Bookish adventures in LA

I had a long list of bookish places I wanted to visit while I was in LA but unfortunately and unsurprisingly! I ran out of time. I’m travelling with a large group of people who, to their great discredit, are not particularly interested in books. In the spirit of compromise, I focused on those places that were on top of my list. They were incredible and definitely should be on your list to visit in LA.

The Last Bookstore
453 S Spring St
Ground Floor Los Angeles 
CA 90013

This bookstore was #1 on my list and well worth the visit. I was so excited when I saw the sign and held my breath as I walked through the doors. Oh my God, it’s huge! So. Many. Books! Both new and second-hand.

The store is two levels: downstairs is general fiction, comics, art and records, while upstairs contains thrillers, mystery, fantasy etc. as well as artist spaces and the amazing book tunnel. Upstairs screams instagramable! I had so much fun wandering the aisles, taking photos and resisting the urge to buy everything in the store.
This has been my favourite place on this trip so far! Put it at the top of your bookish bucket list!

I picked up a copy of We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and a bookish pin to add to my collection (the available space in my suitcase means big books are out of the question).

BookMonster
212 Santa Monica Blvd
Santa Monica
CA 90401

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A must visit! It’s an independent bookstore selling new and second-hand books as well as CDs and
DVDs. You can’t miss the bright yellow signs out front! They have a cute range of gifts too, including fun socks and stationery. My favourite thing was the bookends! They say ‘Books I’m reading’ and ‘Books I have read’.

I resisted buying anything here, but a friend picked up some second-hand books on psychology that she’s very pleased with!

 

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Universal Studios Hollywood
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City
CA 91608

Although books are not its main focus, Universal Studios is a must visit for the Harry Potter fan – and after all, who isn’t? It’s also a great place to visit if you love theme parks in general! This is my second visit to Universal Studios Hollywood. I’ve also been to Universal in Florida a few times and I love going back!

The atmosphere of Harry Potter world is incredible. Music is constantly playing, and the details are impeccable. There’s so many stores to visit like Ollivanders, Honeydukes, Owl Post and so much more!

The rides were so much fun. I went on The Forbidden Journey which was great and pretty mild (I’m not a huge fan of rides! Pathetic, I know). I skipped The Flight of the Hippogriff (thrilling rollercoaster? No thanks!)

I bought the cutest Christmas decoration – Ron’s robes for the Yule Ball and a Despicable Me pin.

Library Alehouse
2911 Main St
Santa Monica
CA, 90405

This casual restaurant is library-themed! I got way too excited looking at the menu! The menu categories are: Short Stories (entrees), Poetry (salads),Novel (sandwiches), Collected Works (Mexican), Reserve Reading and the Stacks (burgers)

They have a HUGE selection of beers and the food is sensational! I went with the vegan enchiladas – absolutely delicious and I’m filled with regret that I won’t get to the chance to go back and enjoy them again!

The Library Alehouse is definite a must go! Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos here as it was too dark!

The Broad Museum
221 S. Grand Avenue
Los Angeles
CA 90012

Not bookish related, but this gallery is a must see. There’s a free exhibition as well as a paid exhibition which is frequently updated. With only an hour up my sleeve, I just went to the free exhibition. It was so worth it though as the art is incredible.

The souvenir shop is where you’ll satisfy your bookish needs. I was extremely tempted by the hardcover copy of Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race but 1. Too heavy for my suitcase! 2. I already have a signed paperback at home! You know, I’m pretty impressed by my self-control!!


Places on my list that I didn’t get to visit:

Small World Books
1407 Ocean Front Walk
Venice, CA 90291

Angel City Bookstore
218 Pier Ave
Santa MonicaCA 90405

Los Angeles Central Library
630 W. 5th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071

I have one more day in LA at the end of the trip so hopefully I can make it to at least one more place!

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My Feb TBR pile

It’s February and I’m so excited to spend another month reading! These are the eight books on my TBR pile for February:

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Sunflowers in February – Phyllida Shrimpton

The title demands that it be read this month! It’s been on my shelf for five months, waiting for February to come around. The bright cover and the fact that sunflowers are my favourite flower, are the first reasons I pulled this off the Dymocks shelf. After reading the blurb, I was sold.

 

 

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A room of one’s own – Virginia Woolf

This title has also been sitting on my bookshelf for quite some time. I often pick it up before putting it back down in pursuit of a fun YA read. So, this month, I am determined to pick it up and not put it back down till I’ve read it!

 

 

 

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The sun is also a star – Nicola Yoon

After reading Everything, everything by Yoon, I was in love. Yoon’s writing is captivating and beautiful. I’ve heard such good things about TSIAAS and can’t wait to read it.

 

 

 

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Emergency contact – Mary H.K. Choi

‘When Sam and Penny cross paths, it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness.’ The blurb made me incredibly excited to crack this one open! But what captured me most is the cover – the black silhouettes against the pale pink and the gold-foiled title. Plus, it was on sale at Dymocks – how could I say no?

 

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Girl defective – Simmone Howell

I have to include at least one Aussie YA author this month. I’ve only read Take three girlswhich is a collaboration between Simmone Howell, Cath Crowley and Fiona Wood. I’m excited to finally read something that is just hers! And the blurb is incredible! ‘This is the story of a wild girl and a ghost girl; a boy who knew nothing and a boy who thought he knew everything. And it’s about life and death and grief and romance. All the good stuff.’

 

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Trickster’s queen – Tamora Pierce

Tamora Pierce is one of my favourite authors from my teenage years. Her work is feminist and exciting, full of magic and badass females. This is the sequel to Trickster’s choice and I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

 

 

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Fire with fire – Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivien

The sequel to Burn for Burn. I just received this in the mail yesterday and I’m itching to know what happens as Burn for Burn ended on such a cliff-hanger! I’ve been stalking my mailbox for my package for weeks!

 

 

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Begin, End, Begin  – Multiple authors

This has been on my TBR list for quite some time, but it only just arrived in the mail yesterday (I ordered it before Christmas). The contributing authors to this anthology is the obvious reason I can’t wait to read it!

 

 

What’s on your TBR pile for this month? Have you read any of these titles? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.

 

Burn for Burn

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“Bad things can happen, even to good girls, and sometimes the only way to make things
right, is to do something wrong…”

Genre: Contemporary young adult with a hint of supernatural

Rating: 3.5 stars

I have been on a Jenny Han binge for the last few months – finishing both The Summer I turned pretty and To all the boys I’ve loved before trilogies in a matter of weeks. So naturally Burn for Burn was on the top of my TBR pile. I haven’t read anything by Siobhan Vivian before, but she’s definitely on my radar now.

Burn for burn is all about revenge. Set in your classic (stereotypical) American high school, three female protagonists, Lillia, Kat and Mary have all been wronged. They band together to seek revenge on the people who have hurt them.

The book moves between the three girls POVs, which I love. It gives a story so much more depth and allows the reader to see through an unreliable narrator. In Burn for Burn, the three voices are strong and distinct. There’s nothing worse than reading a book where all the characters merge into one! I found all three girls likeable and wanted them to get their revenge on those who hurt them.

Burn for burn ends on a cliff-hanger, setting up for the next book in the series. I wasn’t expecting so much information to be held back and was immediately scouring my favourite bookstores for Fire with fire, the next book in the trilogy. I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

I would recommend this book as an easy and fun summer read 🙂

*This book contains triggers – sexual assault, fat shaming, eating disorders.*