2017 10. The Little Paris Bookshop

By Nina George, Translated by Simon Pare

Rating:  3 out of 5

This is a sad book.  It is a good book, I think, but it is very sad.  I don’t know who would want to read such a sad book.  I think, perhaps, someone who had been through a similar situation might find it comforting, but I don’t know that anyone else would.  It wasn’t a waste of my time, but I would have been fine, had I never read it.

I have a feeling something was lost in the translation from French.  I may be wrong, but parts of it just seem a little too odd.


2017 9. The Woman in Cabin 10

By Ruth Ware

Rating:  3.5 out of 5

I haven’t quite finished this, so the rating might change.  Most of the book is kind of slow and average for me, but the portions about what’s going on back home keep it moving and exciting.  The excitement picks up in the last quarter of the book as well.

Really the bits between each part of the book, make the book.  It has a satisfactory ending as well.

2017 7. I Capture the Castle

By Dodie Smith

Rating 4.5 out of 5

I love this book!  This is our book club selection this month.  It has wit and romance and castles and suspense. Who IS Cassandra going to end up with, and what is Montmain doing at the British Museum?!

The author also wrote The Hundred and One Dalmatians.

The descriptions of poverty are casual and eye-opening.

I love how the book names tell the story of their improving fortunes.

The word “bogus” is used twice in the book, and that amuses me in a book written in 1948.

I have to print several quotes from the book.

“…ham with mustard is a meal of glory.”

“The desire for solitude often overcomes her at house-cleaning times.”

“And I quite understood:  when things mean a very great deal to you, exciting anticipation just isn’t safe.”

“I am not so sure I should like the facts of life, but I have got over the bitter disappointment I felt when I first heard about them, and one obviously has to try them sooner or later.”

“Another great luxury is letting myself cry – I always feel marvelously peaceful after that.  But it is difficult to arrange times for it, as my face takes so long to recover; it isn’t safe in the mornings if I am to look normal when I meet father for lunch, and the afternoon are no better, as Thomas is home by five.  It would be all right in bed at night but such a waste as that is my happiest time.  Days when father goes over to read in the Scoatney library are good crying-days.”  p 232

“And what I though about most was luxury.  I had never realized before that it is more than just having things; it makes the very air feel different, and I felt different, breathing that air:  relaxed, lazy, still sad but with the edge taken off the sadness.  Perhaps the effect wears off in time, or perhaps you don’t notice it if you are born to it, but it does seem to me that the climate of richness must always be a little dulling to the sense.  Perhaps it takes the edge off joy as well as off sorrow.

And though I cannot honestly say I would ever turn my back on any luxury I could come by, I do feel there is something a bit wrong in it.  Perhaps that makes it all the more enjoyable.” P 266

2017 6. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

By Katrina Bivald

Rating:  3.5 out of 5

I think this book was longer than it needed to be.  It had some great lines, quirky characters, and a decent ending.

Sophie was standing in the doorway, looking hesitantly at Sara. She had found Sara with her nose literally in a book. She looked up and slowly lowered it to the counter. She was busy unpacking a box of new books that had just arrived and had obviously been putting them to her nose, breathing them in.


She paused at Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men. Clearly small-town life, but also with such loathsome endings that she wondered whether it was morally defensible to sell them. Eventually, she put them out anyway but used one of the pieces of cardboard to cut out a smaller sign that she stuck up next to them. WARNING: UNHAPPY ENDING! she wrote.
If more bookshop owners had taken the responsibility to hang warning signs, her life would have been much easier. Cigarette packets came with warnings, so why not tragic books? There was wording on bottles of beer warning against drinking and driving, but not a single word about the consequences of reading books without tissues to hand.