The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

Book - 2015
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A debut novel to charm all readers, that shows beyond all doubt that it's books, along with love, that make the world go round.
It all began with a correspondence between two quite different women: 28-year-old Sara from Haninge, Sweden, and 65-year-old Amy from the small town of Broken Wheel, Iowa. After years of exchanging books, letters and thoughts on the meaning of literature and life, Sara, mousy, disheveled, who has never been anywhere in her life--has really lived only for her work in a beloved bookshop, which has just closed its doors for the last time--bravely decides to accept her unknown friend's invitation to visit. But when she arrives, she finds her house empty, the funeral guests just heading home. . .
Sara finds herself alone. And what choice do the inhabitants of Broken Wheel have but to take care of their bewildered tourist? And what choice does Sara have, faced with a town where nobody reads and her desire to honour her friend, but to set up the perfect bookshop with all the books she and Amy shared--from Yann Martel's Life of Pi to Iris Murdoch and Jo Nesbo, to Bridget Jones and Doug Coupland's All Families Are Psychotic to Little House on the Prairie ? And then watch as the townsfolk are, one by one, transformed in unexpected ways. . .
In the glorious tradition of 84 Charing Cross Road , The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society , Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café , Will Schwalbe's The End of Your Life Book Club , Jane Austen, and movies such as You've Got Mail and Love Actually , The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is a big-hearted, witty book about books, friendship, love--and always being open to the unexpected.
Publisher: [Toronto] : Bond Street Books/Doubleday Canada, ©2015.
ISBN: 9780385683593
Characteristics: 376 pages ;,21 cm
Additional Contributors: Menzies, Alice - Translator

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a
AMWayment
Jun 22, 2020

After reading a bunch of intense thrillers, I opted for a light read. This is a book about a book lover, it is a warm and fuzzy change of pace. 4 out of 5 ⭐️

k
KatieDear
Apr 30, 2020

I wanted to like this book, I really did. It was rather sweet and charming, and who wouldn't want a) a friendship developed by letters on the subject of books, and b) a whole house full of books and no time to do anything but read? Sadly, this novel quickly revealed itself as predictable and formulaic, and although it promised escape from the current COVID-19 grind, I couldn't finish it but stopped about halfway through. I'm not a fan of books that hit the reader with foreshadowing in a great wallop, and this was like being in the ring with a prize fighter. Pass.

b
Blabbermouth
Feb 28, 2020

I had high hopes for it with the 1st few paragraphs but it turned into a nothing much & a bit drawn out. Sara came for a holiday from Sweden, she opened a bookshop & fell in love. Meanwhile the rest of the tiny little town called Broken Wheel got most of what they wanted & lived happily ever after.

k
Kmum1
Feb 07, 2020

A long book, a slow story and while it seemed like there would be more to it at the end it never really came to fruition.

2
20091112sb
Oct 02, 2019

The Readers of Broken Wheel is a book about books, but it also is a book about book lovers. How do they become book lovers is revealed through an epistolary style as well as a narrative style. The letters between two book lovers, Sara and Amy, from different countries, of different ages and backgrounds, help tell the story of what makes Sara travel to the farming community of Broken Wheel, Iowa. The town's name is a metaphor for the declining little town. It's sadly failing community strangely embraces the visitor, Sara, even though Amy is no longer there.
The heart warming interaction of the characters in this chick lit book is not as cynical as other self-discovery stories. The story unravels like a slowly rolling wheel, but Katarina Bivald's humorous style is makes the journey fun. This book affirms rather than shocks, educates rather than preaches, and for book lovers, it is a reminder of why books add to our world.

l_alvidrez Jan 17, 2019

Utterly delightful. Sara travels from Sweden to meet her long-time pen pal in Iowa, only to find that Amy has died before she arrives. Sara and the town save each other. Full of references to other great books!

j
JulieTower
Aug 09, 2018

I'm three quarters of the way through this book and it has been a struggle to get that far. The story plods along so slowly and is not engaging enough for me to read more than a few pages at a time. I hate to give up that far into a book, but it's just soooo slow and not very interesting.

d
darladoodles
Jan 15, 2018

Things I liked about this book: the setting in Iowa (my home state), Sara and Amy's friendship which is the catalyst in bringing her to Iowa, all the books(!) and the ways a "bookstore" transforms Broken Wheel. It was gratifying to watch the lives of the citizens of Broken Wheel improve for the most part in the story arc.

Some of the relationships in the book -- I'll refrain from specifying to avoid spoilers rang false to me and/or were not respectful to my high view of marriage.

u
uptownk
Oct 20, 2017

An unexpected gem of a find. The book unfolds quietly but rather joyously to me.

It is the story of two women exchanging letters and books. Vastly different ages and locations.

Sara, the younger, decides to visit Amy after her bookstore job in Sweden is eliminated. She arrives in Broken Wheel, Iowa to find herself in time for Amy's funeral/wake. She decides to stay and soon finds herself adopted by the townspeople as their "tourist".

With no one accepting payment for food or lodging, she decides to open a bookstore with Amy's personal library as a sort of community center and the project is adopted by all in varying ways.

The bookstore struggles to find its way even as Hope's wealthier residents arrive to peruse the shelves. Something that prompt BW's residents to show themselves as more cosmopolitan and cultured.

Little by little changes occur to the residents and none more so than prim and proper Caroline.

A lovely ode to books and their readers.

b
bibliomum
Sep 26, 2017

If you are a book lover and love a quirky story, then grab this one.

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SPL_Robyn Sep 15, 2015

What’s a young woman from Sweden doing in a teensy mid-west Iowa town? Well, she is not seeing the sights, that’s for sure. She is also not meeting her elderly pen-pal, Amy, who passed away right before she arrived on her trans-Atlantic flight.

What she is doing, for the first time in her life, is living life outside of the books she loves to read and re-read. Sara and Amy’s love of books forged them a friendship across the miles and when Sara arrives in Broken Wheel to find her one living friend no longer living, she feels more alone than ever. The townspeople don’t know what to make of her – she is so quiet, undemanding and, well… lost. But so are they, as Sara comes to learn, and she decides to give them something for the kindness they’ve shown her – the town’s first bookstore. With the Oak Tree Bookstore comes a sense of a sense of civic pride, a sense of family, some mending of long-broken fences, and a new sense of hope to the dying town’s residents.

In fact, The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is a story wrapped around an ode to the small mom-and-pop bookstores that are slowly disappearing, and to the shopkeepers who know their wares so intimately they can instinctively find the book you need as well as the book you want. It is also an ode to book lovers and books of all shades of noir, romantic pink and yes, grey. As a matter of fact in reading this novel, you’ll find references to so many great books that your to-be-read pile is sure to grow!

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tialin
May 08, 2020

It was funny, she thought, how often we stuck to the safe path in life, pulling on blinders and keeping our eyes to the ground, doing our best not to look at the fantastic view.

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