When I first started out on this whole blogging adventure, I honestly never thought that I would make actual friends. I don't know what I hoped for but I think best case scenario in my mind was that people would occasionally read the words I laboured over and that I would get to "talk" to other people that were as in love with all things page-based as I was. Going beyond that to meeting people in real life never, ever entered my head. Because I was a fool. It turns out that after spending years of rambling at each other on blogs that meeting up in real life is super easy and when Laura and Bex made the epic journey up to Leeds on Tuesday to meet Ellie, Hanna and me, it was easy peasy to settle down to the highly important business of buying some (64...) books as though we'd been hanging out as a "fivesome" for years.
As Bex pointed out, there are distinct advantages to being later in the line of people posting about the same event. If you want the super detailed, very organised version, check out Ellie's post. And if you want the perspective of a Southerner on proceedings, go for Laura's post. I would obviously have told the long version of the story but if you happen to follow Ellie, Laura, Bex AND me, you probably don't need to read four different accounts of how we ate at the fabulous Trinity Kitchen (my burrito was delicious...) or how Hanna and me WIN at plotting book shopping routes that minimise traipsing for all involved. I will, however, take a moment to post one of the less flattering of my attempts at capturing us all. I am eternally grateful to the other ladies for not posting this because I look like a complete banana in the bottom left corner BUT Hanna's look of disdain is too perfect not to put out into the world and at least because this is my blog I tell you not to worry and that I do not look like such a plonker. Also, I can 100% confirm that I have a face. Everybody was very relieved about that.
L-R: Me, Disdainful Hanna, Laura, Ellie and Bex :)
I intended to have a bit of a blow out because my book buying has been sorely lacking recently because of the moving and the not having of the internet. I didn't perhaps intend to buy *quite* as many as I eventually did but...well, shopping with other people who have SO MANY recommendations is a high risk strategy.
Here's the pile...
Let's browse through it from top to bottom (with links to the books on Goodreads, a promise which I will probably come to regret but will plough on with regardless). Agatha Raisin and the Busy Bodyand Agatha Raisin Hiss and Hersby M.C.Beaton were spots by Hanna in The Works, accompanied by a taunt about my love of books that are also read by grandmothers the world over. Cosy mysteries are a weakness of mine :| There was a scary moment where it looked like where books had been replaced by Christmas shizzle but fret not, they were just tucked away at the back. I managed to collect two sets of 3 for £5 in about 10 minutes, which is very silly behaviour. ANYway, on with the pile. Next up is The Demon Kingby Cinda Williams Chima because I seem to have a vague feeling that it has been recommended to me but can't remember by who or when...The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh just sounds good and *may* have also been generally positively discussed somewhere on the internet. Something Rottenby Jasper Fforde is the fourth Thursday Next and I've read (and obviously loved) the first and second and got the third from Hanna for my birthday this year so hurrah for the next one. I would also have got the fifth but stupid The Works had a different edition to the rest of the series that I have so no, thank you. Last up from The Works was Heart-Shaped Bruiseby Tanya Byrne that Blonde Ellie (formerly Ellie Bookshop) was ambivalent about but I remember Ellie Bookworm liking about (I think?) and that's enough for me.
WHEW! Next up was a random charity shop purchase, Christmas at the Cupcake Cafeby Jenny Colgan. I haven't read Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe but I assume that at some point over the next month or so I will crave something festive and this will fit the bill.
I flipping love Waterstones in Leeds. It's beautiful and has three floors of glorious books, including an astounding fantasy section. I seem to have hit up the YA fantasy more than anything else but there were also plenty of Penguin English Library editions to feed my new PEL edition addiction. Crown of Midnightby Sarah J. Maas because I can only ignore rave reviews for so long and Hanna convinced me that I needed it. The first in the series managed to lose itself lower down the pile but it's there. The Ghost Huntersby Neil Spring was completely random. It has a cool cover and was on a Buy One Get One Half Price table at just the right time. I've never heard of it but it looks awesome and creepy so...*shrugs*
Northanger Abbeyby Jane Austen was the first of my PEL indulgences that you can barely see because it's kind of blending into Eleanor and Parkby Rainbow Rowell. This was the only book that I actually knew that I wanted when I set out on Tuesday morning and the one that I nearly missed...thank goodness Bex found it, mis-filed though it was. Then we have Throne of Glassby Sarah J. Maas hiding Tess of the D'Urbervillesby Thomas Hardy. Last up (PHEWF!) are Red Gloveand Black Heartby Holly Black which match the edition of White Cat that I have. The new covers are gross so I've been looking for these lovely ones for a while.