Bookish People – ARC Book Review

Title:- Bookish People

Author:- Susan Coll

Date published:- will be published on August 2nd 2022

No. of pages:- 336 pages

Genre:- Literary Fiction


Plot:- 3/5

Writing:- 2.5 /5

Overall rating:- 2.5/5

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.

I really do like the book cover and I do like the plot of the story–Sophie Bernstein is a grieving widow who owns an independent bookstore in the DC area. Raymond Chaucier is a novelist whose book tour was canceled when he was blamed for his wife’s suicide. Sophie’s bookstore was the only store that will host the book tour. But when Sophie asks Clemi to cancel the tour, Clemi suscpect that Raymond maybe her biological father…

Though I liked the plot, reading this book to me felt like a heavy load. Too many characters which left me confused about the whole story as a result, which also made me bored and confused throughout the story. I wasn’t sure who is the actual main character in the story. This wasn’t as funny as it was labeled to be. Overall, I couldn’t enjoy this book as much as I hoped it would, which actually lowered the expectations of this book and the rating. Sadly worth only 2.5 stars.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.

Susan Coll is part of the events team at Politics and Prose bookstore, and the president of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. She is the author of the forthcoming Bookish People (Aug. 2022), as well as The Stager, Beach Week, Acceptance, Rockville Pike, and A television adaptation of Acceptance, starring Joan Cusack, aired in 2009.

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