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Month: October 2017

now at Daunt books

The Daily Telegraph calls it ‘the most beautiful bookshop in London – designed for travellers who like reading.’  There’s carved wood everywhere in this Edwardian treasure, and isn’t that just what you want in a bookstore?  The feel is marvellous walking over inlaid boards, calling you with their squeaks to your next destination.  The continent perhaps?  Maybe France?  Are you in the mood for a humorous take on living abroad?  You’re in luck, because French License is now available at Daunt Books!

Daunt Books

83 Marylebone High Street

Baker Street tube
Open every day of the week until 7:30 PM except for Sunday at 6 PM

+44 20 7224 2295

other London locations:

Three independent book shops outside London:

© Copyright Joe Start. All rights reserved. © 2017


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now at So. Ken books

There’s a pretty little postcard of a book shop in Chelsea.  Wouldn’t you know it, they specialise in art, notably the Visual Arts, Architecture and Photography.  Stands to reason with the Victoria and Albert Museum a short walk away.

The History section is also vast.  The ancient battles between Britain and France are not forgotten, but forgiven.  In fact, this area is so welcoming to the French that you’d think it was part of France.  Nearby are a crêperie, a French high school, the French consul and cultural attaché, the Institut français, and a bookstore carrying titles in French exclusively, Librairie Française La Page.  They are the ones who suggested I present my book French License to So. Ken, who now carries it on their shelves!

So, if you’re in the neighborhood, and interested in travel and a good laugh, ask the good people here about French License.

South Kensington Books

22 Thurloe Street
London SW7
United Kingdom

Tube station: South Kensington (where else?)

Mon – Fri: 10.00 – 20.00
Sat: 11.00 – 19.00
Sun: 12.00 – 19.00

© Copyright Joe Start. All rights reserved. © 2017


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NBA starts

The NBA Regular Season Begins today.  Bleu’s sister is ready.  She got the Jordan tongue thing goin’ on.



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now at Belgravia Books

London can be loud.  Even in the parks the constant hum of busses and taxis circling remind that you’re not alone.  Side streets are often more peaceful, where you can do your thing without distraction.

Conveniently close to Victoria station, but miles from the hustle and bustle, is an oasis called Belgravia Books.  This is a place which invites you to stay a while.  Translated thrillers fresh off the foreign presses await you.  Essays make you think and travel tomes take you away.  You can tell the purveyors know about every one of their wares.  Notes and recommendations are next to many titles.  Posts on their blog help you make your list before going there.

Maybe you fancy a comical tale of cross-cultural confusion?  If so, why not tick French License in your basket?  They now carry it at this book store!

Belgravia Books and Gallic Books

59​ ​Ebury​ ​Street,​ ​London​ ​SW1W​ ​0NZ

Victoria tube​

+44 207 259​ ​9336

Monday – Friday: 9:30am – 6pm
Saturday: 11am – 6pm

© Copyright Joe Start. All rights reserved. © 2017


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In Good We Trust

Why didn’t I hear about this shop before?  Probably because it opened just last year.  I’ve been a customer of American-style general stores in Paris like the Real McCoy, but usually in November, when price is less a consideration than getting THE right stuff(ing) for a Thanksgiving dinner.  The rest of the year, I can survive without a $10 box of Fruit Loops.

Yes, they have all the junk food, cereals and sodas we Americans grew up with.  But the big surprise is all the stuff from artisan producers that I’ve never heard of.  Craft beer brewers.  Small batch sauces and toppings.  Specialty soda fountain drinks.  And reasonably priced wines like zinfandels which are either hard-to-find in Paris, or cost an arm and a leg.  This shop has done a fine job of curating unique items.  Well worth the trip, you’re sure to discover a new favorite.

Go by and check them out.  They just opened for the day.  Yes, they’re open on Sunday!  What a country!

In Good We Trust

Métro Châtelet – Les Halles

67 Rue Quincampoix, 75003 Paris
Tel : +33 1 40 27 91 87

Nous contacter

© Copyright Joe Start. All rights reserved. © 2017


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now at Shakespeare and Co.

Like Troy McClure, you may remember me from such films as Richard Linklater’s Before Sunset, Nora Ephron’s Julie & Julia, and Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris.  Now a comedy joins the ranks: French License can be seen at Shakespeare and Company.

Shakespeare and Co. writes a history with many chapters, several locations, and a cast of thousands over nearly 100 years.  The great English-language writers of the past and present have visited, and at least one is actually living upstairs at any given time. You’ll find today’s version of the bookstore welcoming, with nooks strewn about to get intimate with a title.  When you can’t put a book back on the shelf, simply throw some crumpled euros down on the counter and continue nose-down, feeling your way by braille to their café bench awaiting you.  The litterature dream state here is strong.  A warm beverage and an hour later you’ll finally look up, suddenly conscious that the real world is around you once again.

Shakespeare and Company
37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris, France

Open daily, 10am to 11pm

Métro St. Michel

© Copyright Joe Start. All rights reserved. © 2017


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now at The European Bookshop

Regardless of Brexit, there are a multitude of people in the UK who wish to improve their communication with the Continent.  A great place for them to start is The European Bookshop.  They cater to a curious, well-travelled or expat clientèle.

French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Russian and Italian books abound.  Whether their objective is language learning, seeking cross-cultural perspectives, travel tales or a hearty laugh, folks find it at The European Bookshop.

Now that they also carry French License , you can read about my intercontinental calamity here!  Grab one, and don’t forget to say merci, or gracias, or danke, or obrigado, or grazie, or…

The European Bookshop

123 Gloucester Road
London SW7 4TE

Monday to Friday 9:30 – 18:30
Saturday 10:00 – 18:30
Sunday 12:00 – 17:00

tube South Kensington

© Copyright Joe Start. All rights reserved. © 2017


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Bleu Columbus Day

No, Bleu is not indigenous.  He’s not even people.  But he is an explorer.  So, who better to honor Columbus Day?

Check out Bleu’s latest explorations here:

© Copyright Joe Start. All rights reserved. © 2017


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now at Warwick Books

Global and local.  Wide and deep.  That’s what you get at Warwick Books.  The owners, Pauline and Mog are both well-travelled, and rooted to their community.  Their book shop is a reflection of their eclectic tastes, and tight connection to local authors, events, and of course, their regular clientele.

Situated on the main town square in the quaint village of Warwick, the shop beckons you to enter.  Non-fiction and history are my go-to genres, and I found much here to satisfy my curiosity.  There are many surprises, and books I hadn’t seen elsewhere.  And now there’s the familiar, in the travel section, alongside Stephen Clarke and Bill Bryson: French License. Won’t you come down and pick out your next cherished read?

Warwick Books

24 Market Place, Warwick, Warwickshire CV34 4SL

+44 1926 499 939

Mon to Sat 9am – 5pm

© Copyright Joe Start. All rights reserved. © 2017


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now at Kenilworth Books

There are independent book shops in the Midlands with character, run by some real gems.  Kenilworth Books is one, in a quaint little village just south of Coventry.  Judy greeted me there with a smile and gladly welcomed French License to her shelves.

In addition to travel writing, guides, maps and books on local history, there’s an expansive children’s section.  Find what you didn’t know you were looking for at the book store!

Kenilworth Books

12 Talisman Square, Kenilworth, Warwickshire CV8 1JB

+44 1926 855 784

Open 9:00am – 5:30pm Monday – Saturday

© Copyright Joe Start. All rights reserved. © 2017


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