I moved from the UK to Los Angeles a couple of years ago, and the one thing that broke my heart was leaving most of my books behind! I allowed myself a single box of my most-beloved reads, and left the rest in storage in my mum’s attic. Oh, for my Sweet Valley Highs…
I’m a big fan of books as décor (what else do you need in an apartment?!), so I like to arrange them by color, and display them with my favorite shoes and purses. Books I will reread forever are Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie, and Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos: they’re my go-to feel-good books on a bad day. In the blue stack, you can see my childhood loves A Dream of Sadler’s Wells series (which I bought up on amazon for a twitter bookclub re-read) and The Swish of the Curtain, an amazing book from the 1940s about a teen theatre company which Pamela Brown wrote when she was just 15!
Some more of my YA faves on this level: Shadow and Bone, and the amazing follow-up Siege and Storm, which I borrowed as a galley from the author, my friend Leigh Bardugo, and have yet to return. Whoops! Stephanie Perkins’ swoon-worthy Anna and the French Kiss, and Rachel Shukert’s new debut Starstuck, which is a glitzy, captivating story about three girls trying to make it in 1930s Hollywood.
Here lies the romance! There’s an amazing book-store in downtown LA packed to the rafters with $1 second-hand books. $1! I go crazy there and buy armfuls at a time of my favorite romance authors: Eloisa James, Julia Quinn, and newer fave Sarah MacLean.
This is what I like to call my vanity shelf: foreign editions and copies of my own books. When I’m having a tough writing day, or I feel really uninspired, it helps to look up here and see that I’ve done it before, and I’ll be able to do it again!