If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

Check out our February author interviews: 2/7-debut author Keenan Powell (Alaskan lawyer), 2/14-Leslie Wheeler (Rattlesnake Hill), 2/21-bestselling author Krista Davis, who unveils a new series, 2/28-Diane Vallere answers my questions about Pajama Frame. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our February Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 2/3-Saralyn Richard, 2/10-Kathryn Lane. WWK's Margaret H. Hamilton will blog on 2/17, and Kait Carson on 2/24.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Little Paris Bookshop

A while back my Washington State sister and her husband recommended this book to me, by author, Nina George. I read it and enjoyed it so much I chose it for both of my book clubs to read. One of the cool things about the book was a map in the front showing Monsieur Perdu’s trip down the Seine and his further travels after he left the river.

Only six of our members were there at Roby Lee's that day.

The Third Thursday Book Club meets at a December Christmas party at a member’s home, and picks out the books we’ll read in the following year. It’s kind of nice knowing what book we’ll be reading so we can get it ahead of time. At my suggestion we chose The Little Paris Bookshop, for our May meeting at Roby Lee’s restaurant, where we discussed the book for that month and as usual many of us stayed for lunch after we were done.

Almost everyone is in this picture at another member's home.

I also chose it for the August meeting of the Red Read Robin book club at my house. In that book club, each month we meet in the evening. Someone is the hostess and picks the book for the month. Some have it in their home and serve dinner, and others choose a restaurant where we eat and then discuss the book. This is the club that usually has wine at our meetings, too.

Book blurb on the inside cover: “Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can’t seem to heal through literature is himself; he’s still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter that he has never opened.” (One of my fellow bloggers told me perdu means lost. I thought that quite interesting and appropriate for this character.)

“After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books and showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.”

“Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure, The Little Paris Bookshop is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people’s lives.”

The author, Nina George works as a journalist, writer, and storytelling teacher. She writes science thrillers, novels, feature articles, short stories and columns. The Little Paris Bookshop spent more than a year on bestseller lists in Germany, and was a best seller in Italy, Poland and the Netherlands. George is married to the writer Jens J. Kramer and lives in Hamburg, Germany and Brittany, France.” The American version was translated by Simon Pare, and published by Crown Publishers, New York, in 2015.

This book had one of our liveliest discussions. We used some of the questions for discussion from Lit Lovers (http://www.litlovers.com).

“Memories are like wolves. You can’t lock them away and hope they leave you alone.” Towards the beginning of this book, Monsieur Perdu opens a door to a room, he has sealed for two decades. We discussed why he would do this and not open a letter he’d received. Most of us thought he’d been foolish and how much his life would have been different if he’d opened the letter when he’d received it.

Perdu was an unusual bookseller because he felt that contrary to belief that booksellers only cared about books, but they looked after people. He helped people find books that would heal them. We discussed this concept, and thought it was interesting that he would refuse to sell books to some people because he didn’t think it was right for them. It also was fascinating, that he seemed to be able to read people well enough to know what was right for them.  I asked if they’d ever had a book that made changes in their life. Answers varied in both book clubs.

In one chapter, Perdu refuses to sell a copy of Max Jordan’s Night to a customer even though Mas was right there. Purdu felt it would upset the woman who wanted it. Whether or not there is such a thing as a dangerous book, we had to laugh at what happened in that scene with Max open mouthed.

“Time to mourn, or “hurting time,” was a time for almost every character in the book to some extent. We discussed this in both book clubs, and many of us could relate to that because we had lost someone important in our lives – two of us had lost sons.

We discussed different aspects and questions in both book clubs. One was it possible to love two people at the same time. There were a lot of opinions of that. Some really loved the book. Some liked it but found certain parts dragged for them. Only one member said she hated it, but then that’s not too unusual from her. Some were annoyed with Perdu over some of the things he did, but most weren’t, and overall the book created good discussions and those who finished it liked the ending. Those who hadn’t gotten there yet, planned on reading the rest of it. As for me, I liked it. I must have liked it since I read it three times although I mostly skimmed it the third time.

This month I’ve been in The Third Thursday book club for ten years. Next February I’ll have been with the Red Read Robin book club ten years, too. I was with both book clubs since the beginning, and it’s been a wonderful time with them. Sharing books creates friendships, I’ve found. I’ve read books I’d never heard of before, and found most of them good, although there were a few I didn’t care for, but still reading books I normally wouldn’t read expands my knowledge and way of looking at things. And I enjoy being introduced to new authors, too.

Do you belong to a book club?
If there was a literary apothecary near you, would you visit it?
Has there been a book that made a big difference in your life?
What was it if there has been such a book?


Carla Damron said...

I would LOVE a literary apothecary. I'd like to run one, actually. Sounds like you belong to some very nice book groups!

Margaret Turkevich said...

I have a shelf of "head cold" books I re-read every winter: Winspear's Maisie Dobbs books, PD James, Martin Walker's Bruno, Chief of Police series.

Gloria Alden said...

Carla, I do. One of the things I wanted to do when I retired was join a book club. When I saw a notice on the counter of a little cafe where some friends and family met to play cards once a week, I showed up for their first meeting at the same cafe. It eventually went out of business and we moved to another restaurant. It went out of business and then we went to where we meet now. The second group is just as good. I feel very lucky to be a part of each group.

Margaret, I love "head cold" books. :-) I really enjoy the Maisie Dobbs books as well as the PD James books. I've not heard of Martin Walker's books. I'll have to check those out.

KM Rockwood said...

I love my book club!

We read in the mystery/thriller/crime genres, and I end up reading lots of things I might never pick up by myself. Our next selection was Breaking Cover, by Stella Rimington. It was a good story, but I was surprised to come to the conclusion that it had one or two major conceptual flaws and a "damsel in distress" opening. I will be interested to see if the others feel the same way. We will discuss it in October.

We go on "field trips." Our September meeting was to the Sidwell Friends School (which can boast educating the children of several sitting presidents) to hear Louise Penny speak. Since none of us especially like driving (or parking) in DC, we rented a van to take us, and brought a light dinner and wine for the trip.

Other field trips have included a talk by Daniel Silva, the Poe house and museum in Baltimore, and a trip to the Charlestown racetrack after we read a Dick Francis novel.

Shari Randall said...

I love my book club! We don't usually read mysteries, so it keeps me up to date on other genres like nonfiction, science fiction, the Oprah books, books I don't usually pick up on my own, but that have been wonderful and broadening. My book club usually meets at members houses' except for our summer meeting which we have at the neighborhood pool. Also our holiday meeting is a bit different - some years we all bring a reading, poem, or other short work that's appropriate to the holidays instead of reading one particular book.
The Little Paris Bookshop sounds like a book my group would like!

Gloria Alden said...

KM, that sounds like an awesome book club. Neither one of my book clubs read many mysteries. I'm usually just about the only one who picks them.

Shari, as I just said, neither do either of my clubs, and you're right that it opens me up to other genres I might not read. I like when my one book club meets in a home because it's easier to hear what is being said when there isn't the noise from other people in the restaurant. I think your group might like that book, too.

Warren Bull said...

I am in a book club that chooses interesting books.

Grace Topping said...

I've been in the same book club, same members for over 20 years. During that time, I've been introduced to books that I probably would never shave discovered on my own. Book clubs are terrific.

Gloria Alden said...

Good, Warren. Do they choose the ones you review on your blog?

That's a long time, Grace. I agree that book clubs are terrific in introducing us to books
we wouldn't otherwise have read.

Anonymous said...

Hi Gloria, I think YOU are my Literary Apothecary. Your library and selections and comments have always inspired me! Really enjoyed this blog and will definitely read this book! ~ Laura