After a day of relaxing and recovering from jet lag (which isn’t completely gone), Thursday, my dear friend Katie drove me around Brisbane a bit. We started by visiting Mt. Cootha – and the views were absolutely stunning. (Notice Mimis joined us on the trip!)
Next, we visited some local independent bookstores. First off was Mary Ryan’s where they had a nice selection of picture books. I read through quite a few books and managed to restrain myself to purchasing only two.
The next bookshop that we visited was Riverbend Books and Teahouse. The selection of children’s, junior, and young adult literature was amazing and the staff was delightful. I could have stayed there all day chatting and reviewing books.
To start with, the outdoor cafe was surrounded by shear screens that appeared to be large stacks of books – this photo doesn’t do them justice.
Here is the picturebook and junior novel section. (Junior novels are what we often call middle grade fiction in the U.S.).
When we first arrived, I was thrilled to discover that the book of the month from March had been Wonder by R.J. Palacio. One of the booksellers told me that while it wasn’t necessarily a book for adults, they felt it was such an amazing book that everyone should read it. I knew as soon I saw this poster that this was a special bookstore.
Here I am (in the middle) with two of the lovely staff members who provided me with stacks of books by Australian authors to look through, they were so very generous with their time and expertise. (We are holding Fancy Nancy & Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late because they are two favorite books of my daughters.) I recommended The One and Only Ivan to them as a must read – they hadn’t heard of it yet but added it to their tbr list. I’m hoping to hear from them after they read it (hint hint Marilyn!)
At the end of the day, I had looked through many many books but came away having purchased only four. I’m excited to begin the John Marsden book – I’d only been familiar with him as the author of The Rabbits. The Shaun Tan books highlights preliminary drawings and background on the conceptualization and creation of his outstanding book The Arrival. I also purchased two books written by Nadia Wheatley: My Place and Luke’s Way of Looking.
I’m not completely over my jet lag so it’s time for some more sleep. Tomorrow we’re going to head into the city of Brisbane – including a visit to another bookstore.