Oh hello there! Catch-up incl. Taylor Swift & #IBW2015!

It has been a while. Guess what I’ve been doing? Working, mostly. Other interesting things too, but working is most important! Last Friday I finished off three months at Penguin Random House, after two weeks of work experience at Transworld I was asked to stay on as a temp for another five weeks. Then I popped over to Cornerstone for another five weeks as they were a bit busy (understatement) and had some holidays coming up they needed cover for. Not going to lie… probably the best three months of my life. Also some of the busiest. Since then I’ve been looking after my niece, and have now just moved back to my mum’s in Liverpool – until I get a job!

So yes, I haven’t managed to post on this blog, but I was doing the whole 9-5 thing (okay, longer than that, but in the most optional way!), and then coming home and helping out with my niece, not to mention all of the reading I’ve been doing. So I haven’t really reviewed anything in almost six weeks, but sometimes you’ve just got to let life happen, or make life happen, and forget that you have a blog for a while. Blogging as a hobby is supposed to be fun, and if I’d been worrying about keeping to another schedule I’d have probably gone a little insane. Now that my time has freed up, however, I’ll be reading and reviewing as much as I can.

Other than working, and being the best auntie in the world, I’ve still managed to get up to a few things – some down to the dream job, and some while being an excellent aunt. For an unknown reason (laziness), none of these things include updating the blog. Sue me.

Where in the world have I been, you ask?! London. Yeah, still London. With a bit of Liverpool. But it turns out there’s a hell of a lot to do there and I’ve taken advantage of that a little bit more than I usually do. Warning: picture heavy post about to commence!

While at Transworld I got to take part in the Penguin Random House & DK charity Walk For Mind, around Literary London!


I popped to a couple of talks at Greenwich Book Fair, walking there and back (about an hour each way) while listening to Yes Please! by Amy Poehler. A great book to listen to, I’m glad I chose to use an Audible credit on it. I went to the panel on emotions in fiction, chaired by Cathy Rentzenbrink (Bookseller Books Editor, write of The Last Act of Love), with panelists James Hannah (The A to Z of You and Me), Lucy Foley (The Book of Lost and Found), and Lindsay Hawdon (Jakob’s Colours). I also attended the panel about Booktube, with Sanne Vliegenthart (booksandquills), Leena Norms (justkissmyfrog), and Jen Campbell (writer, and booktuber).

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I read The Paying Guests, which won The Independent Bookshop Week Award.


And then of course, I got involved with IBW in the best way possible – by visiting Indie Bookshops and buying as many books as I could afford!

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I popped to my local indie back home, Pritchards, to pre-order Go Set a Watchman on the 20th of June. Then Broadhursts in Southport, to pick up a book for me and a birthday present for my sister. Then News from Nowhere in Liverpool on the Sunday, to buy a vegan cookbook for my sister. I met my lovely friend Vic at Daunt Books on the Monday and splashed out on some things for me – Nell Zink’s Misland and The Wallcreeper, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Ted Talk ‘We Should All Be Feminists’, in print. And of course a Daunt bag, which I haven’t stopped using since.

Then the lovely Books Are My Bag team sent me a book bundle for getting involved on Twitter!


I also ate some scrumptious food:


Vegan roast at The Egg, Liverpool


Vegan red velvet cake, Ruby’s of London (Greenwich market)

While everyone else was enjoying the actual IBW book crawl on Saturday 27th, I was celebrating my sister’s birthday in the best possible way. At a Taylor Swift show. Specifically, British Summer Time in Hyde Park. It was one of the best nights of my life. She’s an angel.

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It was quite hard to find any food (why would they need three popcorn stands, but nowhere for veggies? Really?) but eventually we found this lovely paella stand who had a categorically vegan option. It was delicious as well as filling. Win win.

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Then there was this stupidly misogynistic ostrich pun at an ostrich burger stall, which made me get all militant on Twitter, shouting at Barclaycard, BST, and tagging Taylor in case she was interested (she wasn’t).


After that, I had my final week at Cornerstone. Needless to say, it was fantastic, I got to do some really great work, and I was rather sad to leave. The publicity team there are amazing, simply put. They embraced me as one of their own while I was there, and seemed just as upset to lose me as I was to lose them – they got me some lovely cards, a vegan cupcake from Lola’s, and then sent on a Waterstones giftcard because apparently it is obvious how much I love to read. Amazing people. It has been a week and I’m still missing them!

After spending last Friday evening being incredibly social and setting up my sister’s Goodreads account, I thought I’d better do something a bit more outside-the-flat on Saturday. I popped into the city to meet up with the bestie for a little bit. We wandered around (Waterstones, Trafalgar Square, and Foyles, Charing Cross Road, because to me, wandering = bookshops), ate Chipotle (still not as good as Barburrito, but better than Tortilla, Benito’s Hat, and Mi Casa, in case you were wondering), and ended up spontaneously going to Top Secret Comedy Club then dancing the night away in Camden Barfly. Excellent!

Last Sunday was a day of looking after my niece, so we watched Charlotte’s Web (one of us cried, not saying who), waited in all day for a package for my sister, and then went to the park! I don’t have any photos because it’s difficult to play football, chase after an escaping 20-month-old, keep an eye on a pram that you’ve just had to run really far away from, and whip your camera out all at the same time. Trust me when I say we looked adorable though, and everyone else was jealous of all of the fun we were having. And all of the steps my Fitbit was counting. (Yes I won the weekend warrior challenge, thanks for asking).

On Tuesday I popped back into the city to go for Thai food with friends (it’s hard being vegan and going out for Thai food, but not impossible). On Thursday I got to see Bridget Christie and Rhys James at the Laugh Out London festival in Islington, both doing their Edinburgh Fringe previews. I had just finished A Book For Her by Bridget Christie, which I would more than recommend – it is fantastic, she totally gets feminism and its intersections, without alienating her audience. She makes feminism funny, by laughing at the oppressions women face without laughing at the victims of them. It is brilliant. Her show was similarly so, if a little rough around the edges – but that’s exactly what you expect from a preview – it was actually quite endearing to see the process of putting together a stand-up show, especially after reading about her journey to becoming the ‘feminist comedian’ in her book. Rhys James was also really funny! He’s that guy on Twitter that I followed for ages because he said quite hilarious things – turns out he’s loads good in real life too. There were a couple of jokes I was crying at straight away that took the rest of the audience a little while to catch up to. Excellent stuff. If you’re in Edinburgh for Fringe, do go and see both of them.

I moved back home yesterday, Saturday 11th, and basically went straight to sleep, before waking up and finishing Ready Player One, a book I bought my sister’s boyfriend for Christmas – but he hasn’t yet read it, and probably never will, so I finally picked it up and read it. Ernie Cline’s Armada is due out next week, so that’s something to look forward to!

I spent a good few hours of today with my nan, and I’ll be seeing her again tomorrow morning as it’s her 81st birthday! Then off to town to spend my Waterstones gift card (haul post incoming!). Tuesday is Go Set a Watchman day! Then who knows? Jobhunting. Probably jobhunting.

Well done to anyone who got this far!

What have I been missing in the book blogging world? Please link me to any interesting posts or reviews on your blog so I can catch up!

xx Amy


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