Archive for the 'books' Category

dashwood books

i love book shops – especially small independent ones.  i have noticed recently that there are more and more individual bookshops opening, especially specialising in photography and art and special editioned books.  some books are becoming like art – collectors pieces.   dashwood books in new york has a beautiful and unique books, you could spend hours in there.

independent bookshops are perfect to browse in – they always remind me of the book 84 charring cross road – which you must read if you havent already – it actually made me cry.  john sandoe books is one that i was taken too recently and i loved its higgledy piggledy fashion;  maggs bros is the opposite,  housed in a georgian townhouse its collection of antiquarian books is vast and more orderly.    whilst we were in venice, we stumbled upon many antique book shops – with beautiful shop window displays – its one of the pleasures of venice, walking the streets window shopping at dusk.  damocle  books had a beautiful collection of classic authors and poetry books.

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broadway market with its wonderful food stalls and interesting shops has 3 great book shops too, artwords books , broadway bookshop and donion books – both have an eclectic choice of books and a good selection of art based magazines.

queens park books is also a good local bookshop and has a good range of books for children.  its so tempting to go into a bookshop and see a book, then go home and buy it cheaper on amazon, but next time, tell yourself that if you hadnt seen the book in the bookshop then you would never have know about the book – where would we all be without bookshops?  they are a source of inspiration and develop the mind and creativity.  lets try and keep them all alive.

my favourite places to have coffee are in bookshops that also serve you tea and cakes – what a perfect balance, to relax and spend time choosing and discovering new books. the idler academy not only sells book, lovely coffee and cakes, but offers a wide range of interesting courses from Latin to embroidery to life drawing!

the society club in soho, is another lovely place to stop by for tea and always has an everchanging exhibition.

in Cartagena, we stumbled upon a lovely bookshop and cafe, abaco - so if you manage to get to Cartagena Colombia, do try and stop by there.


Primrose Hill Books is a small local bookshop on Regents Park Road,  as well as selling a selection of novels and artbooks, you can ask for out of print, hard to find books:  they can also order books efficiently for you.  Genesis Publications is where I always turn to for special birthday, wedding anniversary presents- they produce the most beautiful limited editioned books – I bought my husband Bob Dylan, David Bowie – they are beautiful collectors items!  Cecil Court, a short walk from Leicester Square Tube is a book lovers dream – the century old shopfronts havent changed and the signs advertise that they are specialists in rare and antiquarian books, maps and prints and all manner of related printed material including stamps and banknotes.  You will definitely find a gift here.  Finally, you must visit Daunt books on Marylebone High Street, one of my favourite book shops – reminiscent of an Edwardian bookshop, it really is what you imagine a bookshop should be like.

frida kahlo book

always love going to broadway market on a saturday and especially to donlon books – there are always so many books that i want to buy from there – the owner has an exceptional eye and has a great selection – its a good place to go if you are stuck for gifts.  on my list is the beeautiful photography book Frida by Ishiuchi Miyako, which documents the dresses and personal belongings of Frida Kahlo – its an intuitive way of telling the life of Frida through her possessions.  the photos are simply beautiful.  it also reminds me of our visit to mexico with the kids 6 years ago – a wonderful cultural experience that still remains with me.

other interesting books are ‘The Biba Years 1963-1975′ and Edmund de Waal, a retrospective publication devoted to his ceramics.

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vintage magazines and books

teenage boys are so hard to buy for – so it was a relief to find something that they appreciate and would keep for years to come – alfie has his propped up on his bedroom shelf – so a visit to the vintage magazine shop is a must for xmas or birthday. there is something for everyone, at any price, it depends how rare you want to go, but you will definitely find something to please that boy, whether it be a vintage football mag, a music, fashion or superhero – just set your budget and see whats on offer.

i was given a vogue from the year that i was born – this is another great gift idea . i also struggle to find my husband presents – i always have to think weeks in advance, and its typical xmas is followed by our wedding anniversary and then valentines, so i am always on the hunt for a little something. he has a penchant for collecting old books, so fortunately, i came across this website, with this amazingly helpful gentleman who does exactly this job for you – searching for first edition titles, checking them for their condition and guaranteeing that if its not right, you can return it for a refund! Glyn Watson is based in Shropshire, but he can locate anything for you. .

my favourite shopping street for old books is cecil court.

Continue reading ‘vintage magazines and books’

list of my desires

its 4 hours on the train home from cornwall – perfect timing for a nap and a good read – List of my Desires is a wonderful heartwarming tale of what we value in life and the pursuit of happiness – its beautifully poetic,  like a fable and is a very easy read.  it was suggested to me by my lovely friend Pip, who also read it in a day – its one of those books that you cant put down til you have finished.  now i need another book for my holidays……

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40’s vintage glamour.

my favourite pieces in my wardrobe are my vintage dresses – especially the ones from the 1940’s – there is just something special and individual about their finish and choice of fabrics and when i wear these pieces, they are the ones that get the most comments.   its also much nicer to wear clothes that you dont see lots of other people wearing;  i love cos and gap for everyday clothes, but how many times do you end up going out and your friend is wearing the same dress!

naomi thompson, the young but knowledgeable author is part of a group of wonderful vintage girls who not only dress in the style, but write, blog, model and live their life around their passions.  naomi wrote the book style me vintage that i photographed a few years ago. for more vintage insight, you must take a look at fleur’s blog – you will find lots of interesting things and links. personally for me 1940’s is my favourite era – i just love everything about it – half of me wishes that we all had to do our hair daily and dress so perfectly – no more flip flops, trainers…….. i am sure its a habit that we have all grown out of. i remember my mother having her weekly shampoo and set, wearing stockings and court shoes. now i only do this for a special occasion, for these vintage girls its no effort and they go about their daily lives looking so perfectly attired.

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secret lives of bees

do you ever read a book that you are dying to finish to find out the end, but then don’t want to finish because you are enjoying it so much?  the secret lives of bees is such a beautiful story,  its about a young girl’s coming of age, her memories and hopes for a mother that she lost when she was little, her relationship with other women and more importantly her recognition that colour does not matter.  set in south carolina in the 60’s, its poetical, spiritual, magical and uplifting.

gabriel garcia marquez

i was really saddened to hear that Gabriel Garcia Marquez has died and so there wont be any more great novels by him .  i recently re read Love in the time of Cholera during my visit to Cartagena, which has to be one of my all time favourite love stories.  fortunately he has written so many timeless novels, you can always go back and read them again.

If you are looking for a short read, try the Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ novella  ‘Memories of My Melancholy Whores’ – its a great weekend size book.  Its an intriguing novella of a very old man rediscovering life and love and was his last written piece.

For a fascinating insight to the lives of young women refugees in Palestine, you must read ‘Red Tent, by Anita Diamant,  the dynamic of suffering and renewed hope through friendship is the book’s main story.  ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini, is another moving book, narrating the story through the characters of 2 women Mariam and Laila.  There are chapters in this novel through which you will hold your breath, but the love, friendship, and spirit that grows between the characters makes this a remarkable read.

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