Picture of author.

Susan Coll

Autor(a) de Bookish People

6 Works 435 Membros 26 Críticas 1 Favorited

About the Author

Inclui os nomes: Susan Coll, Susan J. Coll

Image credit: Photo Credit: © Lauren Shay Lavin

Obras por Susan Coll

Bookish People (2022) 153 exemplares
Acceptance (2007) 149 exemplares
Beach Week (2010) 41 exemplares
karlmarx. com: A Love Story (2001) 21 exemplares
The Stager: A Novel (2014) 16 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum



Fifty-four-year-old Sophie Bernstein runs an independent bookstore in the Washington DC area. Snapshot of her current situation-Jamal, her store manager is off to law school, her events coordinator /aspiring writer Clemi just booked a controversial poet who she suspects is her biological father to speak at the store, recently fired employee Florence who fancied herself a soothsayer uttered a dire prophecy in her ear, an interested party is contacting her to buy the bookshop, her store vacuum cleaner gave out (once again) and a customer’s dog scared another customer’s baby which leads to a potential lawsuit. Sophie is at her wit's end with juggling it all.

Recently widowed, she is still grieving her loss and her college graduate son, Michael, shows no interest in the bookstore and aspires to be a yoga teacher. She has designed a small nook hidden behind the walls of the store where she would like to spend some alone time but hardly gets the chance, given the chaos that descends on her store every day. Unbeknownst to Sophie, Clemi and Noah, another employee who Clemi has a crush on, purchase a pet tortoise, Kurt Vonnegut Jr.,who they end up keeping hidden in a closet in the store as neither of them can take it home which is the source of a mysterious odor that has the rest of the staff perplexed. As the story progresses, we get to see the daily workings inside Sophie's store, customer interactions, mishaps, scheduling issues, inventory issues with unread galleys piling up, authors and publishers and aspiring authors with whom Sophie interacts and as the day of the scheduled events approaches she also has to deal with the different protest groups who camp outside her store, protesting the poet who might have driven his wife to suicide and another author whose work has animal activists enraged- both of whom are scheduled to speak at the store. In a nutshell, Sophie has a lot on her plate and it is interesting to see how she manages it all.

While Bookish People by Susan Coll has potential and an interesting premise, the execution falls short. I enjoyed the end-of-the-day emails and the camaraderie among the characters. With genuine laugh-out-loud scenarios and a likable protagonist with an interesting cast of characters- the story has its moments! That is precisely the problem. It has its moments! If I look at this novel as a collection of vignettes instead of one story, this book would rate higher. However, in the process of bringing so many moments in the novel together, the writing becomes disjointed in some places and in others, a tad repetitive. There is a lack of cohesion among the different elements in the story- too many sub-plots and the convergence of all those subplots feels forced. I find it hard to resist stories set in bookstores or libraries and while this book had promise, I could not help but feel a tad disappointed. Overall, while parts of the narrative are entertaining, I did not find it to be an engaging read and had to struggle through it.

My favorite quote from the book:

“She sometimes thinks the world divides into two types of people, those who think books are for reading when there’s nothing else to do, and those who avoid other things to do in order to read books—and unsurprisingly she’s in the latter camp, but really, is that so awful?”

Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Muse for a complimentary digital review copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
… (mais)
srms.reads | 13 outras críticas | Sep 4, 2023 |
I don't know what to say about this one; it's a departure of sorts, while also being right in my wheelhouse. I liked it, but I'm not sure why I liked it. I read it digitally, and I feel like my comprehension suffered a bit too, so that maybe I'd have gotten more out of it if I'd read a printed copy.

Bookish People is a snapshot of one very chaotic week in a DC bookstore. It's written in 3rd person present tense, which I found a bit jarring at first, and it centers around 2 female characters, the owner of the store, recently widowed, and the events manager, with occasional forays into the head of a Ted Hughes-like poet who is having his own personal crises. The rest of the staff orbit around these two women and add their own eccentricities to the mix.

It's billed as comedy, and it's definitely humorous, but I didn't find it to be laugh out loud funny. There are times that the humor feels tinged with a manic sort of panic that dampened any desire on my part to giggle, although there was a scene with a turtle and a Roomba that made me smile broadly.

If you're looking for a story with a beginning, a middle and an end, this book will frustrate; there's very little resolution to any of the conflicts and the only HEA is the turtle's. But it is a very well-written vignette of a sort, of a crazy week in a bookshop.
… (mais)
murderbydeath | 13 outras críticas | Apr 16, 2023 |
Thanks for the ARC for an honest review.
Unfortunately I DNFd after 20%.
From the cover and blurb I got the impression this was going to be funny. Personally, I wasn't getting that at all. In fact the two characters we are following both seem very depressed.
At 20% I like a book to already have hooked me, but I wasn't hooked by this one. Yes, there is potentially a controversial poet coming for an event at the bookstore. Unfortunately I didn't care enough about this to see it through.
TheHobbyist | 13 outras críticas | Mar 6, 2023 |
Another bookstore book! In this one Sophie Bernstein Is an independent bookstore owner in her mid fifties in Washington DC. The store is always busy, has events all the time, and has multiple employees, some of whom are developed in the story. Mrs. Bernstein, as all her employees call her is having a rough year. It's the summer of 2017, and the book starts at the time of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. Her husband has recently died unexpectedly, her young adult son has dropped out of college to be a yoga instructor, and is somewhat distant from her, one of her young employees was injured while protesting at the rally, and Sophie is pretty sure the end is coming. The bookstore is full of drama, controversial authors doing signing events, protests, poorly behaved pets, nutty people, all interspersed with regular folks just looking for a book. So much going on!
It's kind of a madcap fast-paced story, with pretty normal people, experiencing regular if a little out there crises. It's a fun book, quick read, likable characters.
… (mais)
poolays | 13 outras críticas | Jan 29, 2023 |

You May Also Like

Associated Authors

Lynn Buckley Cover artist & designer


Marcado como favorito

Tabelas & Gráficos