Bookstores and Romantic Tales

I really like stories about books and bookstores.  They typically intertwine romance or mystery and have a happy, heartfelt ending.  Here are three such books I’ve recently read:

The Moment of Everything

This charmer was written by Shelly King who works for a Silicon Valley software Moment of Everythingcompany.  How she can work in high-tech and write a book at the same time is beyond me, but she does it well.  In The Moment of Everything King’s main character, Maggie, has been ousted from a Silicon Valley startup and is in need of motivation to move on.  She thinks a book club might be a network opportunity but must read Lady Chatterley’s Lover in one day.  That’s when she happens upon an old hardcover edition of the book.  She quickly discovers this book has special love notes in the margins.  These love notes grab Maggie’s curiosity and become core to a charming and clever mystery.   This a delightful love story, a quick read.   See Amazon reviews of this book.

The Shadow of the Wind

Shadow of the WindThe author, Carlos Ruiz Zafon has created a story involving a lot of characters that are intricately interwoven.  Mystery and intrigue are front and center.  For his tenth birthday, the main character, Daniel, is taken to a “Cemetery of Forgotten Books” by his father, a bookstore owner in Barcelona, where Daniel selects a random book for his very own.  Over time, Daniel’s curiosity in the book’s author propel him into a seriously complex mystery and life-long journey.   The journey takes the reader in and out of many lives.  It’s a story of hairpin turns and varying scenes.  But there is violence throughout and violence against women.  I could have done without that.  And, in parts, Zafon’s detail is tedious and distracting from the momentum of the story.  It took me a while to get into this book but I’m glad I stuck it out.  It gratifies and comes full circle.  Read what The New York Times said.

AJ Fikry The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

Written by Gabrielle Zevin, this is a story about a bookstore owner who has recently lost his wife. He’s living a curmudgeonly life in every way. One night he gets drunk and awakes the next morning to find his rare collection of Poe poems has been stolen.   There is change in the wind, however, as a series of events transforms him, his bookstore and those around him. This is a delightful story, uplifting and humorous.   See NPR’s interview with the author.

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