Book Review: The Little Paris Bookshop

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

I’ve been lucky enough to be sent a few books to read from Hachette NZ and thought I would throw up quick reviews, at least for the ones worth talking about! Aside from my usual reading roundups, I haven’t really reviewed books before so please feel free to give me feedback on how I can make these more interesting and/or helpful. Or just comment below and let me know you love me, ’cause we all need some love every now and again.

The Little Paris Bookshop

Where most of my reading takes place. In bed.

Summary: The Little Paris Bookshop was published at the beginning of April, and as soon as it turned up at my doorstep I dropped my other book (sorry Outlander, I promise to return!) so I could dive right in. The beautiful cover was enough to perk my France-loving interest.

This story starts off in Paris and centres around Jean Perdu, the owner of a barge-based literary apothecary (I was sold as soon as I saw those two words) on the Seine where he prescribes books to his customers based on their ailments and needs. All of a sudden, he sets off with his young neighbour, searching for writing inspiration (aren’t we all!) down the country in search for closure.

My thoughts: This was the perfect way for me to escape into a Parisian story of love and friendship, and moving on from events we shut off in our past. Set in one of the most beautiful settings in the world, and with incredibly likeable characters (almost too likeable), it would be hard not to enjoy this book.

It was the kind of read where people interrupting me pissed me off, and I was only slightly ashamed of being rather unfriendly with colleagues. But when you are absorbed in a beautiful story set amongst Paris and Provence, with such vivid descriptions and characters, it can be a rather rude awakening to be brought back to reality. Sorry.

‘Most often he asked, “How should the book taste? Of ice cream? Spicy, meaty? Or like a chilled rose?” Food and books were closely related. He discovered this in Sanary, and it earned him the nickname “the book epicure.”’

What I liked: The dreamy setting (obviously, France will always be my escape from life), the funny little emotional descriptions our main character came up with, the ending that ties everything up in one satisfying bow and then gives you a few Provençal recipes to leave with (lavender ice-cream is a thing guys!).  It’s an easy, relaxing, feel good read, and you can’t finish it without a little bubble of happiness slowly descending over you. All the talk of delicious food can also make you quite hungry, fair warning to all.

What I didn’t like: Sometimes the characters were all a little too perfect. I loved them all, but sometimes I don’t want to love everyone and its nice to have a bit of variety. And we all know the French, they can’t possibly be all that lovely.

Worth a read: Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed every moment immersed in this and felt better off having read it. Any book lover/francophile would enjoy this. In fact almost anyone would enjoy it, it’s heartwarming in the best sense of the word and would also make an excellent gift.

Rating : 4 stars

*This book was kindly provided to me with no obligations and this has not influenced any of my opinions. I can barely keep track of my own thoughts, let alone someone else’s. 

Paris

The best part of this book was how vividly it brought to mind my memories of Paris and that beautiful Seine River

My Foxy Book Challenge #1-5

Hey fellow book lovers,

Back in 2013 I did the 50 book challenge through Goodreads (which I use and love) and although the blogging trailed off, I was pretty pleased with myself for completing it. Last year reading took a bit of a back seat and I didn’t keep much track of the few books I managed to get through. Reading for me has always been an escape from reality, a journey into my imagination and a source for creativity. I feel more relaxed just by giving myself 10 minutes a day to absorb the pages of a new book (or an old one) and so this year I wanted to try and make more time for it.

2015 has been a bit shaky so far so I lowered the bar to 40 books. I know it seems strange to go backwards in terms of goals but I had a few ridiculously long ones to get through this year (I’m looking at you Luminaries) and didn’t want to set myself up for failure. I’m a bit late in updating the blog so here are the first 5 books I read this year (this is your cue to grab a cup of tea and a good seat).Book Challenge

1. Paper Towns by John Green

I love pretty much everything John Green writes. I lap up his words like milk for the mind. The way he does these character studies that are seemingly simple in their plots and descriptions, but actually have a much more complicated symbolism always boggles my mind. Paper towns was another good book by him, but I hesitantly admit that it wasn’t as great as others like Fault in Our Stars or Looking for Alaska. Unlike before, it took me ages to get through and I didn’t read it as quickly as usual. This could be why I feel like I didn’t *get* the imagery behind the characters and their story. Maybe if I reread it I would feel different. Nevertheless, I can still appreciate the way the book was sectioned into three careful themes and I still loved the way he weaved his story around two young characters. It was definitely a book that leaves you pondering long after you put it down. 3 stars.

2. Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis

Lets be honest, autobiographies are normally something I don’t consider wasting reading time on. If I wanted to involve myself with reality I would deal with my own issues. After my flatmate giving this rave reviews and a trip to the beach where I wanted something easy to read, I gave this a go and was really surprised at how powerful this read was. It was a pretty raw and honest depiction of the damage addiction can do to a life, and although the writing sometimes leaves a bit to be desired, it was pretty gripping the whole way through. Definitely not a boring life (although I don’t think I was expecting his to be). 4 stars

3. We Were Liars by E.Lockhart

Okay, so I chose to read this book because I felt a bit defensive about my name being used by an author (how dare they) and I was hoping it would be rubbish so that if I ever became an author, I would be the better E.Lockhart. Alas, it was not to be. This book was unusual and written in a pretty unique way, but once I got into it you couldn’t pry this out of my determined hands. It was a short read and also pretty gripping so I got through this in a couple of days. The book is a suspense novel, with a twist that people smarter than me apparently worked out really early (I’m actually glad I’m not clever enough to work it out because I enjoyed the twist more that way…right?). Its better to just jump in knowing nothing and appreciate its cleverness at the end. 4 stars

4. A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard

This was a book that I swear took me months and months to finish. This is another true story, written by a young woman who survived as a prisoner for 18 years. Its not a fun or easy read, there were parts where I put the book down and was pretty convinced that I wouldn’t get through the rest. If you can handle an awful situation and a brutally honest retelling then this is definitely worth reading. 4 stars

5. Salvation in Death by J.D. Robb

Ending with the only book I would suggest no one bothers reading, this crime novel set in the future was a book chosen for book club (not by me I might add). Maybe I am misjudging because there are a whole series of books based around Detective Lieutenant Eve Dallas before this, but I didn’t enjoy this at all, and I have a BIG section of my book loving heart dedicated to crime fiction. They are my Mills & Boon. This was pretty rubbish, the setting was pointless and a little confusing, the plots were complicated but not in a way that ever made sense, the characters were annoying and made me angry most of the time. I gave this book more stars than it deserved. If you are looking for a good crime message just flick me a comment because there are SO many that I could suggest over this. 2 stars

Bit of a mixed bag, hopefully my book choices improve over the course of the year. Don’t forget to keep up with me over on Goodreads.

What have you been reading so far? Let me know if you are doing any book challenges this year