The Bookshop of Yesterdays

The Bookshop of Yesterdays

Book - 2018
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7
Miranda Brooks grew up in the stacks of her eccentric Uncle Billy's bookstore, solving the peculiar scavenger hunts he would create just for her. But on her twelfth birthday, Billy disappears from Miranda's life, until sixteen years later, when she receives the unexpected news that Billy has died and left her Prospero Books. Miranda returns to the store, where she finds clues that Billy has hidden for her. Miranda becomes determined to solve Billy's final scavenger hunt.
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario :, Park Row Books,, [2018]
ISBN: 9780778319849
Branch Call Number: FICTION MEY
Characteristics: 364 pages ; 24 cm

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v
vkreads
Apr 20, 2019

I make a point to not know the specifics of plot and character development before reading a novel that 'looks really good' and I'm pleased to have read this novel: it's a page turner.

Meyerson's skill of including literary references in to the plot, and reasons, for 'including' famous and worthy literary novels, is a breath of fresh air. Do take note of those many titles,
in curious regard for further future reading. (Bookshops include inspiration for future reading.)

Thoroughly enjoyable; bright writing, emotional depth, friendly character development over time and experience with each other; dimensional "reasons" for why characters do, or do not do, certain behaviors.

d
DM_kcls
Apr 12, 2019

'The Bookshop of Yesterdays' is many books rolled into one. It's a book about books. It's a book about a book shop, about secrets, about forgiveness, about finding oneself, about truth. It's the Alice falling down the rabbit hole of books, a rabbit hole that I found interesting and enjoyable albeit occasionally a little slow. Every reader will know the big secret immediately, but that doesn't make the road the characters travel to find it, to admit it less interesting.

I absolutely loved this line ... and who among us doesn't know someone this describes?
"It was just about the only thing we were agreeing upon. Malcolm's sentences had quickly resumed their brevity, talking to me only when necessary. I missed our communion more than I'd expected,but Malcolm held on to the injury like it appreciated in value the longer he retained it."

I found this profound:
" There are three things in life that matter - your partner, your job, your place. One of those three has to be number one. The other two have to come second. For me it was Paul. I loved LA. I loved Prospero Books. But Paul was numero uno."
"What about family? Where does family fit in?" I asked.
..."I don't know. I was never close with my family. Maybe it should be a list of four - love, job, place, family?"
"Or maybe family is part of place?"
"That sounds right. And for Paul, family and place were numero uno because he was coming back to care for his mom. I never begrudged him that. It didn't mean he loved me any less. In love, job and place, one partner picks love, and the other picks something else that shapes their live together."

4 stars B+

r
rldudley_0
Feb 13, 2019

I am a sucker for books about bookstores or libraries. The latter have always been disappointing. This is a pretty decent tale; however Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan is a lot better. On the other hand it was a quick and entertaining read.

wildandcrazygirl1 Nov 05, 2018

I am sorry, but I found this book very tedious & boring. I couldn't wait to get thru it.

w
wyenotgo
Oct 09, 2018

This book is almost sure to appeal to those who appreciate a scavenger hunt -- in this case a literary scavenger hunt, the prize at the end consisting of learning the truth of a family mystery. The excursions into good literature are broad ranging and the underlying puzzle is worth the effort to solve it. The main characters are engaging and the plot is coherent.
So why only 3 stars? First, the clues and their solutions are so far-fetched as to require more suspension of disbelief than I'm prepared for. Second, the book is simply too long; in places, it begins to drag, especially where the family conflicts bubble up; I found those parts frustrating to read, not illuminating.
Finally: This is a book about the love of literature. Meyerson clearly wishes to share that love with us and the book is chock full of references to great books. And yet, her writing style is far from being luminous. I realize that composing great, rich prose is difficult; most writers cannot accomplish it. But if one sets out to write a book that celebrates fine writing, it seems to me that a healthy dose of pithy, elegant, memorable phrases are the order of the day. That is where the book falls short of expectations.

q
Quietday
Sep 19, 2018

I am giving it 3 stars for the well written mystery but the protagonist was so petty and unlikeable, it became grating to read. Miranda was surrounded by people that loved and adored her the entire story and yet she treated others poorly and had frequent snit fits. She gives the term "only child" a bad name. However, the literary references were appreciated and lovely and the bookshop was well described and appealing.

m
MrsKayStephen
Apr 24, 2018

The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson is a pleasant, yet predictable, story. Meyerson stays faithful to her plot line while developing her characters in a realistic and engaging way. This reader can only wonder why the protagonist takes so long to figure out her own back story, how to handle her present circumstances and to take control of her future adventures. She may be well read but she sure lacks in critical thinking skills.
I recommend this enjoyable novel, just don't expect any surprises here!
I received a free copy of this ebook via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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