My Literary Finds in Rome!

After a refreshing two-week vacation, the Book Club Babe is finally back home! I spent this trip of a lifetime traveling around Greece and Italy, and I absolutely loved seeing all the ancient ruins, meeting people from all over the world, and–of course–stuffing my face with delicious food!

One of my goals of 2016 is to visit five new independent bookstores. In March, I interviewed the owner of Recycle Bookstore in San Jose, CA, and last week I discovered Pocket 2000, a small book and comic book store in Rome.


The shop was small and quaint, but it had a ton of popular series in their native Italian. I knew that this would be the perfect place to pick up some souvenirs, since my brother and boyfriend are crazy about comics. The men who were working there that day weren’t English speakers, so I unfortunately can’t share any more information about them or the bookstore, but if you ever happen to visit Rome, but sure to check out Pocket 2000!

Another amazing hidden gem of Rome that I visited was the Keats-Shelley House near the Spanish Steps. Our Airbnb host shared some guidebooks with us, in which I learned that English Romantic poets John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley had both lived in Italy during the early 1820s and died shortly thereafter–Keats from tuberculosis and Shelley from a tragic sailing accident.

The two-room apartment that Keats stayed in for four months while suffering from his illness became his final resting place. Now it exists as a memorial museum for the two friends, with some of their personal possessions, including a drawing of Keats’ that inspired his famous poem, “Ode on a Grecian Urn.”

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I knew that I would be nerding out over ancient Roman sites like the Colosseum and the Pantheon, but I had no idea that this piece of history existed. In fact, the Spanish Steps were under construction during our stay, so it’s probable that without our guidebook, I would have walked past the inconspicuous building obliviously. If you’re a lover of literature like I am, you must make the trek to the Keats-Shelley House!

I could spend hours discussing my recent experiences in Europe, but right now I’m close to finishing the book everyone’s talking about, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. Stay tuned next week for my review!

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Book Signings in SF!

Hey everyone!

I just popped in to brag that I had an awesome time last night meeting the one and only Scott Westerfeld! The YA author of the Uglies trilogy visited Books Inc. in San Francisco to discuss his recently published novel Afterworlds and do a signing.

The coolest part about the event–besides seeing an admired author in the flesh–is that 15% of the book proceeds support NaNoWriMo! In fact, I only found out about this signing on Tuesday after logging into my NaNoWriMo account and reading a memo from one of my region’s Municipal Liaisons.

Why the fundraising? Well, it turns out that Afterworlds is about a teenage girl named Darcy who creates a novel during NaNoWriMo that later gets published, thereby inciting her writing career.

And the uniqueness about Afterworlds is that it swaps chapters between Darcy’s world and the world that she brings to life in her own novel. I love the idea of reading a book within a book, so I’m really looking forward to this one!

I would have recommended Scott Westerfeld before meeting him, but especially so afterward. He was such a down-to-earth guy with a great sense of humor. I appreciated his insights about the YA community and his writing advice regarding POV. Needless to say, I’m inspired to revive my own writing for NaNoWriMo!

Thanks for the autograph! 🙂

The good times continue to roll next week, since Books Inc. is hosting another signing for Azar Nafisi, best known for her novel Reading Lolita in Tehran. That book was an exquisite window into her experiences as an English Lit professor in post-revolutionary Iran, and her new novel The Republic of Imagination describes her path to American citizenship.

So big thanks to Books Inc. for coordinating these opportunities to learn from these wonderful writers. I’ll see you again next week!