This is not my normal sort of book.
There is no magic, no talking animals, no airships or battles or explosions.
It is a book about a bookshop owner, and love, and humanity, and finding lost things.
In short, it’s exactly the sort of weepy emotional journey story that I avoid.
I strongly recommend it.
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George has been following me around Amazon for a while now and I’ve been ignoring it because it just … isn’t my thing. Sure, it got great reviews, but so do a bunch of other stories. Still, I didn’t forget about it, and when it showed up on a dusty corner shelf in a consignment shop that I’d only entered on a lark … well, I thought maybe the universe was trying to tell me something.
The Amazon Description
Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can’t seem to heal through literature is himself; he’s still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.
After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.
Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure, The Little Paris Bookshop is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people’s lives.
For broken people, to help them find lost pieces. Take two chapters every evening before bed until the entire book is consumed. When it is finished, gift it to someone in your life who needs it.
A Few Final Words
Younger me would never have understood this book and would have hated it.
Perry, you will love it for the gorgeous prose. It is filled with exactly the sort of plump, juicy snippets you love to share with me. It almost made it into the Perrybox several times, but I found someone who needs it more than you.
Faith, you will love it for France, and the taste of a meal on the open water with the stars overhead. I almost chose to give this book to you, because it loves books and people and understands the importance of getting the right book to the right person, just as you do.
Angie you will love it because you love books, and this book loves its reader back more than any other book I have read.
Barto, you will love it because it is complex and dark and bright all at the same time. You will love it because it is honest, even when it is hopeful.
I hope you — I hope ALL of you reading this — find a book so compelling and moving that you are trying to decide who to gift it to when you are done.
It is not my favorite book. It is a very good, hard book, and it was worth not just the time reading it (and crying in it) but also the time in between, where I spent hours just thinking about what it told me.