Books and dream libraries

Laraine was the winner of the signed copy of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradley.  We’re discussing the book this month over at the Virtual Book Club, and Alan will join us—or, me, for a discussion towards the end of the month.

In the meantime, here in the UK I had a lovely conversation with the excellent Chaz Brenchley last night at one of my very most all time favo(u)rite places, the Lit and Phil.  This private library in Newcastle on Tyne (watch the slide show here) is my fantasy home, and I am deeply envious of Chaz’s table in the Silence Room downstairs.  If only I lived a touch closer…


  1. Laidee Marjorie says:

    The photo of the page from the 1787 Newcastle directory in the library’s slideshow is fascinating! I love that one of the pubs is named George Watson’s (one of Uncle John’s family?) and even better is the pub with the name of the Flesh Market. They are all interesting. The library looks like an amazing place. If only they hadn’t pull down the theatre! That seems a great loss to me.


  2. I could have spent hours in this library – absolutely fascinating. Hidden corners, well-loved and much-borrowed books – my kind of place!


  3. Well, that’s going on my list of places to visit before I die.

  4. strawberry curls says:

    Two years ago we drove past Newcastle Upon Tyne…twice. If only we had known the treasure there. Definitely going on the list for the trip in 2011. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.


  5. I read that book on the strength of your Goodreads review. I really enjoyed it. It also brought back a lot of old memories associated with stamp collecting. Thanks for bringing it to my notice.


  6. Thank you for this fascinating introduction to the Lit and Phil.

  7. Gail Lelyveld says:

    That library is a little piece of heaven indeed; even on the internet. I love the idea of beautiful architecture and books and learning. It reminds me of the Boston Public Library of my colleges days.

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