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Bookish People by Susan Coll

Bookish People

Author: Susan Coll

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Pages: 336

Publisher: Harper Muse

Publication Date: 2nd August, 2022

[ I received an advanced reader copy from the publisher. All views are mine. ]

Synopsis of Bookish People by Susan Coll (Goodreads)

Bookish People by Susan Coll is about a perfect storm of comedic proportions erupts in a DC bookstore over the course of one soggy summer week—narrated by two very different women and punctuated by political turmoil, a celestial event, and a perpetually broken vacuum cleaner.

Independent bookstore owner Sophie Bernstein is burned out on books. Mourning the death of her husband, the loss of her favorite manager, her only child’s lack of aspiration, and the grim state of the world, she fantasizes about going into hiding in the secret back room of her store.

Meanwhile, renowned poet Raymond Chaucer has published a new collection, and rumors that he’s to blame for his wife’s suicide have led to national cancellations of his publicity tour. He intends to set the record straight—with an ultra-fine-point Sharpie—but only one shop still plans to host him: Sophie’s.

Fearful of potential repercussions from angry customers, Sophie asks Clemi—bookstore events coordinator, aspiring novelist, and daughter of a famed literary agent—to cancel Raymond’s appearance. But Clemi suspects Raymond might be her biological father, and she can’t say no to the chance of finding out for sure.

This big-hearted screwball comedy features an intergenerational cast of oblivious authors and over-qualified booksellers—as well as a Russian tortoise named Kurt Vonnegut Jr.—and captures the endearing quirks of some of the best kinds of people: the ones who love good books.

My Thoughts About Bookish People by Susan Coll:

When a book has a cover like this and the words “Bookish People”, automatically I will have high expectations from that book. However, this book was such a let-down.

Firstly, I was not immediately hooked with the story. It took me about 30% to get into the story. I was even contemplating DNFing this book but I carried on and once I got interested in the story I carried on, hoping it would get better.

The bookstore owner, Sophie Bernstein, was grieving but it didn’t feel like she was grieving. She was acting in a weird way. I mean, everyone deals with grieve in a different way but I don’t know, her actions felt off to me. Another main character was Clemi who was in her 20s but she felt like she was an old woman.

Another thing about this book was it described more about vacuum cleaners than it did about the characters and their relations. Why was there so much details about vacuum cleaners and ovens? The characters felt very two- dimensional.

Also, there is a pet turtle in the book and he was mentioned many time. So my question is why isn’t there any turtle on the cover but instead, this dog? I mean, I love dogs, but I don’t remember anyone from the book having a pet dog. It was a turtle! There should’ve been a turtle on the cover!

One of the major plot points of this book is related to a famous poet, Raymond Chaucer, who Clemi assumes is her biological father. That aspect felt kind of unresolved and what was even the point of it all?

Another thing, this book is about a BOOKSTORE!! Our most favorite place in this world. It is a magical place. The author should have been able to make the bookstore come alive but it was not properly done at all.

Overall, I did not enjoy my time reading this book as much as I wanted to. Even though this book was not that boring, it was still a bland and lukewarm story. I did not get attached to any character at all. The only character I cared about was that poor turtle who was tossed around. It deserved better caretakers. There were few funny moments here and there but unfortunately they were not enough to save this book.

My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Thank you so much for reading my review. Any feedback would be highly appreciated!

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