Readers' Favorite

November 28, 2020

2 Books About Books

by Susan Roberts

It's always fun to read books about books and today I have a review of an old book (though a new edition was recently released) about a book club and a newer book about a book shop.
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The Book Club by Mary Alice Monroe

The Book Club
August, 2020 (new edition); MIRA; 978-0778314790
audio, ebook, print (394 pages); women's fiction
“Friendships were easy when life was going smoothly. What was hard was to be there for your friend when life got rough and the friendship was neither easy nor fun. The challenge was to forgive the friend when she failed.”  

This is one of Mary Alice Monroe's earlier books originally published in 1999 before she started writing  Southern fiction.  There's no ocean and no low country scenery but she still gives us a wonderful plot and well-written story of women facing problems that their friends help them work through.

This is a book about a book club.  In the beginning, they were just a book club but over time the women became best friends.  The five women are, 
  • Eve - her doctor husband has just died as the novel begins and she is left with two children and no idea of how to handle bills and money.
  • Annie - a lawyer who is happily married and decides that she wants a baby despite the fact that she is over 40.
  • Doris - has poor self esteem and a husband who seems to be away from home more and more.
  • Gabriella - has to support her family after her husband loses his job.
  • Midge - is single and an artist but wants to fall in love.

All of the women are at a critical point in their lives and help each other get through the bad times.  It is always fun to read books about the importance of women's friendships.  This is a light read with everyone getting their happily ever after ending.

Buy The Book Club at Amazon

The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs

The Lost and Found Bookshop
July 2020; William Morrow; 978-0062914095
audio, ebook, print (368 pages); women's fiction
"I've always believed there's something magical about a book.  A bundle of paper and ink that can change your life.
" (loc 3949)

This is a warm and exciting story about making changes in your life and making the best of a bad situation.

Natalie lives in Napa and has a high-level job for a wine company.  When she finds out that her mother and her fiancĂ© died in a plane crash, she goes back to her home in San Francisco to close up and sell her mother's bookshop and take care of all the loose ends that her mother left in her life -  Not just the bookstore and the financial situation but most importantly the care of her grandfather who is in the early stages of Alzheimer's.  There is one major stumbling block to her plans - her grandfather still owns the bookshop and will not allow it to be sold so she decides to work to make the bookstore successful again and to get out from under the huge financial burden of the store.

Natalie grew up in an apartment above the bookstore and had always loved the store and books.  She really wants to save the bookstore but there are lots of problems - minimal money, repairs that need to be done to the store, her grandfather's diminishing mental state as well as her deep grief at the loss of her mother who was her best friend for her whole life.  So Natalie decides to have her grandfather stay in his apartment in the bookstore and she moves into her mother's apartment upstairs and with the help of the two bookstore employees, she starts looking for ways to make the bookstore more profitable.  

This great book has all you need for a light summer read - a little mystery, a little romance, friendship and family, and most of all BOOKS!

Let me leave you with another line from the book that I really liked:
"Unlike men, books were easy.  They filled you with all the emotions in the world - joy, read, fear, hurt, gratification - and then they came to an end." (loc 4809)

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. Since her travel plans had to be canceled for this year, she is starting to make plans for travel in 2021. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter.

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