Howdie doo, bloggerinos! It's Sunday and I have barely used a real word yet, so this is a promising start to proceedings...
Anyway. This week's Sunday Sundries is essentially brought to you by Bex, because pretty much all the things I'm going to talk about have to do with her. All this on top of the fact that I didn't even write a Sunday post last week BECAUSE she trapped me and made me go book shopping with her all day Saturday and it was AWFUL (read: the best). You just can't trust people you meet on the internet, let me tell you.
Bex (obviously) is hosting a Middlemarch readalong starting this week and running alllll the way into August. My recent readalong form is not great (I totally bailed on The Monk, for various reasons including how terrible it was) but I have been trying to read Middlemarch for quite a long time now, without much success, and dammit I want to read it! Basically what I'm trying to say is, you should join us because reading together is fun and also George Eliot is great, so I have high hopes for this! Also I am mainly writing this here because I keep forgetting it is a thing I have said I will do, so yeah.
THING THE SECOND:
I finally took part in the Ninja Book Swap again (which is run by, y'know, Bex) and this time round it was a Persephone Swap and daaaaamn their books are nice. I can never quite tell if I do or don't like the minimalist feel of their grey covers- I think aesthetically I do but it also makes me believe the stories inside are going to be boring, which is not at all the case- but daaaamn their books are nice. Also nice was the beautiful wrapping as my swappee ordered mine directly from the shop, and I am annoyed I didn't take a photo of it but I was leaving the house and was too excited not to open it straight away, so shoot me. Anyway! If you take a look at my sidebar, you'll see I'm already reading the book I received (Still Missing by Beth Gutcheon) and it is already excellent. Again what I'm trying to say is, you should totally do the Ninja Book Swap, it is awesome!
THING THE THIRD:
This week has been Independent Bookshop Week, something that Bex and I unintentionally/intentionally celebrated last week by going to ALL THE BOOKSHOPS (or, ok, like 4 or 5?), most of which are indies. I can't say that I pay all that much attention to whether a bookshop is part of a corporation or just its own thing, because my brain short circuits and just goes BOOOOOOOOOOOOOKS whenever I see one, but obviously indie shops in a general sense are great and also I should definitely not buy books from amazon (and really, I hardly ever do).
As part of IBW, Bex tagged me and others in a thing, and since it's basically a book questionnaire and we all know I LOVE those, Imma do the thing.
Here is the thing:
What book(s) are currently in your bag?
My sidebar pretty much tells you all the books I'm currently reading, and of those Letters to my Fanny is the one that actually goes in my bag because it's only little. Unfortunately, it's also my least favourite of the books I'm reading at the moment and I'm pretty much at the hate reading stage at the moment. Poooop. All the others are GREAT though, so there's that.
What's the last great book you read?
I am having a bumper reading period at the moment, and I literally feel like everything I'm reading at the moment is the best thing ever. I LOVE feeling like this and it makes me feel so excited about reading all the things. Rather than 'all the books', though, I think I'm going to say A Game of Thrones is the last great book I read, purely for the fact that I couldn't stop reading it even when I really needed to, like to go to work and stuff. It's pretty good stuff.
What book have you gifted the most?
I feel like I don't really give books as presents because I like them, but more because the person wants them because, you know, lack of ego and stuff. However, the book I have made most people read is Ready Player One, and as a result of that, my copy is basically never in my house (it's currently with my work friend, I'm sure she is taking good care of it).
What's your favourite independent bookshop?
Oooooh. Ooh. I want to say Forbidden Planet even though Bex won't let me because they have, like, 5 shops or something (not exactly Waterstones, is it?!) and it's not necessarily true. I also do love Persephone because it's a teeny and adorable shop and I would work there SO HARD, but it also maybe lacks variety a little bit for it to be my favourite. My current favourites, then, are the London Review Bookshop, which I am a bit in love with because it feels like every book they have is something I want to read, as opposed to having a lot of filler like other bookshops (the unsaid thing- bestsellers. They don't really give a crap about bestsellers). My other favourite is The Open Book in Richmond, firstly because it's near my house so I can go there a lot, and just because... it has a wall of books and it's wonderful and I can hardly cope with it!
Also I forgot Hatchards, although I believe that's owned by Waterstones now so maybe it's better that I did. But it's still awesome.
What has been your favourite book recommended by a bookseller (or a fellow booktuber/book blogger)?
I feel like it's weird that I can't really think of any specific examples of blogger recommended books, but really it's because almost all of the books I've read since starting blogging have been recommended by others. And since obviously all books are my favourites, all other bloggers are also my favourite recommenders. I feel like whoever raved about Ready Player One should probably get a special mention, and since that was basically ALL OF US, nice work everyone (Oh wait, so Ready Player One is the answer, I guess?)
What's your favourite Indie bookshop memory?
I mean, it wasn't really that long ago, but the London Bookshop Crawl is pretty much my favourite indie bookshop memory to date- so many bloggers, so many bookshops I'd never been to before, and just so much joy and books.
What do bookshops mean to you? Why do you love them?
When I was very little, I don't remember really going to bookshops much, just the library. As I got older, I'd go to Waterstones sometimes but would mostly buy my books from charity shops because, dammit, I'm on a budget, and also my college was located in a town with about 7 charity shops and no actual bookshops (although it does now have a charity bookshop!) It's only in recent times I've become a real bookshop fiend, and it's something that's become inextricably linked with meeting friends (from the internet and irl) and having a wonderful time and sharing and recommending the books we love the most. Honestly, I love doing things alone and I love shopping alone, but I'm starting to feel a little bit lost when I bookshop alone because how am I meant to do it without 500 recommendations flying at me at all times? Bookshops are friendship forming, really. And they're great.
What are the books that made you? Which books have most influenced or affected you?
Come on now. Don't be silly. We can't even talk about this because I am basically composite of all the (good) books I've ever read. I do find though, when I go back to them, that so many of my beliefs align with books I read when I was about 16-18 (so, To Kill A Mockingbird and how you should treat people, The Grapes of Wrath and the drawbacks of 'progress', Flowers for Algernon and ethics... etc etc) and I still maintain that Memoirs of a Geisha is the most vivid book I've ever read, to the extent that I half believe I've already been to Japan, to be honest. Is that influential? Maybe not, but it definitely affected me.
But seriously, all the books.
What book is currently at the top of your TBR pile?
Oh! I actually do have a pile, if you'll recall! I guess in a totally technical sense, Middlemarch is the top of the pile cause its the book I'm going to start next, but in I am maybe the most excited about The Diary of a Teenage Girl. But realistically, the book most at the top of my TBR pile is the third Game of Thrones book because can I get enough of them? No I cannot.
Annnnd thank you for that Bex, that took much longer than expected as such things always do, and now I'm tired. I think you've all heard quite enough of me for this week, so go! Enjoy your lives, and I hope summer is proper where you are, and not merely theoretical as it kind of is here, in weather as well as politics.