The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

July 16, 2015

The Little Paris Bookshop

... is a little confection of a book, one that tout le monde seems to be reading, with a wonderful premise, and very good, in spots.

Monsieur Perdu is a 50-year-old Parisian bookseller, or, as he calls himself, a literary pharmacist, diagnosing his customers and dispensing books to (or not allowing them to buy them) to help them with their emotions. {This seems to be a thing now.} His own emotions are caught up in his anger and grief over Manon, a beautiful young woman from Provence who he met on a train.  They were lovers years ago,  when she was in Paris, but she was engaged to a vintner at home.  Perdu thinks she left him, but when he gives an old kitchen table to Catherine, a divorcee who moves in across the hall, she finds a letter that tells him that Manon was waiting for him to come to her. So he sets off, piloting his book barge down the Seine,

Nina George's writing is imaginative, and lush, and wonderfully descriptive, and often a little over the top. But Jean Perdu was nice to spend time with, there was a romance, and even though I wish there had been more Paris (and more of the bookshop), there was nothing wrong with finding myself floating through France every morning instead of just riding the bus down grotty old Massachusetts Avenue.


Cosy Books said...

So my instincts were right about this one. I've been tempted to take a closer look whenever I see it on the display shelf at work but then thought...nah. Sounds like a good book for switching gears though, or while you're planning a get-away to Paris!

Esme said...

I am almost finished reading the book-I like it but I must confess I am not loving it.

Tamara said...

I love the title - and it's just perfect for this years Paris in July - a few others had read it - and I'm enjoying the different reviews. I like your review because it seems like you enjoyed 'spending time' with the characters... I like that idea.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I didn't love it either. Sigh.

Here's my post: Repas Préférés in France.

Arabella said...

Love the idea of this one.

Thank you for visiting!

Card Catalog

#6barsets #emma200th #maisie #PalliserParty #Woolfalong A.A. Milne Agatha Christie Alexander McCall Smith Allison Pearson Amy Lowell Angela Thirkell Ann Bridge Anne Perry Anthony Trollope Anticipation Armchair Travels Art Audiobooks Barbara Pym Biography Bloomsbury Bookish things Boston British Library Crime Classics Cambridge Cathleen Schine Charles Dickens Coffee-table books Cookbooks D.E. Stevenson Deborah Crombie Donna Leon Dorothy L. Sayers Dorothy Whipple E.H. Young E.M. Delafield E.M. Forster Edith Wharton Elinor Lipman Elizabeth Gaskell Elizabeth Jenkins Elizabeth Taylor Elizabeth von Arnim Ellizabeth Taylor Emily Dickinson Ernest Hemingway Eudora Welty Fiction Films Food from Books Food Writing Found on a Blog George Eliot Georgette Heyer Helen Ashton Henry James History Homes and Haunts Ideas Imogen Robertson Isabella Stewart Gardner Jacqueline Winspear Jane Austen Joanna Trollope Julia Child Language Laurie Colwin Letters Library Books Literature Louise Andrews Kent Louise Penny M.F.K. Fisher Madame Bovary Madame de Sévigné Madame de Staël Margaret Kennedy Margery Sharp Martha Grimes Mary Shelley Memoirs Miss Read My Year with Edith Mysteries Nathaniel Hawthorne Nonfiction Nook Only Connect P.D. James Paris in July Persephones Plays Poetry Pride and Prejudice 200 Queen Victoria R.I.P. Reading England 2015 Ruth Rendell Sarah Orne Jewett Short Stories Switzerland Sylvia Beach Team Middlemarch The 1924 Club The Brontës the Carlyles The Classics Club Thomas Hardy Virago Virginia Woolf Washington Irving Willa Cather William Maxwell Winifred Peck Winifred Watson