Monday, May 9, 2016

Book Review: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

Title: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
Author: Katarina Bivald
Source: Library, although I had previously had a review galley from NetGalley

Goodreads Summary:

Once you let a book into your life, the most unexpected things can happen...

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.

My thoughts:

It's been a while since I have loved a book this much, and I seriously loved this book. The author Katarina Bivald stated in an interview that she filled this book with all the things she likes to read about - "small American towns, quirky characters, people finding community and friendship in unlikely places, love, and of course, reading." It is almost like she went inside my head and pulled out all of my favorite things to read about as well. I crave that small town sense of community. I love quirky character driven books. And throw in the happiness of love, friendship, and of course, reading, and you have my version of the perfect book.

Sara lands in Iowa expecting to meet her pen pal and book friend Amy - only to find out that she is dead. Just died in fact. And instead of turning around and heading home, she is encouraged to stay in Amy's house and continue with her visit. And Sara, who has never had a real adventure outside of books, does indeed stay. The residents of the small Iowa town of Broken Wheel are just as curious and confused about Sara as she is about them. She at least has the advantage of prior knowledge of them all through Amy's letters, which were full of detail and love for the town and its inhabitants.

The town of Broken Wheel is not as vibrant in reality as Amy made it sound however. It is a town that has been limping along, one of those small towns we have all driven through in a blink, with boarded up buildings and one lone streetlight. Slowly but surely, Sara and the town find they have much to offer each other, and Sara does the one thing she is most sure of - she opens a bookstore.

Anyone who loves books will love this book~ you will see yourself in Sara and upon the shelves of the bookstore, you will find old friends. You can imagine walking through her bookstore, trailing your fingers over the spines, head cocked sideways like a little bird, flipping through pages, feeling covers, maybe even bringing the book up close to your face to breathe it in. Sara would approve of that, you know.

I loved reading about Sara and the town blossoming with the help of each other, their lives and futures expanding. I loved all the characters, the setting, the everything.

I did start reading this book months ago on my Kindle, and I just didn't like it. I mentioned this in a previous post, and someone commented that format does really make a difference, especially maybe when you are a reading a book about books, that you had better be reading a physical book. This makes sense. My entire opinion of this book changed just by reading it as physical book and not a digital one.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves what I love and what apparently Bivald loves as well - small towns, interesting characters, friendship, community, love, and finally, reading.


  1. I have heard about this book in the past and I guess I was unsure about it or sometimes someone talks about a book but it's still new and not many have read it so I wait awhile to see how it does. I trust your judgement so I've added it to my TBR :O).

    1. I hope that you like it as much as I did! :)

  2. I've been hearing a lot about this book in the blogosphere of late, and I really wasn't too sure whether to add it to my ever growing wishlist or now, well, your review has solidified it for - its been added! I love books set in small town America, especially with an emphasis on community, and also a focus on books... I mean really, why didn't I add it to my wishlist sooner?!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts :-)

    Reading With Jade

    1. I hope that you like it as much as I did! It sounds like this book was written for the both of us!

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I love hearing from people, don't be shy! I would love to hear what you think! I always reply back, although it takes me a bit longer these days due to the little guy.