I've heard many things about Daunt Books and was so looking forward to actually visiting at last. Wow! What an amazing bookshop, it's so gorgeous, an original Edwardian shop with oak galleries and a beautiful glass ceiling. I was in raptures. All the books are arranged by country, it really is a delight and I've promised myself a return trip very soon.
The event soon got underway, with lots of nibbles and wine. It was great to meet up with Sam from Constable & Robinson at long last, and good to have a chat about blogging and publishing. I was able to have a quick chat with Jen Campbell and she was happy to sign my copies of both of her fabulous books.
Jen Campbell grew up in a small village in the north-east of England. After studying English Literature at Edinburgh University, she moved to north London where she now works at an antiquarian bookshop.
Her first book, , was published in 2012 and was a Sunday Times Bestseller. The sequel, More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops, was published April 2013.
Jen is also a published poet and short story writer. Her poetry pamphlet The Hungry Ghost Festival is published by The Rialto..
Both books are laugh-out-loud funny, and also, if I'm honest, a tiny bit frightening. Weird is certainly the right word to describe some of the things that Jen has either overheard, or has actually been said to her. I'd be scared, very scared. I've spent the past few days reading some of these out to my husband, we have squealed with laughter, but we've also cringed in places. Anyone who loves books will have to prepare themselves for some of the just downright unbelievable utterances that are in this book!
A couple of tasters for you:
"Did Charles Dickens ever write anything fun?"
"I'm just going to run to the store to do the weekly food shopping. I'm just going to leave my sons here, is that okay? They're three and five. They're no trouble."
"What books could I buy to make guests look at my bookshelf and think, 'Wow, that guy's intelligent'?"
Customer: "Have you read every single book in here?"
Bookseller: "No, I can't say I have."
Customer: "Well, you're not very good at your job, are you?"
I'd really recommend both of these books - they are wonderful and bound to make anyone smile (or grimace occasionally!).
Find out more about Jen Campbell here, her blog is here. There's also a Facebook page for 'Weird Things' which you can like here