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review 2018-02-23 15:10
It's a book with a blue cover and it starts with 'the'. Do you know which one I mean?
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores - Jen Campbell

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores by Jen Campbell is very reminiscent of I Work in a Public Library which I reviewed early last year. Both books include true stories of interactions and incidents that occurred in places which feature books as the main attraction. Jen's book talks about people who are so improbably strange I don't know how they were let out of the house much less let loose in a bookstore. Also, Ripping Yarns is a confusing name for a bookstore so I don't know why it's that unusual that people calling to find out if they sold yarn was so kooky it deserved its own subsection. (A yarn is another name for a story and 'ripping' is a term like 'awesome' hence Ripping Yarns.) Some of the things that stuck out for me were the customers that didn't seem to understand what is actually sold in bookstores. No, you can't buy hardware materials in a bookstore. That would be a hardware store. There were some true LOL moments like the lady who came in and couldn't remember which Danielle Steel books her mom had/hadn't read and asked the bookseller if SHE knew. *face palm* The chapter on parents and kids especially reminded me of what it's like being a Children's Librarian (there are a lot of interesting interactions, ya'll). One thing that really surprised me were the number of people who would approach the desk and ask about possible jobs but would be super weird about it. For example, telling the bookseller that there job looked super easy and then asking if they were hiring. If you're looking for funny anecdotes about what it's like to work in the book trade then you couldn't get more spot on than this book. It's a quick book that you can dip in and out of when you're looking for a laugh or if you just want to check if it's not just you that get involved in super weird conversations with strangers. 8/10


A/N: With this review we've finally reached the books I read in December of last year. *crowds do the wave*


A taste of what awaits you inside the book. [Source: Buzzfeed]


What's Up Next: Scythe by Neal Shusterman


What I'm Currently Reading: Gorillas in the Mist by Dian Fossey

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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text 2018-02-02 16:39
Another Day in a German bookstore
Eisige Flut - Nina Ohlandt

Today I went to a local bookstore with my mother and once again I had to roll my eyes while being in a German bookstore. 


Eisige Flut was the first book I picked up, mainly because I was intrigued by the frantic looking gull on the cover.


I had to read the blurb out loud to my mother, though. One February morning a police officer is called out to a homicide in Nordfriesland. There is a corpse on the treshold of a house, frozen stiff and wrapped in a thick layer of ice...


My mother´s commentary (who has lived in Nordfriesland all of her life): "Oh, this book must take place in 1963. That was the last winter such a thing could have happened." I couldn´t argue against that, besides that the book is set in comtemporary times and that the murderer might have a big freezer at home. It´s Nordfriesland this author is writing about, not the Arctic, Alaska or some other freakishly cold place on earth. At the moment we have 5 degrees celcius here.


I wonder what was going through the head of the author while writing implausible stuff like this. But then, all the Nordfriesland mysteries I have read so far were the bottom of the barrell. My poor home, it has to eternally suffer from bad writing.






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review 2018-01-28 16:22
“Lost For Words” by Stephanie Butland
Lost for Words - Stephanie Butland

"Lost For Words" is my first "recommend to anyone who reads" novel of 2018. Set mostly in the Lost For Words bookshop in York, this novel follows Loveday Cardew as she decides whether and how to move beyond surviving in the refuge she has built for herself in the bookshop and start living a richer life, shaped by hope rather than fear.


I liked Loveday. She is comfortable in her own skin. She is a loner, not just because she has poor social skills but because she doesn't like most people. Most of the time, she prefers spending time, hunting, shelving, selling and reading books than she does talking to people and she has no problem with that.


Yet Loveday is not entirely who she wants to be. She has a secret that she hugs to herself that keeps a little more distance between her and the world than she would like to have. She knows that keeping the secret secret prevents her from being herself. She fears that sharing the secret will destroy the small safe space she lives in.


This is a novel about trust: how hard it is to win, how easy it is to lose, how necessary it is for happiness. Loveday has three men in her life: the larger than life owner of the bookshop who rescued her and offered her safe haven, the unpleasant and perhaps unbalanced ex-boyfriend who won't accept the ex designation and the young man, full-time magician and part-time poet, who she has just met. Her interactions with them, with the books in the bookshop and with her own past create the landscape through which Loveday is trying to find her way to a better future.


"Lost For Words" deals with abuse, male violence, mental illness, guilt and the possibility of hope while staying down to earth and credible. Loveday is someone I can easily imagine meeting. Someone hard to get to know but worth the effort.


One of the things I liked most about the book was the way Performance Poetry was used as a vehicle for the characters to find out more about themselves and each other. The delivery was unpretentious and natural, powered by a love of words and a NEED to speak. The poems were worth listening to as more than a means of moving the plot along.


The plot often has the tension and pace of a thriller rather than a romance or a piece of gentle introspection on the impact of life choices on identity. There are violence and hate at life-threatening levels. There are dark secrets and broken minds. There is also a deep understanding of the power of kindness.


I think this is a first-class book. I would have expected it to get the same kind of profile as "Midnight At The Bright Ideas Bookstore".  Sadly, the publishers don't seem to have done well by this book. They've given it a cover that suggests some kind of Jenny Colgan meets cosy mystery hybrid that doesn't reflect the character of the novel at all. They've released it under two titles:"Lost For Words" and "The Lost For Words Bookshop".


I suppose I should look on the bright side: they did publish a remarkable book, even if they don't seem to understand what's remarkable about it. I recommend the audiobook version, superbly narrated by Imogen Church.


You can sample her performance on the SoundCloud link below.

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/310880978" params="color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true&visual=true" width="100%" height="300" iframe="true" /]


I've now bought Stephanie Butland's earlier book, "Letters To My Husband" an epistalatory novel that I have high hopes of.

Here's what the publisher says:

letters_to_my_husband-395x600Dear Mike, I can’t believe that it’s true. You wouldn’t do this to me. You promised.

Elizabeth knows that her husband is kind and good and that he loves her unconditionally. She knows she hasn’t been herself lately but that, even so, they are happy.

But Elizabeth’s world is turned upside down when Mike dies in a tragic drowning accident. Suddenly everything Elizabeth knows about her husband is thrown into doubt. Why would he sacrifice his own life, knowing he’d never see his wife again? And what exactly was he doing at the lake that night?

Elizabeth knows that writing to Mike won’t bring him back, but she needs to talk to him now more than ever . . .

How much can you ever know about the people you love?

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review 2017-12-28 22:40
Eventually your past will catch up with you
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel - Matthew J. Sullivan

I had hoped to keep up the momentum and actually post a new review every single day leading up to New Year's but I got super busy with mom in town and...ah well. :-)


I thought I made notes about every single book that I've read this year and then it's time to review Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew J. Sullivan and I've got nothing. This leaves me in an interesting predicament because I read this book quite a while ago (September to be precise) and so this is going to be a test of the narrative's sustainability in my memory. (Full disclosure: I had to look up the synopsis because all I remembered was 'mystery, death, and bookstore'.) Without being too spoiler-y, the book follows a young woman named Lydia who works at the Bright Ideas Bookstore. Lydia has a secret. Well, it's at least a secret from her closest friends and co-workers. At the very start of the novel, Lydia discovers the body of one of her favorite patrons hanging in the bookstore where she works. (This isn't giving anything away because it's on the book jacket, ok?) This sets her off on a journey to not only discover why he killed himself but how the two of them might be interconnected beyond the clerk/customer relationship. Full of suspense (and not a little gore), this was an enjoyable read. I felt a bit like Sherlock Holmes trying to suss out the real clues from the barrage of information that the author threw my away but it wasn't too overwhelming. This is definitely a novel full of drama so if that isn't your jam I don't recommend this one. (And if you're squeamish I think you'd better steer clear.) 8/10 with a few points lost because I predicted the ending somewhat.


What's Up Next: Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories 


What I'm Currently Reading: I FINALLY FINISHED SCYTHE

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2017-12-09 17:39
Bit annoyed at the MC in this one.
Death by Tea (A Bookstore Café Mystery) - Alex Erickson

Death by Tea is the second in the Bookstore Cafe mystery series and not my favorite. I felt the MC did to many stupid things and wanted to smack her.


Krissy named her bookstore cafe after one of her dad's books Death by Coffee and in doing so she had gained this mega fan who seems to go on and on about her dad. Krissy is not a fan of her droning about her father because she wants to be her own person (so then maybe you shouldn't name her store after one of his books??) :) Then one day she brings in a life size picture of Krissy's father and wants to  leave it their, but Krissy doesn't want it there. 


Then Krissy finds out that she is hosting a book club duel of some sorts and then one of the guys from the club is murdered in Death by Coffee, he was hit with a tea kettle. 



  • So Krissy sneaks into her own business to steal the life size pic of her dad. Finds out a man was killed there so lies about being there. Gets caught in a lie, still doesn't come clean about taking the life size pic, gets caught with it in her house. 
  • In anger hits the one cop who hates her gets thrown in jail, and still does stupid things.
  • Instead of telling Paul about her suspicions makes a full of herself in front of a bunch of people. 

So she was not my favorite character this go around. I really enjoyed Death by Coffee the first book, and I am hoping she gets a bit smarter in the third book but I just kep rolling my eyes with this one. :(


It has a really good mystery and I really didn't figure it out until pretty close to the reveal though I didn't know the why. 


Overall, it was okay but not great.

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