Hi everyone! I recently visited London so I thought I’d include my London Bookshop Vlog here where I visited Daunt Books for the first time, which was so cool. Daunt Books has a ‘travel bias’, meaning a good portion of the shop is organised by place – for example, countries have separate shelves and these sections include travel books, non-fiction and fiction.
You can find my bookshop vlog below, and my haul further down the post.
These are the books I got in London and a few others!
Two friends meet across three dinners.
In the back room of a pet shop, they snack on dried shrimps and discuss fish-breeding. In a remote new home in the mountains, they look for a solution to a weasel infestation. During a dinner party in a blizzard, a mounting claustrophobia makes way for uneasy dreams. Their conversations often take them in surprising directions, but when one of the men becomes a father, more and more is left unsaid.
With emotional acuity and a wry humour, Weasels In The Attic is an uncanny and striking reflection on fertility, masculinity, and marriage in contemporary Japan.
I asked my boyfriend Mark to choose a book from Daunt for me to help me decide what to buy, as I like having a book as a souvenir when I visit a new shop or place. I knew I wanted one from the Japan section, so I gave him a few options, but just before we headed out he spotted the above book. It’s a short, 70ish page novella and I’m excited to check it out.
Take a story and shrink it. Make it tiny, so small it can fit in the palm of your hand. Carry the story with you everywhere, let it sit with you while you eat, let it watch you while you sleep. Keep it safe, you never know when you might need it. In Kawakami’s super short ‘palm of the hand’ stories the world is never quite as it should be: a small child lives under a sheet near his neighbour’s house for thirty years; an apartment block leaves its visitors with strange afflictions, from fast-growing beards to an ability to channel the voices of the dead; an old man has two shadows, one docile, the other rebellious; two girls named Yoko are locked in a bitter rivalry to the death. Small but great, you’ll find great delight spending time with the people in this neighbourhood.
This is one of the books I asked Mark to pick from, and I’ve wanted to read it ever since I saw it in Foyles Charing Cross Road a few years ago! Mark actually bought me both of these, thank you 🙂
In the aftermath of tragedy, it’s strange the things you remember.
The deafening boom as the house exploded.
The paralyzing fear as I searched for my wife.
The blinding smoke burning my eyes as I carried her out.
But carved into my soul for the rest of my days would be the earth-shattering realization that the woman in my arms wasn’t my wife.
Bree and I were the only survivors—not that either of us were truly living after that night. As a single dad with nowhere else to go, I moved into her guest house. And somehow, through the guilt and grief, we forged an unlikely team.
It took years, but I watched the gradual return of her smile—slow and life-altering. The two of us could sit outside for hours, talking about nothing, and it filled the massive hole in my chest with new life.
I may have carried her out of that fire, but the truth was, Bree saved me.
As we healed, the secrets and lies of the past smoldered in the ashes, threatening to ignite again.
Our love was born from the embers, and together we would go up in flames.
The day after we got home from London, I visited the bookshop I used to work in to pick up a few things, including From the Embers by Aly Martinez, which was sent to me from the publisher. Thank you, Hachette!
I also decided to buy a standard hardback of Chain of Thorns to round off my Last Hours trilogy! I now have the hardback rune editions and standard editions. I’m sure it’ll be a while still before I pick these up, but I’m glad to have them.
What have you purchased or received recently?
May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽
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