, but my super awesome friends have made it better. And while I wouldn’t trade a one of them, if I had to pick 5 characters to bring to be BFFs with, these lovelies would be the ones!

1. Emilia in Salt to the Sea

As a character who didn’t even speak the same language as most of the others, she still managed to be a fiercely loyal companion who would do anything for her newfound friends.

Salt to the Sea

2. Penelope in Royally Matched

It’s not often that a character in a new adult romance makes me think too deeply, but Penelope is the best sister that Sarah could have ever had. She made her step out of her comfort zone, but also stayed with her and defended her when needed. Truth be told, I’m probably more like Penelope and my sister is more like the protagonist, Sarah.

43-Royally Matched

3. Maddie in Code Name Verity & Rose Under Fire

Without spoiling too much, Maddie committed the ultimate act of friendship – it doesn’t get any better than Maddie and how fiercely she fought to get back to Verity.

Code Name Verity (2)

4. Hermione in Harry Potter

This one shouldn’t need a whole lot of explanation – how many times did she save Harry & Ron’s lives?

Harry Potter (3)

5. Mor, Cassian, Azriel, Lucien, etc. in A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy

A Court of Mist and Fury is so crazy friendship heavy it is absolutely amazing. Probably the closest resemblance to me and my friends that I’ve found thus far, and boy am I lucky to be able to say that!

ACOWAR (2)

Bookish Friday

The Wonderful World of Fandoms

Imagine you are a person who loves your favorite books with a fiery passion and want nothing more than to share that love with others. Then, you’re scrolling through the world of Bookstagram (#bookstagram) on Instagram and you stumble across this really cool collection of bookmarks and posters celebrating classic books advertised by this company called Nerdy Post, and they’ve featured, in particular, the great Pride and Prejudice. What do you do? Obviously, you subscribe immediately and then ask them if you can write a blog post about them!

Nerdy Post 1
Image via Nerdy Post Instagram @nerdy.post

Authorial Note: I am writing this post because I genuinely love and enjoy subscribing to Nerdy Post. I am not a rep, nor have I been paid to post about this company. I genuinely love them and what to share their awesomeness with fellow booklovers!

Welcome to the Fandoms

When I used to think of Fandoms, I thought of groups of people who shipped certain characters, spoke to each other in a language those outside the fandom couldn’t understand, and cosplayed at as many conventions as they could. This description is also an accurate description of my and my sister’s love of Harry Potter, our first foray into the fandom world.

Favorite Fandom #1: Harry Potter

 

I have a friend who holds a yearly Harry Potter weekend at her house – everyone is sorted, plays house trivia, Quidditch pong, eats from the HP cookbook, dresses in robes, etc. I thought we were slightly insane, but when, over the course of the last 2 years, Nerdy Post has done 4 different renditions of Harry Potter from the original books to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I realized we are far from alone! When it comes to fandoms, the HP one can be very divided, particularly along house lines, but in general, as HP is the book of my generation, most set aside any differences and embrace what J. K. Rowling did to bring the Wizarding World to millions of children around the world.

Favorite Fandom #2: Sarah J. Maas

 

When I first started reading Throne of Glass years ago, I wanted everyone I met to read it. I’ve waxed eloquent before about how amazing Sarah is and while I kind of wish I could have kept the fandom to myself for a bit longer, I’m glad this one has attracted many wonderful artists, like Alexis of Nerdy Post, because the fan art for her two series, Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses is absolutely amazing! Now I just need some SJM Funko Pop figures and my life will be complete!

Favorite Fandom #3: Sherlock Holmes

 

But Sarah, you’ll say, you told us you didn’t like Sherlock Holmes back when you reviewed A Study in Scarlet. Ah, yes, this is true. However, I have loved just about every Sherlock Holmes adaptation I have found and read or seen, so I think I can count myself a member of the fandom. One of my favorite things about Nerdy Post is that if a book has been turned into a movie, both are included in the monthly box of that particular theme.

Favorite Fandom #4: Peter Pan

Peter Pan

I have loved Peter Pan for as long as I can remember. I’ve acted out scenes, forced my best friend as a kid (a dude) to play Wendy to my Peter Pan, obsessively watched Mary Martin perform on stage as Peter Pan, my obsession runs so deep, my husband bought me tickets to the Arden’s children’s theater production for Christmas. It was the two of us, and 100 families with small children. Needless to say, my love knows no bounds, even if Peter can be a bit of a twat. This is also my official pitch to Nerdy Post to do a Peter Pan themed box!

Favorite Fandom #5: Lord of the Rings

Lord of the Rings
Image via Nerdy Post Instagram @nerdy.post

As an avid Dungeons & Dragons player, I find it only fitting that I love the material from which the RPG draws a great deal of inspiration. I have tried many times to make my way through the books, but alas have yet to be successful in such endeavors. However, I have watched all the movies, repeatedly, and visited Hobbiton (aka Matamata, New Zealand) and I love what the other fans of Lord of the Rings have created. The Nerdy Post box dedicated to LotR was by far a favorite!

Other Past Nerdy Post Fandom Features

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Classics – Mostly Austen and the Brontes
  • Outlander
  • Game of Thrones
  • Pixar & Dreamworks
  • Marvel
  • Disney
  • Star Wars
  • Stephen King
Bookish Friday

Cozy Snowy Winter / Rainy Spring Reads

Apparently winter hasn’t had enough of the East Coast yet and we’re due to get another snowstorm tomorrow. In April. I’m sick of it. However, there are certain books that I will always revisit on a snowy day, because what is better on a snowy day than a large stack of books and tall mug of hot chocolate?

Traveler by L. E. DeLano

I love a fun traveling book when I am trapped inside and L. E. DeLano just happens to be one of my favorite local authors whose book launch for Traveler we happened to do in the middle of winter in the midst of a bit of snow flurries. Traveler is a great YA fantasy/science fiction hybrid that also includes characters with diverse abilities.

Traveler

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Literally set in the snowy wasteland of Siberia, Between Shades of Gray is a WWII story about what happened to the Baltic states during the war and their relationship with the Soviet Union. While Ruta is known better for her more recent book, Salt to the Sea, a companion to Between Shades of Gray, this one is my top pick for winter.

19-Between Shades of Gray

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

A dark, rich, fantastic fantasy is perfect for a snow day and it doesn’t get much better than Uprooted. Naomi’s personification of the woods around her main characters adds an level of creepiness that makes Uprooted perfect for reading this time of year. Plus, Spinning Silver is coming out in July and it’s always good to reread a favorite from an author before their next book comes out!

Uprooted

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

I love an Agatha Christie mystery when I don’t have anything else to occupy my mind. Either reading or listening, there’s a reason most mystery book tropes are based off of her stories!

And Then There Were None

Rejected Princesses by Jason Porath

A collection of short biographies about fascinating women throughout history, Rejected Princesses quickly became one of my all time favorite books. The sequel, Tough Mothers, just came out on Tuesday!

Rejected Princesses

What are you favorite cozy winter / rainy spring reads?

Bookish Friday

Meeting Authors

In my role as assistant manager at a local independent bookstore, I’ve been fortunate to meet some of my favorite authors, as well as be introduced to many new authors as well! Some have been lovely human beings, genuine and kind, wanting to truly get to know their fans. Others have been difficult and divas, obnoxious or rude. But whatever the case, having the chance to get to know those who have created some of my favorite stories has been a wonderful opportunity. Below are some of the highlights.

Sarah J Maas (2)⇐ Sarah J Maas

A.K.A. The Queen! I have been reading Sarah J. Maas’ books just about since Throne of Glass first came out. I’ve introduced countless friends and bookstore customers to her works and I’m very excited that I had the chance to meet her four times before her events truly ballooned into spectacles of lots of tween girls. She has always been absolutely delightful and insightful and I can’t wait to read everything she writes in the future! Additionally, I told my sister if she came out one weekend, she had to come with me to see Sarah and that she had to at least start reading Throne of Glass. She whined about not liking fantasy and was not excited. Needless to say, at this point she’s read all of her books!

ReviewsA Court of Thorns & Roses trilogyThrone of Glass series review to come this fall

Marie Lu ⇒Marie Lu (4)

Marie Lu is an amazing human being whom I was honored to have the chance to interview back in September. I asked her about diversity in the publishing world, as well as in her own writing and her thoughts on the gaming industry. She is a wonderful human being and I greatly enjoy reading other interviews she has done and I anxiously await the sequel to Warcross!

ReviewsWarcrossThe Young ElitesLegend

Ruta Sepetys⇐ Ruta Sepetys

Ruta is a spectacularly imaginative person. I’ve had the opportunity to meet her twice and the second time, I had the opportunity to tell her about how much Laura, my sister, loves her books and that she was upset she wasn’t with me when I got to meet her. Ruta suggested sending her a message, I started routing around for a notepad, and then she insisted on recording a video message to Laura! It made her day when I sent it to her!

ReviewsBetween Shades of GraySalt to the Sea

Leigh Bardugo ⇒Leigh Bardugo

My favorite story about meeting Leigh Bardugo – actually saying “Don’t freak out” out loud to her and not in my head. With long, wavy, silver hair and her ever present cane, Leigh looks like a modern day witch meets rock star and I mean that in the absolute best way. She has such a presence when she enters a room and her books are beloved by so many people, but she is still incredibly down to earth and even invited me to send her snippets from my own writing projects. I nearly fainted.

ReviewsSix of CrowsShadow & BoneWonder Woman: Warbringer

Sam Maggs⇐ Sam Maggs

When I first attended BookCon in 2015 with my friend Nina, we were just walking past a booth when we were asked if we wanted to meet an author. The two of us shrugged and answered affirmatively and then Nina proceeded to freak out a bit when she realized who the author was. A loyal Mary Sue follower, she knew exactly who Sam was. She excitedly filled me in and we had a great time talking all things geek with her. When Wonder Women arrived at the store, I immediately made it a staff pick and told anyone who would listen how awesome Sam is.

ReviewsWonder Women

Laurie Halse Anderson ⇒Laurie Halse Anderson

Laurie is my feminist hero. Fiercely outspoken and unapologetic, I wish I was as brave as she is when it comes to speaking one’s mind on important topics from education to sociological issues facing our country today. She is one of the few white authors who has written about slavery and received, at least to my knowledge, little to no criticism in the “own voices” era. While I haven’t reviewed any of her books on here yet, I certainly look forward to doing so in the near future!

BooksSpeakFever 1793Voices of America trilogy (Chains, Forge, Ashes)

Marion Lazan⇐ Marion Lazan

Marion’s story about her experiences during World War II in the concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen is tear-jerking to say the least. As her mother lived to 104, I truly hope that Marion lives well into her second century as well so that she can share her story with as many people as possible. She reminds me in equal parts of both of my grandmothers, she has the energy of one and the German accent and temperament of the other. If only it were possible to adopt a grandmother…

ReviewsFour Perfect Pebbles

Jerry Spinelli ⇒Jerry Spinelli

Last year I had the incredible privilege of interviewing Jerry Spinelli, author of one of my favorite childhood books, Stargirl, at the bookstore. After a few fangirl moments, during which he told me very sweetly to calm down because he’s not that big a deal (he won the NEWBERY!), I sat down to ask him some questions about his life as a writer and his most recently book, another Newbery contender, The Warden’s Daughter.

BooksStargirlManiac MageeThe Warden’s Daughter

Patti Niemi⇐ Patti Niemi

A truly inspiring feminist who encouraged us all to take the great leap of personal determination to break into a male-dominated profession. As a professional musician, especially one who is a percussionist, she knows a thing or two about what it’s like to face sexism in the workplace. I just wish I had a picture of her looking up! A review of her debut book, a memoir about her experiences, will be coming soon.

BookSticking It Out

Robert Sabuda ⇒ Robert Sabuda

Meeting Robert Sabuda was the highlight of my coworker (and work mom’s) time at the bookstore. She’d been hoping he would come to the store and in 2016, shortly before Christmas, he came to visit to celebrate his Christmas book, Christmas Story. The process of making pop-ups is absolutely fascinating! If you have a chance, watch some YouTube videos or something, it’s so cool!

BooksPeter PanBeauty and the BeastAmerica the BeautifulA Christmas Story

William Daniels⇐ William Daniels

a.k.a Mr. Feeny, hero to all teachers and aspiring teachers. While I would have loved to have met him back in the late ’90s, early aughts when I was obsessed with Boy Meets World and thought it was actually filmed in Philly and therefore I could go visit the school and meet Mr. Feeny (I totally thought he was a real teacher). But I’m eternally grateful to have had the chance to meet him at his wonderful age of 89.

BookThere I Go Again

Other Authors I’ve Enjoyed Meeting

  • Erik Larson, author of Dead WakeIn the Garden of Beasts, incredibly knowledgeable history author
  • Anthony Horowitz, author of Moriarty, very lively British mystery author and screen writer
  • L. E. DeLano, author of Traveler, my favorite, local YA author who is always quick to jump in and help me with our young adult writing group at the store
  • Marieke Nijkamp, author of This Is Where It Ends, inspiring author writing in her second language
  • Mo O’Hara, author of the My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish series, actress and author, full of funny stories
  • Adam Lehrhaupt, author of multiple picture books, lively and exciting kid’s author
  • Amy Cuddy, author of Presence, TED Talk alum and inspiring personality
  • Kwame Alexander, author of Crossover, who reminded me to call my dad more often
  • Elin Hilderbrand, author of Blue Bistro and women’s fiction, reminded me that you can only be a writer if you actually sit down and write
  • Lisa Scottoline & Francesca Serritella, authors of comedy essay collections, tell the funniest mother-daughter stories that I can certainly relate to
  • D. J. MacHale, author of Sylo series, with whom I had very enjoyable political discussions
  • Richard Peck, hero to elementary school me, author of the Grandma Dowdel books, Long Way From Chicago and A Year Down Yonder among others
Bookish Friday

Good Little Feminist

The Inspiration

On Saturday, I almost got into a fight. I rarely say such things, or even contemplate turning to any sort of violent behavior to settle a disagreement, but hear me out.

My husband and I went to a concert in Philadelphia, something that we often do but that frequently causes anxiety for me. I don’t want to say that I attract any sort of trouble, this doesn’t seem to be the case. But I seem to frequently find myself in a position of discomfort with another concert goer with whom I was not previously acquainted. Last time, I guy kept bumping into me from behind every time he would go to the bar behind me, then would turn around and lear at me afterwards. After this happened for the third time, my husband and his two friends made a ring around me and then magically, the next half dozen times this man came up, I was left alone. After the concert, he was escorted from the building by security for harassing another female concert goer who spoke up. But I had kept quiet.

On Saturday, a man continuously backed into me from the front row of a standing room only concert. I asked him politely once to step forward because I didn’t want to spill a beverage on him, and a second time to stop backing into me when he repeatedly swayed back into me, clearly intoxicated. I finally put my hands up in a fist in front of me so that he could tell each time he did so. When I asked him to stop a third time, he turned around and screamed at me saying he was doing no such thing. Instead of doing something productive, I froze. We live in a country of concealed weapons and mass shootings. How did I know that this man wasn’t about to pull a gun or knife on me if I made a scene in regards to his behavior? When did I become so terrified? Eventually I found a different place to stand and this man continued to do the same thing to three men who were behind me, all of whom became clearly annoyed. But, given the society that we live in, I had a double edged sword in my pocket.

My word to any member of security would have carried more weight than any man’s. If I had punched him, I would have been defending myself, if my husband had done so, he would have been arrested for assault. But again, I did nothing, this time out of fear. Out of fear of retribution or anger.

If I ever have a daughter, I want to make sure that my husband and I raise her to be a feminist. And if we have a son, I want to make sure we raise him to be a feminist too. But ultimately, I hope that by the time I’ve reached the point in my life that I’m having these conversations with my hypothetical children, the world has come far enough that I don’t have to teach said hypothetical daughter about sticking a key between her fingers when walking by herself at night, or how to unlock pepper spray, or use her ice hockey skills to injure a potential attacker. I don’t want to know these things, but I do, despite my fear to utilize them. I don’t want to have to pass such knowledge on to my offspring. I want to share with them all the wonderful things that women have contributed to this world. I want to share with them my favorite anthologies of great women below this, my favorite feminist picture!

picture_20180316_1240191631455157141.jpg

Books I’ve Reviewed

  1. Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
  2. Women in Sports: 50 Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win by Rachel Ignotofsky
  3. Strong is the New Pretty by Kate T. Parker
  4. Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  5. Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik
  6. It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Guide to Love & War by Lynsey Addario
  7. Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors & Trailblazers Who Changed History by Sam Maggs
  8. Rejected Princesses: Tales of History’s Boldest Heroines, Hellions & Heretics by Jason Porath
  9. Selfish, Shallow & Self-Absorbed: 16 Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids edited by Meghan Daum
  10. The Little Book of Feminist Saints by Julia Pierpont & Manjit Thapp
  11. Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History Without the Fairy-Tale Endings by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie
  12. Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard
  13. Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You! by Marley Dias
  14. Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
  15. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Books I Love But Haven’t Reviewed Yet

  1. Why I March: Images from the Women’s March Around the World by Abrams Books (pictured above)
  2. Bygone Badass Broads: 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World by Mackenzi Lee & Petra Eriksson
  3. Why We March: Signs of Protest and Hope – Voices from the Women’s March by Artisan
  4. The Atlas of Beauty: Women of the World in 500 Portraits by Mihaela Noroc
  5. Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Penelope Bagieu
  6. The Pink Hat by Andrew Joyner
  7. Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World by Ann Shen
  8. Lives of Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels & What the Neighbors Thought by Kathleen Krull & Kathryn Hewitt
  9. The Secret Loves of Geek Girls edited by Hope Nicholson
  10. The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen: Awesome Female Characters from Comic Book History by Hope Nicholson

 

Bookish Friday

For the Love of the Independent Bookstore

Over the past 10 months I’ve been posting reviews of both books I’ve finished recently and those that I’ve read in years past. Since I know I cannot keep up a reading pace to continue to post new reviews three times a week, I’ve decided to introduce a new feature to the blog called Bookish Friday (yipee!) where I’ll talk about bookish things that bring me great joy, or share lists of characters, authors, etc. from my reading journal that I’ve been keeping for the past ten years. Either way, it’ll be focused on fun bookish things, starting with why I love independent bookstores so much.

Towne Book Center⇐ My Bookstore

Towne Book Center
Collegeville, PA

This right here is my favorite bookstore and just happens to be the one I work at. When I first moved to the area in the spring of 2011, one of the first questions I asked my then boyfriend, now husband, was “Where’s the bookstore?”

Growing up in south central PA, our closest bookstore was in a mall – we didn’t have a local independent bookstore that carried a great selection. There was an art gallery with a small children’s section and the battlefields of course had visitors’ centers with specialty books, but it wasn’t the same.

When we first walked into Towne, the employees and owner greeted my husband by name – the store had been around in some way since he was a very small boy and he and his brother had spent countless hours browsing the shelves. When an opportunity came up to work here, I jumped at the chance. I love recommending books to people and when they come back in and tell me they loved it, it just makes my day – especially with kids. It’s hard to ignore the teacher side of me and I love when young readers enjoy the books I’ve picked out for them.

 

Wellington SquareNearest Neighbor ⇒

Wellington Square Books
Exton, PA

I love Wellington Square – it’s about half the size of Towne Book Center but has a wholly different vibe and collection.

Wellies, as I call it, has a curated collection of both new and used books and the used books offer up something unique to the store – they’re not your typical used books, they’re unique editions of old and classic favorites. I’ve had my eye on a special edition of Peter Pan that’s been on the shelves there for awhile.

Additionally, the second room features law library bookshelves and a sliding ladder, something I’ve always dreamed of having in a bookstore or library of my own. The cafe is lovely, though expect a more European over American approach to the espresso drinks.

 

Book Trader⇐ Philadelphia Phavorite

The Book Trader
Philadelphia, PA

One of my favorite things to do is to go into Philly for a weekend for a concert or a show, and my favorite theater, the Arden, just happens to be across the street and down the block from my favorite used bookstore.

The Book Trader is a store you go into when you have no idea what you want to read. The selection is so extensive and eclectic that you have to go in with the mindset of simply being surprised with what hidden treasures and gems you might find.

 

StrandThe NY Classic ⇒

The Strand
New York, NY

In a city of what feels like a million bookstores, there is only one Strand and no trip to the big apple is complete without a visit.

When my best friend moved to NYC after college, we agreed to visit each other as often as possible and more than once, the Strand has been our meeting place. Four floors, 18 miles of shelves, and a very cool rare book room tops off the store that has been a cultural institution in the city for nearly a century (it’s as old as my grandmother!) If you leave the Strand without buying anything, you’ve done it wrong.

 

Home Away From Home Bookstore ⇓

M Judson Booksellers

M. Judson Booksellers, Greenville, SC

Most years, my husband and I go down to Greenville, South Carolina to stay with his aunt and her family for Christmas. Me being me, I always have to know where the local bookstore is, and they directed me to M. Judson. A few years ago, they moved from the suburbs into the city proper and now live TWO BLOCKS from the bookstore! The last time we were down, I went into the store daily for my morning coffee and to browse around. The staff are awesome and I love talking with them each time I visit.

 

Anthony Bourdain Book Soup.jpg
Recommends ⇒

Book Soup
Los Angeles, CA

When getting ready for a visit to Los Angeles which is, admittedly, my least favorite city I’ve ever visited, I figured I would feel better about having to go if I had a bookstore I knew I could visit. And when traveling, who do I turn to for recommendations? Why Anthony Bourdain of course. Book Soup is featured in the Los Angeles episode of The Layover.

Book Soup’s collection is what you would reasonably expect of a bookstore on Sunset in West Hollywood – a nice mix of contemporary and popular titles with a healthy dose of music and film coffee table books and popular entertainment bios.

 

BookBar⇐ Most Unique =
Books + Wine

BookBar
Denver, CO

On a recent trip to Denver, I took a bookstore tour and found myself at the very unique BookBar. It reminded me a lot of one of my favorite breweries in Ardmore, but if it were a bookstore as well.

The collection features both books on wine, and your typical options, current hot sellers, childrens books upstairs (yes, kids are welcome, just not at the actual bar), and a nice mix of nonfiction works.

 

University Pitt Bookstore
Evolution ⇒

The University Store
Pittsburgh. PA

The Pitt Bookstore has come a very long way since I graduated in the spring of 2011 but while I was there, I was always thrilled that we had our own independent bookstore and we were not a Barnes & Noble college store. The selection has increased greatly in the past few years and is certainly not limited to text books and professor’s own publications.

 

Boulder Book Store⇐ Boulder Bookstore

Boulder Bookstore
Boulder, CO

For a time my husband was considering going to graduate school at the University of Colorado and, as I do whenever travel opportunities arrive, I suss out the local bookstore environment. And while a move to Boulder is no longer seriously on the table, I would love to get back to this wonderful bookstore sometime soon. It has a great selection of new and used books, all in great condition.