Posts Tagged: Books


29
Apr 15

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

Book: The Little Paris Bookshop
Author: Nina George
Publisher: Abacus
Available: Out now
Summary: On a beautifully restored barge on the Seine, Jean Perdu runs a bookshop; or rather a ‘literary apothecary’, for this bookseller possesses a rare gift for sensing which books will soothe the troubled souls of his customers. The only person he is unable to cure, it seems, is himself. He has nursed a broken heart ever since the night, twenty-one years ago, when the love of his life fled Paris, leaving behind a handwritten letter that he has never dared read. The arrival of an enigmatic new neighbour in his eccentric apartment building inspires Jean to unmoor the floating bookshop and set off for Provence, in search of the past.

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Hi everyone,

Hope you’re all having book-filled weeks – this week I’ve been reading Nina George’s The Little Paris Bookshop, which is the ultimate Bank Holiday read if you were looking for a new book.

There are two things in the world that are always guaranteed to cheer me up: Paris, and a really good book. So you can imagine when Nina George’s novel landed on my desk, I immediately knew it would be right up my street. And it was, but it was so much more than I expected! I’ll be honest, I thought it would be a slightly cheesy but lovely romance novel, so I was completely caught unawares when it turned out to be a deeply moving novel that has you wanting to do a bit of soul-searching yourself. Jean Perdu is actually a bookseller who struggles to come to terms with his past, while helping others people heal their wounds with books.

I actually own a book called ‘The Novel Cure’ and it seems like Jean could have written it himself – it lists all different books and when the best time to read them is, i.e a particularly great novel for heartbreak, or if you’re bored or having an existential crisis.. Anyway, this novel had a lot more depth to it than I thought. It’s almost impossible not to get attached to Jean – even when he’s being stubborn or frustrating he eventually comes around and you feel like you’re going on this emotional and physical journey with him.

I thought Nina captured the essence of Paris but also Provence perfectly. There’s a lovely mix between the charm of the city and the charm of the countryside and it almost made want to get on a barge and go on an adventure (but then I remembered when I went on a canal boat once and got major cabin fever so I stayed put on the sofa under my blanket!). Jean is joined on his journey by Max, an author struggling to decide what his next novel will be after writing a bestseller.What I really like is that every character has a moving story – for example, Max has a complicated relationship with his Dad, Jean is trying to work through grief and heartbreak, and then they’re joined by various eccentric characters from a flamboyant singer to a passionate Italian chef, who all work through their issues.

In terms of literature, there are so many books mentioned throughout the story,  both real novels and made-up ones, for a bookworm like me it was an absolute dream and basically made for an extra reading list.

I would definitely recommend this to any book nerd out there, or anyone who would describe themselves as a bit of a dreamer. It’s brilliant!

What are you all reading?

Julie xx

 


6
Aug 14

New Day by Emma Gibbens

Book: New Day
Author: Emma Gibbens
Available: Out now in ebook format
If you like this you might also enjoy: Bridget Jones’ Diary
Summary: Emma’s protagonist decides to start a diary, following her life every day as she tries to get her first book published while still managing her life and relationships.

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Hi everyone,

Hope you’re all having book-filled weeks! For my second review of the week, I thought I’d talk about Emma Gibbens’ debut novel New Day, which I’ve been reading the last few days – it’s broken up into diary entries which makes it a perfect commute read as it’s easy to stop/start without forgetting what’s going on!

One thing I really liked about New Day is the way that it’s a diary of an ordinary woman – there’s loads of relatable everyday scenarios such as trying to get back into exercise, navigating family disputes, buying a house.. and even getting a book published! (Okay, that last one might be a bit more niche but I know lots of wonderful people writing incredible novels at the moment!).

Emma’s book has some funny and quirky moments, including a misunderstanding over a stolen kayak, and I found it very easy to read and keep up with.

I’d recommend this book if you’re commuting, or simply travelling – it’s easy to read and the diary format means you can keep up with it even if you need to put it down briefly!

What are you all reading?

Julie xx


27
Jul 14

Ishmael’s Oranges by Claire Hajal

Book: Ishmael’s Oranges
Author: Claire Hajal
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Available: Out now in hardback
If you enjoy this book you might like: O Jerusalem – Larry Collins & Dominique LaPierre
Summary: One minute seven-year-old Salim is dreaming of taking his first harvest from his family’s orange tree, the next he is swept away into a life of exile and rage. Seeking a new beginning in 1960s’ London, Salim find unexpected love with Jude , a troubled Jewish girl with her own devastating family history. But before long, childhood conflicts and prejudices reawaken to infringe upon their life together.

IshmaelOranges

Hi everyone!

Apologies for the long break from posts – I was lucky enough to escape to the South of France for a week or so, and while I got a lot of reading done, I wasn’t able to post.

This week, I’ve been reading Claire Hajal’s beautiful novel Ishmael’s Oranges. It gives you a deep insight into the conflicts in the Middle East, contrasting a really sweet love story between Salim and Jude, who come from different sides of an ongoing battle.

It’s a story about identity, family and trying to let go of a deep bitterness in order to move on. There are some truly heartwrenching passages, especially at the beginning when we see Salim’s childhood drastically change when his family suddenly lose everything, having been betrayed by their friends.

The love story between Salim and Jude is wonderfully written. It’s not at all like Romeo and Juliet – Salim and Jude’s families object but don’t stop them from being together. I love that their relationship isn’t kicked off with in a dramatic way – they simply meet, fall in love, and they decide to try and make it work despite the powerful barriers they face.

Salim at times I found to be a bit selfish, but Claire writes in a way that you understand his motivations, so I never found myself disliking him. Jude was a brilliant character – I found her really interesting because she hasn’t got a defining character trait, for example she’s not overly shy or much too confident. I think that was one of my favourite things about this novel – there’s no exaggeration, it’s all very matter-of-fact, so you really feel for all of the characters.

Definitely a great read if you want to learn a bit more about this conflict without having to hit the non-fiction books.

What have you all been reading this week?

Julie x

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