I wasn’t planning to buy books but then we were hashtag blessed with enough luggage allowance and since we didn’t really pack that much.. I just let loose. OH NO I SLIPPED AND SUDDENLY ALL THESE BOOKS ARE MINE??
I spent the better part of this summer in the UK getting to spend time with my sister and hanging out with dear friends that I miss so much when I’m back home in the sweaty +65. I even got to see some friends who live elsewhere in Europe!!!
Anyway I know if you’re one of maybe 5 people who read these posts you only care about one thing: Books. Which is fair. So here are some of the places where I committed my literary sins this summer…
The Forbidden Planet
Always gotta make a pilgrimage here when I visit. I have so many fond memories from when I studied in London for uni of spending afternoons just walking around touching the spines of books in the dead zone of their book and comic basement on shaftesbury avenue. GOOD TIMES. GOOD TIMES.
Besides spotting familiar faces, I was able to physically catch up on my Hellboy trade collection!!! It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for AGES but they never seemed to stock what I needed here in SG at the stores I checked and I kept putting off ordering them online because I kept hoping they’d just stock them instead.. BUT NOW!!! I AM PHYSICALLY UP TO DATE!!
Next I gotta do a massive re-read and get ‘emotionally’ up to date lol.. I think the last Hellboy comic I read was essentially the first In Hell trade and some BPRD and Abe Sapien issues!?!? But loRD that was so many moons ago…
I wasn’t intending to BUT… I also got this “tour guide” to Vulcan. AKA Spock’s home planet. It was like £4. And I had heard of this book before, there’s one for Qo’noS AKA the Klingon home planet too!! So I’m not calling it an impulse buy. Stop rolling your eyes!!!!!!!!!! It’s worth it if just for this page alone:
I did get 3 other comics that aren’t Mignola related!!!
- the third volume of The Umbrella Academy
- a HEAVILY discounted copy of Incognegro by Mat Johnson and Warren Pleece – which is GREAT because it’s something I’ve wanted to read for ages and I was gonna sit down and read it in the Barbican Library (which I used to visit a lot during uni because it’s such a beautiful place and they have a pretty damn good collection of graphic novels) BUT I didn’t have enough time that one time I went… ☹
- and the Frankenstein adaption by Junji Ito!! I saw a copy of this ages ago from a friend on instagram and instantly went EYES EMOJI 👀 because I am so very weak for Frankenstein in all forms.
This is an omen for a post I wanna do.. shHh.
The other I have not read yet… BUT I WILL!!!!!!! It’s a short story anthology of re-imagined myths called The Mythic Dream, edited by Dominik Parisen and Navah Wolfe.
Housmans Radical Bookshop
Housmans is an AMAZING bookstore that you really should check out if you’re ever in London. They’ve been in Kings Cross since they opened in 1959 and have an amazing array of political and radical literature of all sorts AND!! LOADS OF ZINES!!! The day I went they had a very cool storefront display to promote Arabelle Sicardi’s new book, an illustrated and inclusive guide to Queer Heroes through history.
Although I was so very tempted to get that book on publishing, I resisted and instead got this interesting book on activism through craft.
I’ve always wanted to engage in protests and the like, but while I was in the UK for uni I was a) afraid in general of the loud noises and big horses but also b) scared of losing my visa. But now that I’m back in Singapore, I’m still scared, yet I still want to do something… WELP. I guess we see how as we say here in SG. Maybe I’ll get a little bit of inspiration from this book for my cross stitch/embroidery hobby and fart out some strongly worded pieces after reading… 👀🧵
Find my nonsense HERE.
My mum was SUPER pumped that we were able to see the William Blake exhibit while in town as she is a huge fan, and I was That-Many days old when I learned the Tyger Tyger poem was NOT by TS Eliot but by William Blake instead. OOPS.
The exhibit is def worth going to see if you’re remotely interested in publishing or books as a whole as you get to see some of illuminated books and engravings he made. So many intense and impressive images. Anyway. The reason why I mention it at ALL is because of the selection of related books in the exhibition shop. Which, I FELT, was very On Point and On Brand for Blake. I do love checking out what big name galleries and museums feature in their exhibit shop for their temporary exhibits.
- Books by Alan Moore – From Hell (an illustrated tale on the story leading up to and the cover up of Jack the Ripper), Jerusalem(this is 1K+ pages long WHY), Watchmen and V for Vendetta
- Monsters: A Bestiary of the Bizarre
- Savage Messiah – an exhaustive collection of zines by Laura Oldfield Ford which is “both an angry polemic against the marginalization of the city’s working class and an exploration of the cracks that open up in urban space“.
- Valis and A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick
- The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
- The Left Hand of Darkness, Always Coming Home and The Earthsea Quartet by Ursula K. Le Guin
- The first trade volume of The Sandman comics as well as the relatively recent Overture AND the oneshot Death volume
- As well as an illustrated edition of Neverwhere by ol’ Neilman
- this book:
Occult London by Merlin Coverley. Which I bought. Because I thought, why not. It’s short enough and it IS the month of Spookt🎃ber.
So I learned you can order a book (if it’s in stock) on the Waterstones website in London and they deliver it WITHIN 2 HOURS to one of their stores of your choice for you to pick up!!!!!!! So I took advantage of this at the big and pretty Waterstones and got a couple of photo books.
The first one is from one of my favourite photographers of ALL TIME called André Kertész, and it’s a collection called On Reading. I first encountered these photos when I was in my undergrad library (the LCC library is one of the best things in the world and if I still lived in London I would get an alumni card so I could still use it…) and it was such a charming old edition that I had def contemplated stealing it more than a few times… Don’t tell me you’ve never had thoughts like that either……………..
The second is a brand spanking new tome by photographer Peter Beste, on the documentation of the sacred and essential heavy metal gear – the battle vest. I love music photography and my training is more on the documentary and journalism side, so I really REALLY love finding photo stories, long form or otherwise, that tell human stories that exist in music ‘fandom’ circles. ANYWAY. It’s a big thick girl of a book. So glad I got it. Oh and it’s called Defenders of the Faith which I LOVE because first, it speaks to the intensity of heavy metal fans, and secondly, it’s a Judas Priest album ehehe.
Lovingly Yoinked from my Sister + Not Books
This is my sister.
She lives in London. She is very cool and very nice and she gave me some of her books to read because I asked. Well. I only really wanted Children of Blood and Bone from her, but then she ALSO gave me:
A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin, that she LOVED and read on the recommendation from a good friend.
And Mariana by Monica Dickens. Yes THAT Dickens. Monica was his great-granddaughter. It’s a chunky book with smallish print which is very intimidating for me, but my sister said that it was so easy to read and that I would love it. I trust my sister on media recommendations, she’s led me onto many a great thing.
Which is good BECAUSE I also got myself a tote bag (cue my 3M sticky hooks creaking in agony as yet another book/publishing tote bag gets added to the wall) from Persephone books! Here it is side by side with the Sappho one I got from a lovely bookstore+café in Sydney:
Also everyone be quiet… I got a book from Amazon. YES BOOOOO HISS I KNOW. But I looked ALL OVER for it and I was getting some other things from them so I thought I’d just do it. It’s The Story of X by Sarah Rose Etter and it has a lovely cover and the plot struck a chord with me for Reasons™ that I just had to get it.