Book Lovers

Title: Book Lovers

Author: Emily Henry

Series: N/A

Publication Date: May 3, 2022

Format: E-Book

Genre: Romance

Sub Genre(s): Contemporary


Summary: Nora Stephens’ life is books—she’s read them all—and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby.

Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away—with visions of a small town transformation for Nora, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute.

If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again—in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow—what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.-From Goodreads


What I Liked: Emily Henry has become a must read for me because she writes characters I wish were real, characters I want to be friends with, and characters I want to date and fall in love with. Only in my dreams do I have the ability to speak like her characters do-the witty banter between Nora and Charlie, the heartfelt conversations between Libby and Nora, it was all perfection. Charlie is a perfect, brooding, enemies-to lovers romance hero who has flaws and imperfections but who deep down wants to be brave enough to show his true self to someone who deserves it. Nora is a true queen and a breath of fresh air in the romance novel world. She’s not the girl who dreams of the white picket fence or 2.5 kids. She knows who she is and what she wants but that has left her feeling left out in a world that places so much emphasis on being the sweet, docile woman. I love that Nora and Charlie compromise for each other without losing themselves in the process.  While categorized as a romance, one of my favorite parts of this book is the complex relationship between the sisters and the evolution of that relationship. The way Henry shows how two people who are everything to each other can still view shared experiences differently is masterful as is the way she shows how two “identical” people (Nora and Charlie) can be vastly different.  

What I Didn’t Like: I loved everything about this book. There is nothing I would change.

Who Should Read It: Fans of Emily Henry will love this book as will fans of complex yet fun romances.

Review Wrap Up: This book was truly an enjoyable experience that checked all the boxes I look for in an enemies-to-lovers romance: flawed yet likable characters, sexual tension, witty banter, and a satisfying ending. Emily Henry continues to write entertaining stories that are must reads for romance fans and I highly recommend this book.

Favorite Quote(s): “Is there anything better than iced coffee and a bookstore on a sunny day? I mean, aside from hot coffee and a bookstore on a rainy day.”

“That is what I’m looking for every time I flip to the back of a book, compulsively checking for proof that in a life where so many things have gone wrong, there can be beauty too. That there is always hope, no matter what.”


thespinsterlibrarian
*Thank you to Netgalley and Berkley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review*

Eight Perfect Murders

Title: Eight Perfect Murders

Author: Peter Swanson

Series: N/A

Publication Date: March 3rd, 2020

Format:  Hardcover

Genre: Mystery

Sub Genre(s): N/A

Summary: Years ago, bookseller and mystery aficionado Malcolm Kershaw compiled a list of the genre’s most unsolvable murders, those that are almost impossible to crack—which he titled “Eight Perfect Murders”—chosen from among the best of the best including Agatha Christie’s A. B. C. Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, Ira Levin’s Death Trap, A. A. Milne’s Red House Mystery, Anthony Berkeley Cox’s Malice Aforethought, James M. Cain’s Double Indemnity, John D. Macdonald’s The Drowner, and Donna Tartt’s A Secret History.

But no one is more surprised than Mal, now the owner of the Old Devils Bookstore in Boston, when an FBI agent comes knocking on his door one snowy day in February. She’s looking for information about a series of unsolved murders that look eerily similar to the killings on Mal’s old list. And the FBI agent isn’t the only one interested in this bookseller who spends almost every night at home reading. The killer is out there, watching his every move—a diabolical threat who knows way too much about Mal’s personal history, especially the secrets he’s never told anyone, even his recently deceased wife.

To protect himself, Mal begins looking into possible suspects . . . and sees a killer in everyone around him. But Mal doesn’t count on the investigation leaving a trail of death in its wake. Suddenly, a series of shocking twists leaves more victims dead—and the noose around Mal’s neck grows so tight he might never escape.


What I Liked: The premise for this mystery is VERY clever and I loved the idea of someone recreating fictional murders and hoping that someone would catch on to their game. While Swanson uses the unreliable narrator trope that so many mystery books now seem to use, I liked how Malcolm, the narrator tells the audience very early on that he’s unreliable. This was a fun way to keep the reader guessing as to what is real and what is fiction. I really loved how many other mystery novels are mentioned in this book and how the discussions of these books fit into the overall story. And even though I guessed the killer, there were enough twists and turns to keep me interested until the very end.

What I Didn’t Like: I felt like I didn’t learn enough about the side characters to ever question them as suspects or to care about what happened to them. This made guessing who the bad guy was a lot easier than it should have been (even though it took me longer than I would like to admit). In particular, I would have liked to have known more about the bookstore employees, Brandon and Emily.  And while I should have seen this coming, the ending of every single mystery that appears on Malcolm’s perfect murder list is revealed so hopefully I will have forgotten “who dun it” if I ever decide to pick up the books I haven’t yet read.

Who Should Read It: Fans of mysteries with unreliable narrators and anyone who likes books about books.

Review Wrap Up: This was a fun book that I think most mystery fans would enjoy and bibliophiles will absolutely adore all the references to mysteries, both new and old that make up a large portion of this book. While this wasn’t the best mystery I’ve ever read, I enjoyed the story and writing and will read more from Swanson in the future.

Favorite Quote: “Books are time travel. True readers all know this. But books don’t just take you back to the time in which they are written; they can take you back to different versions of yourself.”


thespinsterlibrarian

The Midnight Library

Sometimes, books get a lot of buzz, show up on numerous “best of lists,” get recommended by everyone you know and don’t live up to the hype.  At the end of last year it seemed I couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about Matt Haig’s newest book, and as much as I wanted to read it, I was worried the buildup would be too much and I would be left disappointed.  I am happy to say that this book was everything I had hoped it would be. 

Continue reading “The Midnight Library”

The Library Book

I don’t know why I waited so long to read this book.  It has been on my radar since it was released and I had heard good things but it took being quarantined for me to read a book about my profession (maybe this is a sign that I’m missing work.) While marketed as a true crime book, this is also a love letter to libraries and the librarians that dedicate their lives to ensuring these institutions stay vital parts of the community they serve.  I would recommend this for anyone who has ever wondered what librarians do all day.

Continue reading “The Library Book”

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