Currently Coveting - Wednesday Wishlist {The Bookshop Edition}

You may remember last weeks wishlist featured a few items I spotted while I was in London a couple of weeks ago. During this trip, my friend and I somehow ended up spending over four hours in a single shop! This isn't unheard of for us; we once spent seven hours in the Leeds branch of Ikea and came out a little unsure as to which way was up, and with a giant paper lampshade to transport back to my student house on the bus!

This time though, it wasn't Ikea, but Foyles. I truly love this bookshop - it's got the ease and comfort of a Waterstones but with the exciting and unusual range that an independent bookshop offers. Whenever we're both in the city, my friend and I usually arrange to meet somewhere inside the Waterloo branch, and this time we made plans to visit the new flagship store on Charing Cross Road. We actually ended up in there twice, once around 15 minutes before closing time where I hastily grabbed a couple of magazines to add to my collection, and we decided to come back again for lunch and a proper browse the following day.

This we did, and at first we bi-passed the books in search of lunch! We were really impressed by the cafe: locally roasted coffee, lovely salads and soup made in the little kitchen you can see behind the counter, and possibly the best iced hibiscus tea ever! And so, here we stayed for the rest of the day....

The shop has 8 floors. Yup, 8! I've since learned that there are approximately 200,000 different titles and that they are displayed on over four miles of shelves. So it was easy to get totally lost among the pages. I was most impressed by the vast array of craft, design and cook books on the basement level and I really enjoyed the way the magazines and journals are displayed along side the books in their relevant section.

I managed to be somewhat restrained and only bought a few things: Betty and Lunch Lady Magazines, The Pier Falls by Mark Haddon (from which I read the first harrowing short story, sitting on the floor with my mouth wide's great, read it!) and Sewing Happiness by Sanae Ishida which I've been wanting to have a proper look at since hearing Kate of A Playful Day talk about it during a podcast - it's so perfect it needed to be mine!

There were several more it was a struggle to leave behind, but I put them back on the shelves, decided to compile them into a special books edition of the wishlist series, and have vowed to dig out my library card - we are in danger of filling up our house with books then having the bank take it away because we don't have enough money left to pay the mortgage!

They were as follows:

The Trainable Cat by John Bradshaw and Sarah Ellis -  This is a slightly strange one I admit, and I think our cat Pastry is already pretty happy with his life of sleeping and eating! However, I spotted a few tricks and ideas that I think would be really useful, so I imagine there would be many more throughout the book. For instance, Pastry does't go outside, so we have to trim his nails. We usually do this while he's asleep but the book explains how to train your cat not to fear the clippers and eventually willingly let you trim their nails! I'd be really interested to read the whole book and see what else we can do to make our daft little puff even happier!  

Everyday Style by Lotta Jansdotter - I very nearly bought this but eventually chose Sewing Happiness. However, it's definitely one I'd like to get my hands on as it's full of really beautifully constructed everyday basics, some lovely pieces of jewellery and also styling inspiration which would be useful when choosing fabrics and putting together a handmade wardrobe. Sewing clothes is something I definitely want to explore further and I think this could be a really good place to start. It's also stunningly photographed and laid out - a definite contender for a coffee table book! 

The Year of Cozy by Adrianna Adarme - I sometimes find that books without a specific focus can feel a little watered down - maybe because there are lots of crafts displayed and there isn't the space to go into too much detail about them all - and also because I tend to flick through them and only see a handful of projects I'd like to try. However, the tagline of The Year of Cozy drew me in - homemade adventures sounded rather exciting - and exciting it is! The projects, recipes or ideas for things to do are divided up into the months of the year, and are categorised into 'Live',  'Make' or 'Do'.  Something that immediately caught my attention was the recipe for 'Salty Matcha Honey Butter' - what a treat that would be! I think that as my husband and I are trying to focus our energies (and funds) on experiences over things - and we have been talking about the idea of starting an 'adventure jar' (more on that later...) this could be a really well used book. 

Care Packages by Michelle Mackintosh - I thought to begin with that this book might be a little to 'cute' for me - but I was quite mistaken. I enjoy giving presents as much, if not more, than I enjoy receiving them, and this book is absolutely packed with ideas, not for individual gifts but for really thoughtfully put together boxes of goodies that are tailored to the recipients needs at that time - a get well package, one for leaving home, birthdays, congratulations - there are ideas for all gifting opportunities. What I really liked about this is it doesn't have too many specific projects, so rather than the author saying 'grab a box and fill it with the items on this list', it's more a collection of images, ideas and inspiration.  

Miniscapes by Clea Creagan - Now, we all know how obsessed the entire universe is (me included) with all things succulents right now - and this book is so much fun! As well as ideas for terrarium projects, theres also a really good section on choosing, propagating and looking after your plants once you've created a miniature world from them. This would obviously be really useful information to have even if you don't want to make a terrarium and just want a good source of information about growing these fun little plants! 

Love Kombucha by Melanie Millin - I've been intrigued by kombucha for a while now and have been eager to try it out for it's many health benefits - however, I've put it off because it always seemed a bit confusing, and I don't really drink any 'flavoured' cold drinks so I couldn't help feeling as though I'd forget I'd made it and my hard work might go to waste. I'm also never exactly enthralled by the flavours of the recipes of come across. However, I picked up this book my Melanie Millin, and it definitely made it all seem more accessible, plus the recipes are not set, rather there are recipes for several different flavours which can then be mixed to create different drinks. I also like that there are ideas for other things to do once you've made your kombucha, ice lollies for instance, as well as several cocktails - fermented mojito anyone?  Definitely worth another look! 

There we have it - I hope you've spotted something you like the look of - I'm definitely going to be ordering some of these into the library soon!  If you're in London and haven't yet been, the new Foyles store is definitely worth a visit too!

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