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Field Trip: Kitazawa Book Store

I am finally back from my study abroad experience in Tokyo, Japan so it’s time to hit the ground running again! Of course, while I was abroad, I had to visit bookstores, because it’s just what I do.

I wrote a blog post a while back about “50 Must-Visit Beautiful Bookstores on Six Continents” which was originally compiled by BookRiot. In that list they had the bookstore Kitazawa and after a little bit of research, I found that it was just a 30 minute train ride from where I was studying. So, naturally, I went to visit as I couldn’t pass up this opportunity.

The bookstore was definitely an experience to visit.

First of all, it was in a used bookstore district. All of the stores on that side of the street were for used bookstores so it was such a wonderful street.

Field Trip: Kitazawa Book Store

The first thing you saw on the way into the bookstore was this gorgeous display outside. I really loved the contrast between the blue books and the yellow flowers. It was really eye catching.

Field Trip: Kitazawa Book Store

Heading inside, it was a nice entrance way so you knew that you had to expect something exciting!

Field Trip: Kitazawa Book Store

And the door to the bookstore was beautiful. A nice, rich red. It had such an inviting look.  Also the bookstore door was glass, which was different. You were able to clearly see inside as to what to expect.

Field Trip: Kitazawa Book Store

Walking in you saw so many books! Unlike Pickwick, which was chaos but in a wonderful way, this bookstore was incredibly neat, down to the smallest thing.

Field Trip: Kitazawa Book Store

Field Trip: Kitazawa Book Store

You can clearly see how neatly it was all set up. Instead of having the discount books in piles, they were on rolling carts and even those that were on the floor were clearly stacked and in specific sections. It wasn’t messy at all.

Field Trip: Kitazawa Book Store

Even their desk for checking out was covered in books all over the place! There was a slight disorganization because of just how many books that there were, and how many books that were waiting to be put out. But it was calming and you were easily able to browse around.

Field Trip: Kitazawa Book Store

There was also a side of the room that had old bookshelves and really old books that were not for sale. They were just part of the ambiance of the shop.

The store was not busy at all. While I was there, there was only one other person in the store, and maybe one was coming in on the way out. So I’m honestly not sure how they survive as a bookstore. Of course some of their books were incredibly expensive.

Field Trip: Kitazawa Book Store

An example was this book. You can just see how bit it was. It was massive! And this book would be an incredible table piece of something to show off in your home. But it was over $200 and there were many others similar, or old, that were of a comparable price. So I’m guessing when they sell a few of those, and since it’s a small bookstore, they do well.

Overall, this bookstore was amazing. I am so glad that I found time to go and visit the bookstore while I was in Tokyo. Who knows when i will be back next and I had to visit somewhere that BookRiot had said was good!

Have you visited here?

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Catching Up On Summer

Summer is rapidly hurtling to a finish which makes me draw breathe as I haven’t knocked too many things off my summer bucket list, except for a few books. How about you? Did you have plans to read the next great work of fiction, or even write one?

While you were relaxing and enjoying summer lots has been going on in the literary world. Just in case you missed some things here is a little collection of some highlights,

Do you remember being read to as a child? Or even better, sharing a read aloud with a little one? There is really nothing better. Well, how about making adult story time a thing? And yes you can,.

Why the world needs librarians.

Catching Up On Summer

 

How literary are you? Do you think you know your books? Well, 92% people can’t identify a book by the first sentence. How do you compare?

In a recent post the name Shirley Jackson came up. She is having a moment apparently. The Economist (that is – heavy, serious fact based reading) has a great article encouraging you to try her short story. If The Economist says to read it, you had better believe there is some truth. Go check her out. And in case you need encouraging the article says….. it was shocking!!

Looking to update your fantasy reading. With strong female characters? Book Riot has some good suggestions. Perfect for the beach reading bag.

And in a HUGE omission we forgot to mark National Book Lovers Day. August 9th! Did you know that? No matter it is a day late, honor the day and spend some time with a book.

So what are you reading?

Catching Up On Summer

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When The Cat’s Away… Mom Takes Over

Hello Book Lovers!

While MLCWO travels the globe this little corner of the reading internet is too quiet and so much is going on in the world of print and books. As promised by my lovely book loving daughter I will keep you up to date on bookish things until she returns. Even though it is summer there is plenty to be on top of as the book world never really sleeps.

Before I start just a bit about me so you’ll know what to expect.

I raised one seriously devoted reader and that is something I am fiercely proud of.. Bringing up a child that shares your love for books is a delight especially as  I  myself am a reader and passionate book lover. However, my choice in books is quite different from my daughter’s. My passion is literary fiction, classics really, a dabble of memoirs, travel writing especially historical travel and children’s picture books –  all with a side of non-fiction. We don’t really read the same thing. I also love altered books, typewriters, classical music, cooking and cats. So, you might not find what you normally would here, but it is only for a few weeks so hopefully you can bear with me. Long time readers might have seen some posts I wrote years and years ago while this was a very young blog. Posts on how to raise a reader, word of the week, banned book week and poems were often me. Nice to be back talking books!

Now onto book things. It is summer and beach reads are the thing, but it is also the time for hammocks and shade and indulging in things you might not usually choose.  But what do you do if you don’t know what to read next?

Penguin UK is a great website with lots to read and discover. They have a very useful area “Find Your Next Read” which has lists, suggestions, podcasts and so much more.  One of my favorite sections is “Where to Start” where they give nice lists of 5 books for particular authors. Why not check out “Where to start with Sherlock Holmes” because it’s Sherlock! Or the enticing  “Where to start with Shirley jackson” because if you haven’t read The Haunting Of Hill House you should. I know, I know….older writers, archaic, etc. etc. But these are classics and this is summer. Why not try something completely different?

Summer means road trips for many and what is better than hitting the open road and seeing new places?  If you are traveling around the US why not dip into some books that are relevant to the states you are visiting? Here is a great list of books from each state, with several to choose from, and once reading you can add your photos to an Instagram page. Only trouble is not all 50 states are there so maybe there are some titles readers can suggest.

And as a final note not long before MLCWO took off to distant shores there was a visit to a brick and mortar Amazon store. You can read the post here. Book Riot has a very interesting article about why you should be really angry about the success of Amazon’s real world store. It is well written and makes some interesting points. Take a read, give it some thought and consider both sides. This is important to book lovers. Monopolies aren’t always a good thing and for you the reader where you shop might be important to you. But of course there is always the library!

Thanks for reading along! M.O.M.

 

When The Cat's Away... Mom Takes Over

 

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Book Review: No Safety In Numbers by Dayna Lorentz

Book Review: No Safety In Numbers by Dayna LorentzRating: 4/5 teacups

Summary

“A biological bomb has just been discovered in the air ducts of a busy suburban mall. At first nobody knows if it’s even life threatening, but then the entire complex is quarantined, people start getting sick, supplies start running low, and there’s no way out. Among the hundreds of trapped shoppers are four teens.

These four different narrators, each with their own stories, must cope in unique, surprising manners, changing in ways they wouldn’t have predicted, trying to find solace, safety, and escape at a time when the adults are behaving badly. This is a gripping look at people and how they can—and must—change under the most dire of circumstances.

And not always for the better.”

-From Amazon.com

Review

I had come across this book in my library and it caught my eye because it was BRIGHT yellow and also had a bio warning symbol on the front. Naturally I went, ‘oh, what is this’ and just had to check it out. I only grabbed it because of that and also because it looked to be a quick read.

An exciting thrill ride from beginning to end.
It was definitely an exciting read and you never really knew what was going to happen next. You sometimes thought you knew what was going to happen and then something else would occur.

Pretty realistic with all of the bureaucratic bull…I mean,uh, drama.
There was lots of mess with the whole political scene. People didn’t like the politician who was making the choices. The main character was the daughter of said politician and seemed to hate her mother and blamed her for everything. So it was pretty close to how it would happen in real life. Information wasn’t being allowed out to the media as they didn’t want public panic and all of that good stuff. So it was realistically written.

There are 3 books and the book doesn’t conclude the situation.
It’s one of those series…yeah. Book one is not a stand alone. You have to read the entire series, all 3 books, to find out what happens. I really hate when they do that because I don’t have all the time in the world to read and entire series (even though I read the entire book in an afternoon outside in the nice weather). Will I read the rest of the series? Probably not in all honesty. I don’t have that much time currently to do so, so I’ll never know what happens. But I’m sure most of them will get out but people will die and all of that stuff. It had a predictable overall story feel, just not the small situations within the book.

It dragged…a lot.
I mean come on! This one book was only happening over a few days. And there are 3 more books! Like what else could possibly happen in the next?! I am slightly curious as to what will happen but I’m not sure if I’m curious enough to read the entire series currently.

Strong female lead.
You know me, I’m a sucker for a strong female lead! And this one was one. She was pretty smart and quick on her feet which I really did like. So that boosted the book up in my opinion.

Overall it was a good book and if you have time to commit to the small series I would recommend it. It was exciting, kept the pages turning and kept you questioning as to what was going to happen next. For that I do give it 4/5 teacups!

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Happy Reading!

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Book Review: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

Book Review: The Bone Witch by Rin ChupecoRating: 3/5 teacups

Summary

Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there’s anything I’ve learned from him in the years since, it’s that the dead hide truths as well as the living.

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha―one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.

Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Name of the Wind in this brilliant new fantasy series by Rin Chupeco!”

-From Amazon.com

Review

So this is actually a book in my DNF list. I am about to go away (actually I’m away now) and I just didn’t have time to finish it unfortunately. I really did want to and I sat down a few days before I was going to leave to try and grind through the rest of it but I just couldn’t.

First impressions were good.
My first impressions of the book was that it was going to be good. I was seeing it all over the place and people seemed to love it and as I was getting into it, I was seeing that it was good and I was curious about what was going to happen. But as the book went on I started to lose interest in the book. I’m not sure what it was but I just wasn’t feeling the book though the story was intriguing and I was certainly curious as to what was going to occur within the book. However, I just didn’t finish it.

The cover caught my attention.
The first thing that  I loved about the book was the cover. It was a deep and rich purple which isn’t a common book cover color. Also it had the accents of shiny gold on the front and then this little skull protruding out of the darkness. So it really caught my eye and I thought it was going to be a great read.

Tea seems a little bit obnoxious.
In my opinion, Tea seemed a little obnoxious. I’m not sure what it was about her, but there was this slight obnoxious attitude about her. I really can’t place my finger on it but I just felt that she got on my nerves.

The dead weren’t…well..dead.
Fox was supposedly dead as that’s what the entire story was about. But I never got this feeling that he was truly dead or that there was something wrong enough with him. You were supposed to have this creeped out vibe coming from him and people were supposed to be afraid, or confused, by him and I didn’t get that feeling most of the time.

Bone Witches are bad! And good?
I was confused through the reading because in the beginning it was saying that Bone Witches are bad and everyone hates them and fears them. But then they were loved by certain people. I was just a little unclear as to if they were truly bad or if they were good and I was just missing something.

Honestly, I may not have been in the mind frame to read this book as I’ve been running around and preparing to travel. I had heard good things about it, or so I remember, and so I had high hopes for the book. These expectations were not met at all unfortunately.

I would recommend checking it out if you have some time and can find it in your local library. It was a good read, for the beginning. As the book went on, I went off of it. But I’m pretty sure it’s all just my opinion considering the average rating for the book is 4 stars.

However, I personally give this book only 3/5 teacups.

rating three tea cups mlcwo

Happy Reading!