Review: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald.

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Title: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

.Author: Katarina Bivald

Genre: Contemporary

Rating: 4/5

Publisher:Random House UK, Vintage Publishing

Release Date: Jun 18, 2015


What I say is: a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore it knows it’s not fooling a soul. -Neil Gaiman

About the book:

Sara is 28 and has never been outside Sweden – except in the (many) books she reads. When her elderly pen friend Amy invites her to come and visit her in Broken Wheel, Iowa, Sara decides it’s time. But when she arrives, there’s a twist waiting for her – Amy has died. Finding herself utterly alone in a dead woman’s house in the middle of nowhere was not the holiday Sara had in mind.

But Sara discovers she is not exactly alone. For here in this town so broken it’s almost beyond repair are all the people she’s come to know through Amy’s letters: poor George, fierce Grace, buttoned-up Caroline and Amy’s guarded nephew Tom.

Sara quickly realizes that Broken Wheel is in desperate need of some adventure, a dose of self-help and perhaps a little romance, too. In short, this is a town in need of a bookshop.

My thoughts:

Sara and Amy exchange letters and opinions on books and life. After two years Sara decides to visit her pen-pal Amy. But when she arrives at Broken Wheel, Sara finds herself all alone in a rather depressing small town. With nothing much to do, Sara decides to open a bookstore. A bookstore for everyone, even those who ‘never read books’ or ‘preferred films’. A bookstore with unusual bookshelves.

If you’re looking for Of Mice and Men check Small-Town Life shelf.

Bridget Jones? For Friday Nights and Lazy Sundays shelf!

In the mood for some Hemingway? Try the short and sweet shelf.

There’s always a person for every book. And a book for every person.

In one of her letters, Amy writes: “You’ve got to be something of a dreamer to enjoy books, at least to begin with.”

Sara without a doubt is a dreamer.She lives in books more than anywhere else. One of my favorite parts of the book is when Sara is reading All Families Are Psychotic at the bookstore for hours and the whole of Broken Wheel come and watch her. ‘For God’s sake, woman, haven’t you got anything better to do with your time than read?’ Someone asks her. This scene means lot to me because I’ve been told my entire life; there is more to life than books.

Although Amy and Sara share almost the same taste in books, they have different opinions when it comes to people. Books or people, Sara asks in one letter, for her the answer is simple: Books. Even people in books are better. Amy writes to Sara: “How fun is it to read a fantastic book if you can’t tell others about it, talk about it, quote from it constantly?” later she adds: “Live a little. Read a little.” God! Everyone needs an Amy Harris in their lives.

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is a phenomenal book about books and reading. Do yourself a favor and buy a copy now.

About the author: 

Katarina Bivald grew up working part-time in a bookshop. Today she lives in Älta, Sweden, with her sister and as many bookshelves as she can squeeze in. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is her first novel.  Her second novel Livet, motorcyklar och andra omöjliga projekt (Life, Motorcycles and Other Impossible Projects) is coming out in the middle of August.

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Thank you NetGalley and Random House UK, Vintage Publishing for the review copy!

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3 thoughts on “Review: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald.

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