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Posts Tagged ‘Winter reading’

brokenwheelNew year, new books. I’m snowed by publishers’ suggestions for winter reading, titles perfect for fireside reading on long, cold nights. But I’m in the South, where winter might last a weekend, so my expectations don’t change with the seasons. I just want well-told tales. Happily, there appear to be plenty of new and forthcoming books that meet my criteria.

I began the year, appropriately, with a book about books, The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend (Sourcebooks, digital galley) by Kristina Bivald. In this engaging first novel, unemployed bookstore clerk Sara travels from her Swedish home to visit her pen pal Amy in Iowa for two months. But she arrives in the depressed town of Broken Wheel right after  Amy’s funeral –the older woman hadn’t told Sara she was even sick — and the townspeople encourage her to stay in Amy’s house because that’s what Amy would have wanted. Sara spends one night, and then another, meeting Amy’s quirky friends she has described in her letters. Then she looks at Amy’s massive book collection and decides to open a bookstore in an abandoned storefront next to the hardware store. Before long, the bookstore is the talk of the town — and the envy of its more prosperous neighbors.

Bivald intersperses the narrative with the chatty missives Amy sent Sara, and literary references abound as the readers of Broken Wheel begin to realize books can change lives, whether you’re a recovering drunk missing his long-gone daughter, or a spinster church lady giving into an unlikely love. Then there’s Amy’s hardworking nephew Tom, who doesn’t read books but is good at reading people, except himself.  Finally, Sara has a shelf in the bookstore devoted to books with happy endings when you need them. This book would fit right in.

My virtual bookshelves are filled with digital galleys I’ll be reading this winter.oppositeallthebirdsjanesteelestudyletterwriterdoubters

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firstfrostMy friends in Massachusetts and Maine are snowed in this Valentine’s Day. I hope they have lots of good books to keep them company. Here in Florida, I’m snowed under with books — library books, review copies, digital galleys, recent gifts, new purchases. Call it book love in a warm climate.

The only problem is finding enough time to read and write. So I’m going to let the writing part go for a few more days, but here’s a  glimpse of what I’ve read and what I’m reading in the meantime. Let it snow . . . books, that is.

 

 

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