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Literary Friday: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

Friday, April 1, 2016

Good Evening, My Lovelies!  Happy Literary Friday, and I want to apologize for posting so late!
This week I read The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald.  She is a Swedish writer, and the English translation is wonderful!

According to Goodreads:

Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds that Amy's funeral has just ended. Luckily, the townspeople are happy to look after their bewildered tourist—even if they don't understand her peculiar need for books. Marooned in a farm town that's almost beyond repair, Sara starts a bookstore in honor of her friend's memory. 

All she wants is to share the books she loves with the citizens of Broken Wheel and to convince them that reading is one of the great joys of life. But she makes some unconventional choices that could force a lot of secrets into the open and change things for everyone in town. Reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, this is a warm, witty book about friendship, stories, and love.

I adore this book.  Maybe one reason I like it so much is that Broken Wheel reminds me of Cicely, Alaska from my favorite 90's TV show, Northern Exposure.  The characters in both towns are colorful, enthusiastic, and willing to work together for progress.  However, Broken Wheel's citizens lack the sophistication and education of Cicely's tiny populace, but that's okay.

Sara is an interesting character.  She tends to rely on books as security blankets (in our family we would say that the book she's currently reading is her "woobie") especially in social situations.  She prefers the company of books over people, but once she becomes involved in the people's lives in Broken Wheel, she begins to connect with them and wonder about what she should do once her visa expires.  There's really nothing left for her in Sweden: no close friends, her family is distant, and the bookstore where she formerly worked is now closed.  When she discovers the bedroom/library in Amy's home, she decides to honor her pen pal by sharing the love of reading with the town.  The process of opening the bookstore is fun to read and so very humorous.

Although Amy is resting in peace, the reader gets Amy's point of view throughout the book at the end of each chapter: Selections from Amy's letters to Sara are found there, and they are so helpful because each tells a little about Broken Wheel's citizens especially those folks close to Amy.  Sara has an unfair advantage because she's read so many letters about the people for three years.  Another thing I enjoyed about the novel is the discussion of Amy and Sara's favorite books.  There's even a handy list at the back of the book of all the books, series, and authors mentioned in the story. Fannie Flagg is represented well in the novel: that makes me smile!

America does have a culture (for now), and Bivald does an excellent job depicting American small town life.  She has excellent taste in literature, and she even writes romance well.  What's not to like about this book?  Nothing, I tell ya!  Read it!  The readers of Art @ Home highly recommend it!

I have another appointment at the genius bar tomorrow (Apple Store).  I don't have time to host a link party this week.  I'm so sorry!  Please come back next week and link-up!

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. I almost bought this book yesterday!!! Instead I got The Hypnotist's Love Story...I think I have a few dollars left on my gift card.

  2. Sounds like the perfect choice for bibliophiles! I love books that mention other books.♥

  3. Just wanted to tell you that any book you have recommended that I have read has never been disappointing. I am just finishing my 'car book' and for the life of me I can't remember the title--but it is one you recommended and I love it. xo Diana

  4. Sounds interesting! I loved the one I was telling you about. I might post something about it soon. It was nice to be able to actually SEE how to read!
    My cloud does't work all that well. Maybe you will get some answers you can share.

  5. Hi RJ I too loved Northern Exposure. Another book I will put on my list to read soon.

  6. I will! After reading your review I'm adding it to my "to read" list. Sounds interesting. Apple is a great place to go, if you have an appointment!

  7. I have this book on my list and now even more so!! Thanks.

  8. I'm going to check it out. I love the "Sweet Potato Pie ..." and Northern Exposure.

  9. Sounds great! Pinning to remember. :)

  10. I'm on a waiting list for this book from my library! I know I would like it! Enjoy your day. Love your pretty vignettes this morning too! Hugs!

  11. Hi Ricki! It's been a while, I've disappeared off the radar, in terms of blogging. So now I'm catching up! And collecting book recommendations. Will definitely add this one!


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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