5 Unique Bookstores Around The World

These dreamy bookstores will have you lost for hours in world's created only by words.  Rumor has it that one of these bookstores was an inspiration for J.K. Rowling, a muse that inspired the wonderful wizarding world of Harry Potter.   Take a look at our list and let the magic begin.

1) El Ateneo Grand Splendid - Argentina

One of the most beautiful bookstores on this list is the El Ateneo Grand Splendid located in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  What was once a palatial theater, in 2000 they converted it into a gorgeous book and music store.  Sit under the fresco painted ceiling and enjoy the glory of a historic Italian opera house.  The eclecticism style of this building is reason alone to visit with approximately one million visitors a year.  Sit in the theater boxes and read, or visit their darling cafe.  This is a bookworm's paradise.

 2) Boekhandel Dominicanen - Netherlands

If you worship books, you will love this bookstore located in Maastricht, Netherlands.  Formerly a gothic monastery church, this church was transformed in 2006 into one of the "fairest bookstores in the world," dubbed by The Guardian in 2008.  This place is heaven for all book lovers.

3)  Atlantis Books - Greece

How about a bookstore with epic views.  If you are into quirky and cool with stunning views of the Aegean Sea then look no further than Atlantis Books in Santorini, Greece.  The name alone conjures up images of another world and when you step inside you are transported to an enchanting space with little cavernous areas to explore.  It's not really a cave, more like a basement cut into the cliffs of the Greek island.  It's idyllic setting is the perfect place to unwind with a book and watch a sunset.  Bibliophiles will loves this eclectic and charming place.

4)  Livraria Lello - Portugal

Noted as one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, legend has it that J.K. Rowling was inspired by it's enigmatic decor that it influenced Harry Potter's Hogwarts School.  We can see why.  It's detailed wood balusters and it's illuminating stained glass ceiling is exalting.  It's a fabulous space to get lost in a book.

5) Shakespeare and Company - France

Last but not least, The Shakespeare and Company bookstore is the most legendary.  It's like going back in time to the Paris of yesteryears that drove writers to it's romance of the city.  The City of Lights is littered with literary history.  Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Joyce are just a few that have ties with Paris.  James Joyce published his book Ulysses under the Shakespeare and Company.  Nostalgia looms on Paris' Left Bank.  A must see utopia for all literary lovers.

What are you favorite bookstores around the world?  Let us know.

The Literary Babe

Book Club Picks for February and a Valentine's Day Giveaway


Hello Lit Babes,

Happy February!  What a wonderful month for love and books.  There are so many books to choose from but here is a list of this month's popular book club selections.

Oprah's Book Club

For this month's pick, Oprah chose An American Marriage by Tayari Jones.  This novel redefine's the American love story.  Oprah describes it as a love triangle and a juicy novel.  It was a book she couldn't put down.  The story affects every one of us, she quotes and I can't wait to here your reviews on this book.

Reese's Book Club x Hello Sunshine

Cute as a button actress, now book club curator Reese Witherspoon's pick for February is The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo.  Another epic love story about a couple who meet at Columbia University.  Their 13 year journey together is full of dreams, desires, betrayals and love.  Sounds like a moving story.


Last but not least, the book club Belletrist by Emma Roberts who is also an actress turned literary babe, picked the same book as Oprah did!  An American Marriage.  We can't wait to get our hands on this one.

In honor of Valentine's Day, Literary Babe is doing their first ever book giveaway!

Here's how to enter:

1) Follow @theliterarybabe on Instagram.

2)  Tag a friend in the comments section who you know loves books.

3)  Subscribe to www.literarybabe.com - It's FREE!

Winner will be chosen on Valentine's Day - February 14th, 2018 and notified by email.
Winner get's BOTH books.  (1 each - 2 total)
Contest is open to U.S. residents only.
Do not follow and unfollow, its just not nice.  We see you.
Contest is not affiliated with Instagram and/or Blogger.

Thanks for stopping by and happy reading.

The Literary Babe


Sweetbitter, A Delicious Read

 Sweetbitter is  a delicious novel, exquisitely written to invoke all the senses.  It's tantalizing and provocative inviting you into the world of fine dining with every sip of prose.

This was not a quick read for me, nor a dramatic or intense story, but I really did enjoy it.  My favorite word I learned from the book is soigné, which means, dressed very elegantly or well groomed or elegantly maintained or designed.  Such a beautiful word.  The French I tell you.

It's a frenzy of a story with the narrator/protagonist Tess, buzzing around the city of New York in the wee hours after her shift from the upscale restaurant, where the Chef's angry voice echoed in the background.

Tess is a twenty something year old girl who shows up in New York seemingly abandoned with endless ambition to find herself or perhaps create herself with only mild experience as a barista.

Endless hours are spent on sumptuous meals and a particular bottle of Opus which was meant to be the 2002 bottle and not the 1995.  Bites of escarole with anchovies filled the heads of the various characters in the book shuffling between tables and back of the house.

The prose in this book is just as poetic as the food.  Well written, you feel as if you are at Park Bar, sitting a few stools down from Tess trying to fit in.

Of course there is always a boy.  Enter Jake.  The quintessential stereotypical bartender that Tess lusts for.  It's a sweet and bitter dance between the two romping about until Tess's insatiable desires are fulfilled.

Here's a little briny taste:

Excerpt:  "In Marseille you could walk down to the docks in the mornings.  They had urchins, still alive.  An offhand exchange, a few franc for this delicacy.  The rocks are littered with debris: empty shells opened with a knife, rinsed by water, and sucked dry on the spot.  Men taking lunch with bottles of their hard house wine, watching the boats move in an out.  It's the ovaries - the coral ovaries.  They are supposed to transfer a great power when you consume them.  Absolutely voluptuous, the texture, absolutely permanent, the taste.  It stays with you for the rest of your life."   

Although the except is delightful, is still doesn't make me want to try Uni but I am dying to try the Billecart Salmon Elisabeth Salmon Cuvee Brut Rose.  Tess describes it:  peaches, almonds, marzipan, rose petals, a whiff of gunpowder.

Ultimately Tess has to choose.  As Jake cautioned her, "Maybe you don’t have to compromise yet, but you’re going to have to choose between your mind and your looks. If you don’t, the choices will become narrower and narrower, until they are hardly even choices and you’ll have to take what you can get."

Tess does choose in the end, and you'll have to read it to find out what she did.

If you are a foodie you will probably enjoy this book.  I think I need some electrolytes, the hair of the dog or some La Gitana Sherry.  This book was intoxicating.

The author is Stephanie Danler and it was published by Alfred A. Knopf.

Thanks for stopping by.

The Literary Babe


Reading in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is one of my go-to places to get away from it all and immerse myself into a book.  This gorgeous seaside town has so much to explore and a variety of places to stay.  It is simply beautiful and a must see.

Just 100 miles north of Los Angeles, the scenic ride just flies by if you are driving up the coast.  Coined the America Riviera, you will be delighted with their stunning Spanish architecture and luxurious resorts.

The top three most luxurious places to stay in Santa Barbara are:

1)  Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara - (As a result of the January 9 flooding and mudslides, the Resort will be closed until April 1, 2018)

2)  Belmond El Encanto

3)  Bacara Resort & Spa

On my most recent trip I spent the night at the Bacara Resort and Spa which is now a Ritz property.   The transition was a great one as the experience was superb.  The resort excelled in service and expectations all around.  It was a lovely stay.

On this trip I picked up the uber popular bestselling non-fiction book of 2017 titled The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson.  Hilarious and utterly entertaining, I highly recommend this book.  It's empowering and an easy read.  I enjoyed it and you will too.

Let me know if you pick up the book and your thoughts.  Also, if you ever get a chance to stay at the Bacara, come back to this blog to review the tips below.

Bacara Resort Tips:

1)  Check in is at 4 p.m. so take advantage of the pool and come early.

2)  Each stay at this resort includes a bottle of wine from the Foley Family Wines portfolio.  You can request to change the bottle if you prefer red over white or vice versa.

3)  Tip for checking in at all hotels is to request to see the resort map first.  The front desk receptionist may schmooze you and said, "This room was hand selected for you personally."  Instead of them telling you where your room is, take a gander at the resort map and show them where you'd like to be, if it's available.

For the Bacara, Villa's 17 & 18 are great and close to the main pools and for a higher category room try for Villas #9 & #10.  (Check the prices)

4)  If you forgot to bring a book check out Chaucer's Books.  These charming types of bookstores are slowly becoming obsolete with the invent of Amazon and Ebooks.  It's a darling store with a large variety of books.  It's definitely worth a visit if you are a true booklover like myself.

5)  Bacara also offers access to thousands of digital newspapers and magazines via the Press Reader App.

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and I couldn't think of a better place to visit than Santa Barbara.  Thanks for stopping by!

The Literary Babe

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