The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

Book - 2015
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A debut novel to charm all readers, that shows beyond all doubt that it's books, along with love, that make the world go round.
It all began with a correspondence between two quite different women: 28-year-old Sara from Haninge, Sweden, and 65-year-old Amy from the small town of Broken Wheel, Iowa. After years of exchanging books, letters and thoughts on the meaning of literature and life, Sara, mousy, disheveled, who has never been anywhere in her life--has really lived only for her work in a beloved bookshop, which has just closed its doors for the last time--bravely decides to accept her unknown friend's invitation to visit. But when she arrives, she finds her house empty, the funeral guests just heading home. . .
Sara finds herself alone. And what choice do the inhabitants of Broken Wheel have but to take care of their bewildered tourist? And what choice does Sara have, faced with a town where nobody reads and her desire to honour her friend, but to set up the perfect bookshop with all the books she and Amy shared--from Yann Martel's Life of Pi to Iris Murdoch and Jo Nesbo, to Bridget Jones and Doug Coupland's All Families Are Psychotic to Little House on the Prairie ? And then watch as the townsfolk are, one by one, transformed in unexpected ways. . .
In the glorious tradition of 84 Charing Cross Road , The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society , Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Caf#65533; , Will Schwalbe's The End of Your Life Book Club , Jane Austen, and movies such as You've Got Mail and Love Actually , The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is a big-hearted, witty book about books, friendship, love--and always being open to the unexpected.
Publisher: [Toronto] : Bond Street Books/Doubleday Canada, ©2015.
ISBN: 9780385683593
Characteristics: 376 pages ;,21 cm
Additional Contributors: Menzies, Alice - Translator

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JCLMargaretO Jul 25, 2017

What a delightful book! Love the characters, love the story, and love seeing how many books referenced were also on my bookshelves. Fun, quirky characters in this tiny little town will steal your heart. Makes a great book group discussion selection.

Riddlereads Jan 15, 2017

For book lovers and those who want a great people story. I can see this book becoming a movie with its great characters.

l
laphampeak
Dec 24, 2016

4 stars for the story not necessarily for the literary style of writing. I'll take a good story over a fabulous writing style most of the time. Broken Wheel is a "blink and you'll miss it" town. The author took us down main street in a very slow yet detailed manor, rich in the inner lives of its inhabitants and those it affects. Life is what you make it!

FindingJane Nov 30, 2016

Broken Wheel isn’t a quiet little town. It isn’t a greasy burger joint off Route 66. It’s somewhere in between, a town where people have lost interest, where businesses have been boarded up for years, a town abandoned by the young folk to seek their fortune in the nearest big city, Hope IA, and a place where the older people have settled to die of polite boredom. Enter Sara, a Swedish tourist who’s come to meet her pen pal—only to be informed that she died shortly before Sara arrived.

Sara isn’t one of those volatile personalities who arrive to shake up everybody with dancing, wild outfits or outré outlooks on life. She’s a book nerd who believes that books are better than people and has the shy, retiring nature to show for it. So I liked her at once.

This book takes a while to get going. Its glacial pacing means that you’re slowly immersed in the lives of Broken Wheel’s inhabitants: the town drunk Poor George with his on-again, off-again sobriety; the neighborhood religious pillar of righteousness Caroline and the town loose woman named Grace (although her real name is Madeleine), descended from a long line of Graces who pride themselves in their wrong decisions and outlaw ways, to name a few.

These people are far more interesting than Sara is at the start and that seemed wrong to me. Surely the protagonist is the one who should capture the attention! But Sara sees herself as a minor player in her own life, even as she slowly but surely acts as a catalyst for change.

This is a novel I would recommend for people who like to take their time to settle into a book. Far from being a novel you plunge into headfirst, the book, like Broken Wheel itself, creeps up on you with a steady pull. And, yes, it does promote the adoration of books, that grand passion that can seize even the wary.

SPL_Brittany Oct 13, 2016

A fun and light read with real warmth! Readers will feel a real sense of place in this novel, and enjoy it's wonderful cast of characters as they follow Sarah during her stay in Broken Wheel, Iowa. A great read for book lovers and for those who enjoy reading about small town life through multiple characters.

I highly recommend listening to the audio book - the narrator is fantastic with accents and bringing the characters to life!

m
ms_mustard
Aug 10, 2016

a light summer read with some interesting plot twists, but sometimes twisted a little too far. good overall.

s
stargazer1
Jul 25, 2016

Outstanding. I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. What a great story teller. I look forward to more works by this author.

v
vashonbookgrazer
Jun 20, 2016

This book was lovely in many ways. It was light, but meaningful, and reminds some of us who are floating through life and buried in books, that stepping out into the world and out of our comfort zones can have an impact on others and ourselves in a positive way.

e
EricaReynolds
Jun 07, 2016

A lovely weekend/vacation read if you like feel-good stories and love books and bookshops in general. At times, I felt it was a little too sweet and too predictable, but in the end, I was satisfied, and I liked it a lot. A little like The Storied Life of AJ Fikry meets 800 Grapes.

n
niceauntie
May 31, 2016

How could you not enjoy a book where the main character is a bookworm? This is a feel good love story. Simple and completely enjoyable to read. Great summer reading.

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SPL_Robyn Sep 15, 2015

What’s a young woman from Sweden doing in a teensy mid-west Iowa town? Well, she is not seeing the sights, that’s for sure. She is also not meeting her elderly pen-pal, Amy, who passed away right before she arrived on her trans-Atlantic flight.

What she is doing, for the first time in her life, is living life outside of the books she loves to read and re-read. Sara and Amy’s love of books forged them a friendship across the miles and when Sara arrives in Broken Wheel to find her one living friend no longer living, she feels more alone than ever. The townspeople don’t know what to make of her – she is so quiet, undemanding and, well… lost. But so are they, as Sara comes to learn, and she decides to give them something for the kindness they’ve shown her – the town’s first bookstore. With the Oak Tree Bookstore comes a sense of a sense of civic pride, a sense of family, some mending of long-broken fences, and a new sense of hope to the dying town’s residents.

In fact, The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is a story wrapped around an ode to the small mom-and-pop bookstores that are slowly disappearing, and to the shopkeepers who know their wares so intimately they can instinctively find the book you need as well as the book you want. It is also an ode to book lovers and books of all shades of noir, romantic pink and yes, grey. As a matter of fact in reading this novel, you’ll find references to so many great books that your to-be-read pile is sure to grow!

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