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review 2017-05-31 16:20
How to Find Love in a Bookshop - Veronica Henry,Julia Barrie,Orion Publishing Group

When her beloved father dies, Emilia Nightingale inherits Nightingale Books, a much loved bookshop, nestled in the Cotswold town of Peasebrook. There she makes new friends, unwittingly helping them with more than book choices. But when a situation arises that threatens the bookshop, can Emilia keep her promise to her dying father, and keep Nightingale Books open?


The thing I find about bookshops is how inviting they are. There is the anticipation of finding a new book to fall in love with, of new worlds to explore and often times the shop seems to radiate the comfort and warmth the books themselves can bring. Nightingale Books sounds like the ideal place to lose a few hours, wandering the shops and browsing the shelves, chatting to like-minded book lovers. Lots of people dream of owning their own book shop, I’m one of them, and to my minds eye, Nightingale Books is how I’d picture my bookshop.


The story itself is warm and comforting, easy to get wrapped up in. It’s the kind of book to curl up with on a rainy winter evening, or to read whilst lying in the sun. It is filled with a cast of characters that all add layers to the story. Emilia is a lovely character, depicted as kind, considerate and understandably conflicted by her desire to keep the bookshop and the struggle she finds herself in. Julius, Emilia’s father is also a wonderful character, depicted as he is in a few explanatory chapters and through the memory of the other characters. The bookshop itself is a character, and rightly so. It is the linchpin, where the inhabitants of Peasebrook meet, chat and discover new books, and perhaps new people, to fall in love with. There are some characters I would have liked to find out more about as there felt the potential to find out more about them for example Thomasina, the excruciatingly shy chef and Marlowe, the violinist, friend of Julius whose appearances seemed to just scratch the surface of his character.


There were parts of the story that could be considered predictable, the trial and tribulation that would lead to the conclusion but I found comfort in those, enjoying the journey the story took me on. The story was told with the right pace, with a variety of different characters to provide entertainment and lots of separate story strands that were brought together by the bookshop.


This book exudes the sentiments of a good bookshop I mentioned above, it is warm, inviting and fun. It is a story about love, literature and the celebration of stories and what’s not to love about that?


This is the first book by Veronica Henry I have read but I shall certainly be reading more from her in the future.

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quote 2017-04-09 21:43
But for Nina whenever reality, or the grimmer side of reality, threatened to invade, she always turned to a book. Books had been her solace when she was sad , her friends when she was lonely . They had mended her heart when it was broken, and encouraged her to hope when she was down
Page 40
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review 2017-02-27 17:17
The Little Paris Bookshop / Nina George
The Little Paris Bookshop: A Novel - Nina George,Simon Pare

Physician heal thyself.

As the book jacket tells us, “Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can't seem to heal through literature is himself; he's still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared.”

Nina George nails the grief experience in this novel. I freely admit to crying through the final 100 pages, but in a good way. It was like receiving a book prescription from Monsieur Perdu, as when he counsels one woman early in the book: ”And this book, which you will please read slowly, so you can take the occasional break. You’ll do a lot of thinking and probably a bit of crying. For yourself. For the years. But you’ll feel better afterward.”

Indeed, I did feel better afterward. I wish this book had been published back in 1996-1999, when I really could have used it! Instead of shutting my feelings down, just as Jean Perdu has done, I felt exactly the same way: ”He felt as if there were stone tears inside him that left no room for anything else.”

The grief process is so hard and yet so necessary! To carry them within us—that is our task. We carry them all inside us, all our dead and shattered loves, only they make us whole. If we begin to forget or cast aside those we’ve lost, then…then we are no longer present either.

Jean Perdu is certainly well-named. As his surname indicates, he has lost his life and must work through his grief to reclaim it. I loved his note-taking during his grief process for the Encyclopedia of Emotions—taking note of small emotions on his way to processing the big ones. My own reaction to grief was to quit reading, a big mistake in hindsight! How I could have used a Jean Perdu in my own life.

Books are integral to my life and I am so glad to have the joy of reading returned to me.

He wanted her to sense the boundless possibilities offered by books. They would always be enough. The would never stop loving their readers. They were a fixed point in an otherwise unpredictable world. In life. In love. After death.

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text 2017-01-30 07:41
January Reading
Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume - Julie Kenner,Jennifer Coburn,Megan McCafferty,Lynda Curnyn,Jennifer O'Connell,Melissa Senate,Diana Peterfreund,Stephanie Lessing,Laura Ruby,Erica Orloff,Stacey Ballis,Kristin Harmel,Shanna Wendson,Elise Juska,Kyra Davis,Beth Kendrick,Berta Platas,Kayla Pe
The Bookshop on the Corner - Jenny Colgan

January is always the best reading month for me for the simple reason that it's summer holidays here Down Under and I'm off work for 4 weeks.  MT's at work for 3 of those weeks, which means 21 blissful days of reading for hours, uninterrupted.  


I knocked 33 34 books off my pile this month and because it's the first month of the year, it was easy to see on the challenge page that I'd read 7685 8029 pages.  I got a bug in my ear about that page number thing and went through all the books I read, updating them so I could see an accurate pages read number.  I probably won't do that again, but I am inspired to try and check for accurate page numbers as I finish each book.


I had been quietly aiming for a book a day, so I'm super pleased to have slightly exceeded that.  Most of the books weren't at all long, but I was going for maximum number of physical books knocked off the top of Mt. TBR, so I was purposefully going for the low-hanging fruit.


I had a lot of very good reads this month but far and away the two that made me the happiest were Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume  and The Bookshop on the Corner.  


I had 4 other 5-star reads:

A Certain Age 

Rare Books Uncovered: True Stories of Fantastic Finds in Unlikely Places 

Leonardo da Vinci 

What A Plant Knows: a field guide to the senses 


and 5 4.5-star reads (3 of which were vintage children/YA books):

Around the World in 80 Cliches: Overused Expressions from Across the Globe

Freckle Juice

Then Again, Maybe I Won't

It's Not the End of the World

You're Saying It Wrong: A Pronunciation Guide to the 150 Most Commonly Mispronounced Words--and Their Tangled Histories of Misuse


Back to work today, and walked in to find the critical piece of equipment controlling the wi-fi up and died over the break and teachers in a panic, so I'm making up for those 21 days. But it's totally worth it.  :)


ETA: Updated books read and page count because I finished my last book quicker than I expected on the 31st.

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review 2017-01-29 06:56
The Bookshop on the Corner
The Bookshop on the Corner - Jenny Colgan

Stupid pedantic complaint:  as it says on the back of the book, Nina opens a mobile bookshop.  So the title is driving me a little nuts.  It's not on the corner; it's a bookshop in a van.  It would, in fact, be hard for it to be on the corner without blocking a street.


Anyway, moving on, it's a pretty fantastic book.  About loving books.  Loving them so much you collect them all and bring them home until they start to exceed the limits of what your home's structure was engineered to put up with.  It's about friends, and small towns in the highlands of Scotland, and more books and eventually, there's a romance, but mostly it's about chucking everything and reinventing your life.  With books.


I've seen some comparisons to Sarah Addison Allen, and ... maybe I can see this, if you take away all the magical realism that's such a huge part of Allen's books.  The comparison that came to my mind while I was reading it was, truthfully, just as much of a stretch: Jennifer Crusie.  Colgan doesn't have that snarky overtone of humor, but the style of story - the slower buildup and pacing - is not dissimilar.  I don't read much in this genre so I don't have a lot of comparisons at hand.


There were a few areas where I felt like she skipped over pertinent details, and what happened to Alasdair?  He was an awfully significant cog in the machinery that got Nina her new life, and yet we never see him again - not even to say "thanks".  But I did love it, and I'll read it again someday.

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