Literary London: A Recommended Reading List

15949538874_c8c8b0e658_o

Anyone dreaming of a trip to London? Traveling there this year? Packing your bags with your feet as you read this?

If so: first, stop multi-tasking. In the words of Ron Swanson, “Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.”

Second, check out my recommended reading list for the extraordinary city of London, published today over at LitroNY. Each of the books I chose offers a totally different perspective on the British capital, highlighting various aspects of a metropolis that has proved itself impossible to summarize. Whether you want a closeup of Victorian London, Dickens-style (Oliver Twist) or a contemporary romp that will keep you in stitches for the eight-hour transatlantic crossing (Bridget Jones’s Diary), I’ve got you covered.

Happy traveling, if that’s on your itinerary—and, of course, happy reading!

Student Strikes in Strasbourg, and accidental alliteration

This one time, I went to study in France, and my university went on strike for four months. No one would tell me what was going on, and whenever I asked, someone closed a door in my face. Oh, and then they actually blocked the doors around campus with desks and chairs, probably so I’d stop bothering them:

15774726916_ec8a9e30d1_o

It’s pretty much my best anecdote, except for the time I got hit by a car, and then ninja-rolled away from traffic.

Anyway, you can read about it here. My article on Strasbourg has nothing to do with books, so this is basically shameless self-promotion heaped on heartless exploitation of my own blog. I’m counting on the possibility that some of you like travel writing as much as I do, and on your forgiveness just this once (plus all the other times I’m likely to do this in the future).

Also, on the off chance that tarte flambée is something you adopt into your life per my suggestion, YOU’LL BE THANKING ME LATER.

Yay Audiobooks (Quirky Bookworm)

girl-1990347_640

I just started listening to audiobooks this year, and I’m already a huge fan. Audio narration adds an entirely new element to a story: I loved Tina Fey’s hilarious imitations in the audio version of Bossypants, and Amy’s “voice” in Gone Girl renders her that much creepier by the end of the book (a startling 19 hours). Bridget Jones comes to life (complete with a British accent) in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, and I could listen to Kristen Bell read Veronica Mars all day long.

It was the convenience, though, that drew me in initially. On a recent trip to Asia, audiobooks were my travel companion in trains, buses, cars, and other forms of transport in which reading (for reasons of motion sickness) was out of the question. Audiobooks are a great way to multitask, and they spice up non-fiction to the point of actually making it bearable. (JK, I totally read non-fiction. But only if Bill Bryson counts.)

If you’re still not convinced, check out the Quirky Bookworm’s list of reasons to listen to audiobooks. Happy listening!