The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson

Miranda inherits a bookshop – and a whole slew of secrets. Fun and clever, The Bookshop contains many allusions to Shakespeare, a literary mystery, and a box of family treasures.

Problem was, I solved the mystery in the first couple chapters, and the Shakespearean quotes bogged me down after a while. I think a little more work ensuring the book flowed effortlessly (for the reader!) would have helped. Even though I really liked Miranda and the other bookshop staff, and I thought that Meyerson did a good job developing the friendships, the family relationships and the mystery itself all seemed a little contrived. All’s well that ends well, though, right?

(get it?)

-calliope

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Review: Ban This Book by Alan Gratz

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Ask any bibliophile what they think about banning books and you’re sure to get an earful.  At the very core of our being is the need to read anything and everything that we wish.  So when someone mentions banning a book based on a moral objection, that’s dangerous territory.

Amy Anne loves to read.  And she has one book that she loves to read above all others:  From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.  She checks it out from the school library as often as she can.  In fact, she’d check it out every single time if she could.  When she goes to check it out one day, however, it’s not there.  To her dismay, she finds out that it’s been removed.  Banned, even.  Somebody somewhere decided that this most favorite book of hers, along with several others, isn’t appropriate for kids to read.

Thus begins Amy Anne’s mission.  She takes it upon herself to make sure that all the kids can read all the books.  Along the way she learns to voice her opinion, to make friends, and to follow her heart even when it’s not the easy thing to do.

Do parents have the right to choose what books they want their children to read?  Absolutely.  However, they don’t have the right to choose what books everyone else’s children are allowed to read.  It’s a slippery slope when one book is banned because somebody has an objection, and that message is driven home through this narrative.

I loved this book so very much.  Amy Anne is me when I was a kid in so many ways.  Losing herself in books, not speaking up because she didn’t want to cause trouble for anyone, she resonated deeply with me.  I only wish that the younger version of me had as much courage as she did to stand up for something she believed in.

*Note:  I’d recommend this one for middle school and up.  Although the message is appropriate for all ages, there is some mention of more mature content.

*Another note:  All of the books in this fictional story are books that have actually been challenged or banned at one time or another.

*One more note:  When I started this book, I had no idea that Amy Anne’s most favorite book in the whole wide world was also my most favorite book in the whole wide world when I was a kid.

~Thalia

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Review – The Little Paris Bookshop, by Nina George

23278537This isn’t my usual type of read at all. However, past experiences of dipping my toes in other genres have proven successful in finding one of my favourite reads (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), so I thought I’d give it another go! Now, I’ll tell you upfront, this book didn’t turn out to be a favourite read of mine, but a solid choice nonetheless.
Nina George is German based writer, and so I was initially concerned that this book may get lost in translation (remember my experiences with the Dutch novels?), however, it remains rather neutral.
Set in modern day Paris, The Little Paris Bookshop follows Jean Perdue, a bookseller that sells his products from a river boat. Jean is very in-tune with his customer’s feelings and knows exactly what they should read in order to make them feel better, much like a chemist, but the prescription is books!
We learn that Jean’s wive left him quite a few years ago, and one day he finds a letter that explains a lot. This sets of a trip he takes down the river Seine and throughout France.
Along the way he meets a host of characters and experiences life like he never had whilst in Paris.

George writes a good story and I will be reading further offerings from this author. The characters are realistic (to a point), and are given enough emotion so that the reader cares about them. If you’ve never been to Paris, or France in general, you will want to go after reading this, so start saving those pennies! If you’ve been before, you will want to re-visit, so again, I say to you, start saving those pennies!

This novel is a mixture of heartbreak, comedy, and passion. Passion for fellow human beings and indeed passion for books. Sometimes, an eye roll did almost occur, however, this is a nice light read and should be taken for what it is. If you’re looking for something different, but not too different, then definitely give this one a chance!

Pegasus.

The Little Paris Bookshop: A Novel

Review: The Bookshop on the Corner by Rebecca Raisin

20140714-202708-73628623.jpg Rebecca Raisin infused this book with total cliched cuteness. From the bookshop owner who wanted to read all day to the loud hairdresser in a nearby shop to the roving reporter who falls in love with a small town and considers staying… It’s all been done before. But it hasn’t been done like this: with complete honesty about the fact that the bookshop owner wanted her life to be like the lives of her romance heroines. Sarah wanted the perfect boyfriend, the perfect falling in love story, the happily ever after. So Rebecca Raisin has Sarah openly admit what some of us in real life won’t!

It’s all very meta… The whole time I was thinking YES/EXACTLY, followed by THAT’S SO TRITE, followed by BECAUSE IT’S SO TRUE. I felt like I WAS Sarah because I’m a book lover too. And aren’t we all pretty much reading characters we identify with in one way or another?

So yeah, it’s clichéd. But it’s also literary and layered and symbolic and entertaining and relatable. If you like books, that is. 😉

-Calliope

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