Tag Archives: Washington DC

The Readers Roadtrip Day 9; The Last Full Day, A Bloggers Meet Up & The Last Supper

And it came and went so soon, the last full day in Washington and indeed in America. How has it all whizzed by so fast? Today I will be flying back to the UK, but let’s not think about that, let’s talk about yesterday which was a lovely day and started in the perfect way with a bookshop… 

Now, I have to admit I went to Politics & Prose last year and had a really bad experience. Everyone had raved and raved about it and I went in and witnessed the worst customer service from a man who coughed constantly in the fiction room and then was so rude so loudly to a customer on the phone. I couldn’t believe it. Neither could Thomas to the point he complained. So I was slightly horrified when that person was the first person I saw on arrival…  

But this time I have to say I enjoyed it way more. So much that I bought a couple of books without thinking, I might blog about it too over the next week or so. Maybe. All in all DC has done pretty well out of me as every bookshop has seen me part with cash, I might have problems with my luggage allowance later! Anyway we had a good wander, which was followed by a lovely lunch with Frances of NonSuchBook who is a blogger I have followed for ages and ages and ages.And she was so lovely! You should follow her blog if you don’t already.

We had a lovely lunch and also recorded a special Man Booker episode of The Readers which will go live in a week or so before the announcement. Frances has read all of them, which is partly my fault as I was going to read the longlist with her and had to not last minute to do some work for another prize (which I still can’t talk about) however she carried on with a wonderful group of bloggers and has a WoMan Booker Panel. We then spent ages in Thomas’ library talking about books, books, books…

For the last night in Washington I was a very lucky sausage as Thomas and his husband John took me for dinner in Doi Moi which did amazing food and amazing Pina Colada’s (which have been the drink of the holiday) and we had a wonderful night on the town. They have seriously been the hosts with the most and Thomas has been a joy to spend so much time with going around the country.  

I’m sad it’s almost over! So now it’s time to pack all these books and start heading home! It’s been such a brilliant booky break, my best bookish holiday ever.

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The Readers Roadtrip Day 8; Wandering Round Washington

Really today was a Reader Roadtrip as Thomas had to work and so I took myself off out for a day in Washington DC. As you might have guessed the first thing that was on my agenda, so I headed to Founding Farmers for my favourite of all things Eggs Benedict, which I could eat all day…

I could actually eat it twice or thrice a day if it came with leek hash browns like these did. Yum, yum, yum. Anyway after the food fest it was time for some serious sightseeing. First was the Washington Monument…

I had wanted to see the White House again close up after last year but the Chinese President was in town and this is as near as I could get…

I got a corking view all of the sights though from the monument… 

On both sides…

After all that swift sightseeing I headed to the one museum that everyone who has ever been has told me I should head to, The Holocaust Museum, which I have to say was one of the most incredible, moving, upsetting and important museums I have ever been too.

I am going to do a seperate post on this because I think that it is so incredible, horrifying and thought provoking. I just need to process my thoughts a little more. I came out needing to be very quiet and still and then really needing to cheer myself up, so guess where I went?!? 

Book shopping of course! In the space of an afternoon I hit Books for America, Second Story Books and Kramerbooks (pictured above) and made sure I bought one or two books in each, as any book lover would. After that it was time to meet Thomas and head back to his for a night of pizza, Pina Colada’s, telly and Lucy… Of course. 

An ideal day all in all. The days have suddenly whizzed by and there are less and less ahead of this trip. Weeps.

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The Readers Roadtrip Day 7; A Whole Lot of Road to Cover from Cleveland to Washington DC (With a Sprinkling of Bookshops En Route!)

I have had some funny nights sleep in my time but this America trip has given me the oddest. So admittedly I have slight jet lag and time displacement but honestly last night I woke up convinced I was being strangled. Proper weird stuff. It could just be I have caught Thomas’ sore throat but needless to say it freaked me out (as I my dream I was being strangled and the sensation carried on as I was waking. It took a couple of episodes of The Archers to relax me and send me back to sleep. So it’s fair to say I was fairly grumpy leaving Cleveland though surprise surprise an amazing breakfast in a market cafe helped, as did a visit to Horizontal Books before we left Cleveland proper. 

I had noticed on Twitter that it was Diverse Author Day and so with that in mind I managed to buy three titles I had never heard of before. The only problem was finding them. Horizontal Books does what it says on the tin, has all its books shelved horizontally, however they also put books standing up in front of them and completely out of sync with what was behind them. I struggled on though (ha) and came away with these titles… 

We then hit the road for hours and hours and hours, managing to finally record an episode of the podcast in the car as we’ve been talking far too much gossip and rude things up until now, before heading through Hagerstown where Thomas just slipped into the conversation that there was a second hand bookstore with over 10,000 books in it. Of course I demanded we go to Wonder Book pronto…


And it was pretty darn good.

I had to think of my luggage allowance though so was quite restrained. We then headed back to the car for another two hours and finally arrived in DC to the welcome of John and of course Lucy, who if ever a dog would make me want one its her. Seriously, look at her…

We then had grilled cheese, my first ever and well done Thomas it was pretty damned good before an early night and the best nights sleep I’ve had in a week or so. I have now planned a full day ahead in Washington, which even though I have just sorted out the books I have bought so far involves more bookshops. 

What do you think of my purchases so far, read any of them?

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And I’m Back!

Safe and sound from the US of A and have had an amazing time! Seriously from the wonders of the utter bookish brilliance of Booktopia in Asheville, with the legends of Books on the Nightstand and utterly lovely Michael Kindness and Ann Kingman (we found time to do a joint podcast or two coming soon), to the joys of spending lots of time (for the first time) with my Readers co-host Thomas in Washington…

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To having a crazy and wonderful whirlwind of a time in NYC…

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Amazing! All of which I will be reporting back on in much more detail in due course, once I have caught up on the world, jet lag and had a small mini break in London with The Beard later this week (it is all go, go, go) but in the meantime you want to know all my bookish news don’t you? And probably are pondering about the threat statement I made about changes to Savidge Reads!

Well, while I was away I did lots of relaxing and thinking but not actually any reading. Nope not on the plane flights and no not on the Booktopia weekend (get a big group of readers together and they don’t shut up about books), not with Thomas (again too much gossiping along with book shopping and sightseeing) and NYC (more of the same). I finished one book on the flight back and am a little into another plus am about a third way through Gone With The Wind, which I am now dipping into regularly; as some of the language and themes are much harder going than I was expecting. I left The Goldfinch in Washington, hang on before you judge me, I have a copy here and needed the space for new books – I came back with one more bag of luggage than I left with.

Now before I move on I must mention Trespassing with Tremain, my reading of Rose Tremain in memory of Granny Savidge, which has been slightly waylaid – which she would have approved of as she loved travelling and it was a very bookish travelling trip away. So the NEW dates for your reading diaries, as I know a fair few of you are reading along and loved Trespass which was amazing, are…

  • The Road Home – Sunday September the 14th
  • The Darkness of Wallis Simpson and Other Stories– Sunday October the 5th
  • Sacred Country– Sunday October the 26th
  • Restoration– Sunday November the 16th

Yes I have made it every three weeks. Part of this is because so far I simply adore her writing so much  so I don’t want to rush it – yet at the same time I almost want to binge on it, but I must be strong! (Oh The Road Home, you wait!) Part of this is because of the way Savidge Reads will be changing in the coming weeks, well when it turns 7 years old (I know, seven years, blimey) a week on Monday on the 15th. I know, I am such a tease. In the meantime get ready for the answers to all the questions you asked, as well as some mini reviews as I have a clear out and catch up with myself.

But before all that, enough about me, what have you all been up to over the last few weeks? Even more importantly what have you been reading? I want the good, the bad and the ugly!

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Watch Out USA, I’m Coming Your Way…

After much organisation, faffing, missing out on the right flights, then being unable to book the next-right ones and then sitting in a dejected mess because my bank thought I was a fraudster – I can now confirm that I am officially booked, signed, sealed and everything for a trip to the USA in August. And what a trip it is going to be…

First up I am heading, via Munich and Chicago oddly, to Asheville in North Carolina where (and I am start struck already) I will be spending a long weekend at one of the Booktopia’s which Ann Kingman and Michael Kindness, of the marvellous Books on the Nightstand Podcast, organise every year around America. The itinerary looks marvellous and I have been reliably informed I may just be mentoring an event with Anthony Marra (of whose A Constellation of Vital Phenomena I was all over) which gain is just too exciting, in fact so exciting it is almost untrue. Ann, Michael and myself may even make time to record a special edition of The Readers!

Speaking of The Readers, once the Booktopia weekend is over the blues I am sure to feel will fly away (quite literally) as I then head to stay with my lovely co-host and unofficial travel agent Thomas in Washington for a few days. This I am imaging will involve some touristy sightseeing, book hunting and lying down by the pool rather a lot, all with lashings of bookish banter. Again, I am excited and beyond about this.


Then, because I won’t have done quite enough travelling, I am off to New York for a while where I am going to be doing more (slightly secretive) bookish stuff and wandering around being a tourist before I fly home at the beginning of September… Phew!

I have just realised I haven’t booked in a theme park on this trip and American theme parks are the best! DratsI Anyway… So if you are in any of these places; Asheville, Washington or NYC then do let me know. I am planning on packing Gone With The Wind (it is almost North Carolina, no?) for the long flights and the seven hours in Chicago airport on the way but as always if you have some recommendations for books set in Asheville, Washington or NYC I would be thrilled to get some ideas, or indeed for any of the ‘Great American Novels’ I have yet to read…

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