Armchair BEA 2014: Topic of Choice and Young Adult

ArmchairBEA 2014Design by Amber of Shelf Notes



Topic of Choice 

Today is the day to talk about something that you feel we have missed or that you want to spend a little extra time chatting about. Ideas include, but are not limited to: a genre that does not fit into those featured earlier this week; logistics, such as blogging resources, procedures, or advice; or something completely fun with book to movie adaptations or favorite blogging games, features, memes, events, and/or activities. It’s your freebie day to choose what you like! 

Where do you get books? In a bookstore, among other places, so here are my favorite local bookstores, in/around Chicago:

Seminary Coop

1) The Seminary Co-op changed its location about 18 months ago. It still smell fresh wood with the gorgous book shelves. As you can see they are arranged in cubicles or labyrinth, with plenty of room to walk in between. Some even have some windows in the middle. Nice places to sit and read, very quiet.
The only negative point was the alphabetic order for fiction authors. For instance, I was looking for books in French, but there was no such section, I had to go through names I could think of, and they do have books in French. I believe that section used to exist in the older store, which was really cool too, you felt like you were going down into a submarine, with not 1 inch unoccupied!

This is such a great place, go visit if you don’t know the place yet. It was founded in 1961!


2) And let’s go now to St. Charles, IL, to the Town House Bookstore and Café:

The uniqueness and ambiance of the bookstore, which opened its doors in 1974, carry over into the Town House Café, featuring a menu of fresh-from-scratch soups and creative sandwiches. The back courtyard is open for lunch every day, weather permitting.

I like the mini reviews by staff attached to the books


3) Anderson’s Bookshops in Naperville and Downers Grove

I like this place, especially for the numerous authors who come weekly to present their books!

Take the Anderson Google Virtual Tour to visit the place!


Women and children first

4) Another favorite bookstore of mine is Women And Children First, with also cool recommendations by a very nice and knowledgeable staff.


Middle Grade/Young Adult 

Our final genre of discussion is one that we know is a popular one these days: books for the younger crowd, from middle grade to young adult. If you do not normally talk about this genre on your site, maybe you want to feature books that you remember impacting you during this stage in your life. If this is where you tend to gravitate, maybe you want to list your favorites, make recommendations based on genres, or feature some titles that you are excited to read coming later this year.


I very rarely read these genres, and the books I read as a kid were in French. But a few years ago, I discovered, it was about time, this great classic [access my reviews by clicking on book covers]:

secret garden

It was powerful! I discovered it actually after having read this one, my favorite book by Kate Morton:

The Forgotten Garden

And having read The Secret Garden, I was lead to a modern adaptation, very nice as well:

Humming Room



I love France #18: Shakespeare And Company


I plan to publish this meme every Thursday.
You can share here about any book
or anything cultural you just discovered related to France, Paris, etc.

Please spread the news on Twitter, Facebook, etc !
Feel free to grab my button,
and link your own post through Mister Linky,
at the bottom of this post.


Last week, I promised you more things from Le Quartier Latin in Paris.

There are of course several gorgeous gardens, such as Le Jardin du Luxembourg:

The Jardin du Luxembourg, or the Luxembourg Gardens, is the second largest public park in Paris[1] (224,500 m² (22.5 hectares) located in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, France. The park is the garden of the French Senate, which is itself housed in the Luxembourg Palace.

It holds lots of fountains and statues.

And Le Quartier Latin is the neighborhood where famous writers came, wrote, and drank!

I enjoyed reading about the history of different places thanks to plaques; there are many of them now, not only in Paris, but in many cities. Click on the picture to read the text – in French.

And and of course, we had to go and see the famous bookstore Shakespeare And Company, quite a place – and crowded as well.

you can sit…

…or sleep!

If you do not know anything about this bookstore, I recommend these videos: the first one is on George Whitman, the owner for decades, who died last year at age 98.

The second video is on the current owner, Sylvia Beach, George’s own daughter.

The introduction written under each video is worth while reading.

And I can only recommend this website, Open Culture, which published fascinating daily posts.



Please if possible
include the title of the book or topic in your link:
name of your blog (name of the book title or topic).

My favorite bookstore

Last week-end we had a shock.

We were enjoying the city of Evanston, Illinois, and of course decided to stop at our favorite bookstore: Bookman’s Alley.

Have a look inside and tell me if you would not love that place: books all over,  accompanied with an assortment of various items; there is actually some sort of organization, with a theme per room, and book categories along the shelf. And plenty of chairs here and there.

isn’t this cozy or what?

As I was sitting on a chair and looking at books around me, I overheard a customer saying that they were going to close. I froze and checked with the owner: yes indeed, they are preparing to close, within a month!!!!!!

We decided to buy the complete works of Marcel Proust in 2 volumes, to keep something from this awesome bookstore.

So if you have never seen this amazing place, it’s now or never.

Or if you think you could maybe take it over, rush there, or call Roger – phone number on the business card on top of my post.

Have you also recently experienced the death of a favorite bookstore?
What are your feelings?