The Bookseller

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What is Integrity Modern? Learn about upcoming events here. Media reviews of The Bookseller are here. A reading group guide is here. Read an excerpt here. Jan 11, Melinda rated it it was ok Shelves: Not really sure what to make of this book. It left me scratching my head and digging for answers as to what I read. I'm confident I understand the direction Swanson was going, for me, it failed in execution. Needless to say my reading journey was severely stunted. Swanson undoubtedly stepped out of the box. She demonstrated her originality while clearly setting herself apart.

This has to be the most boring book I have ever read.

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I kept with it hoping the excitement would unleash but it was a futile exercise. I stifled my yawns and made it through to the end feeling as if I could have used my valuable time otherwise. I wasn't a fan of the way autism was approached, yes the narrative is set in the 's contributing to the ignorance fingers crossed but it still made me very uncomfortable.

I'm also not a huge fan of 'what if? The narrative was leaning towards 'tell' as opposed to 'show' and it made for one grueling ride. The ending was predictable adding to my frustration. This book is proof one should participate in life than be a spectator.


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Sep 27, Laurel-Rain rated it it was amazing. It is the s, and their idyllic world includes books and all things bookish. But at night, Kitty lives in an alternate world created in her dreams: Mitch, Missy, and Michael. And Michael is autistic. When Kitty first begins visiting her dream world, her life is almost perfect. But as she spends more time there, she realizes the challenges of this world. And then, at some point, she must question which world is real? And which world is a dream? A captivating tale that took me back to what life was like for me in the s where I could totally relate to both Kitty and Katharyn and what choices were involved for each version of the young woman she was.

A Novel" was impossible to put down, and I didn't want it to end. Which version of reality would we finally have to accept? And what did these dream worlds tell us about the young woman and the choices she had to make? View all 64 comments. What's going on in publishing these days? Is the same designer responsible for all these covers? If so, good job, designer.

The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson

These covers always pull me in because of course they do. None of these books have lived up to their covers, sadly. Don't get me wrong. I liked this one. It's a solid story with good writing and an interesting premise. Unfortunately, I got a little tired of it. Also, it made me feel sad but not in the way I like to feel sad. It made me feel he What's going on in publishing these days? It made me feel heavy-sad, sort of sloggish, sort of burdened, though I think that was because the tale pinged on things in my own life that I'd rather not think about.

That's on me, not the book. She starts the book as an artsy, single woman who owns a bookstore with her best friend. Something Wicked This Way Comes is newly released upon the world. At night, she dreams she has a totally different life in which she is a wife and mother and wears Jackie Kennedy-style clothing. Her two lives, the bookish life and the dream life, as well as her separate personas, could not be more different but the one thing that remains true in each is the love for and from her parents. Those are all long gone but I remember many of them. Pearl Street is alive and well and even sports a little mystery bookstore.

But, see, to me, all the name-throwing-outting made me feel as if this were written specifically for Denverites and those who have a more-than-passing knowledge of the city. A sort of love letter, which is nice because those are usually written about Paris and NYC and not our little state capital, but it was also a bit offputting because why does anyone need such specifics in a story if they don't live here?

I live here well, 30 minutes from the area in question and even I was all, "Ok, ok. Get on with it. I don't care where you are. Yes, that's true and it's great that this kid thinks that but the conversation didn't feel like it came about naturally. It felt shoehorned in to make a point and, thus, I was thrown right out of the flow.

Later, at a dream party, Katherine mulls over how uncomfortable she is with the "colored help" and then thinks to herself that she was raised to go out of her way to treat people of color the same as she treats white people and that her dad worked with black people and her mom took care of babies of all colors, etc. I have to talk about my racism out loud as soon as I realize I've said or done something horrible which, of course, makes it all worse and then I go and feel like a stupid asshole for days afterward.

This happens way too often and it certainly is always loud and embarrassing but it is never stuck to the confines of my internal musings. But maybe other people have social enlightenment at parties? Regardless, that, too, threw me back out of the story.

10 Confessions of a Bookseller

So I had some quibbles. Overall, though, the topics of this story view spoiler [loss and grief, reality, what one's mind will do to protect itself in times of unendurable stress, friendship, guilt, motherhood, and what-if's hide spoiler ] are interesting and handled in a fashion that, as everything unfolds and the reader realizes what has happened, creates a sense sympathy for the main character in both her forms. It's a sad story but definitely worth the read. View all 12 comments.

Sep 28, Kathy Cunningham rated it liked it. Kitty-the-bookseller is convinced that her experiences as married Katharyn are dreams, a fantasy place she visits as she drifts off to sleep. And she comes to the conclusion that if just one phone conversation she had eight years earlier had lasted a few minutes longer, she would be Katharyn, married to Lars, with three kids and a station wagon. If she had the choice, which would she choose, bookstore and best friend, or husband and children? I totally enjoyed reading this book I gobbled it up amazingly quickly , but I found myself loving Kitty-the-bookseller, with her cat and her adoring parents and her best friend Frieda and their little bookshop on a corner left behind when the streetcars stopped running in Denver.

What would a real person do if his wife suddenly told him that she had made him up, created him and their children from her imagination? Lars is very understanding, very patient, and his eyes sparkle in all their blueness. Even so, I felt a bit empty as I reached the final page, as if something wonderful had been truly lost. This is a well-written and engaging novel. I was provided a copy of this novel for review; the opinions expressed here are my own.

View all 4 comments. Sep 21, Tara Chevrestt rated it it was ok Shelves: I expected to love this story. It takes place in the sixties and follows an independent woman who owns a book shop. She begins living in a parallel world in her dreams at night. When awake, she's the bookshop owner with her best friend.

She has a cat and loves her parents and is helping the neighbor boy learn to read.

The Bookseller

When she's asleep she's the mother of triplets with this blue-eyed husband who takes her to cocktail parties. There's a situation with one of the kids that I didn't know what to make I expected to love this story. There's a situation with one of the kids that I didn't know what to make of. Am I supposed to feel sorry for the mother?

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Am I supposed to learn more about aggressive autistic kids? Or am I supposed to believe that sixties' crappola about how if you're not there to raise your kids, they come out wrong in the head? Nevertheless, I gained nothing from this story line and did not enjoy it.


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If I was Katharyn, the mother and wife, I'd darn well make an alternate reality for myself just to get away. Actually, I gained nothing from this book. I feel mean saying that, but it's the truth. If I'm going to read about someone life--or lives--in this case, please make them more interesting and exciting than my own.

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Kitty--she goes to work, talks to her friend, talks to her parents, goes home and sleeps, and of course frets about this dream life. What is supposed to appeal to me about either life? Kitty's life was dull and predictable, but Katharyn's life was not only dull--but intolerable. Would send me to the looney bin. And in between these boring lives, the book is filled with boring descriptions and histories. I don't care about Kitty's Freida's high school days. I don't care how the living room looks, from the windows to the carpet to the architecture.

I don't care about the neighborhood or all the different people who live here or there. It's a boring, over descriptive narrative following two extremely boring lives. And the ending really disappointed me. A point in the book's favor: I did find the ending unpredictable. It seems most readers were predicting it all along. For me, however, I was surprised. It's not the life I would have chosen We merely make tiny choices that lead to a big result and we have little control over things.

Nov 10, Sara rated it really liked it Shelves: Kitty Miller is single. She owns a business with her best friend, Frieda, and she is pretty contented with her independent life and her cat. Then she falls asleep one night and finds herself in an alternate reality in which she is Katharyn, a married woman with children, a loving husband, and a much more complicated but fuller life.

Dreaming of this life once is like taking a trip, but Kitty dreams of this life over and over again and the line between reality and dreaming begins to blur. I adore Kitty Miller is single. I adore authors who can take unbelievable, incomprehensible concepts and make them seem possible and real. Kitty as a character is interesting, believable and sympathetic. I began to care what happened to her and worry that she would be stuck in one of these lives when she wanted to live in the other. The plot and the tension build and when Swanson gives us the key to the puzzle, she does not cheat her reader with the manner in which she resolves this dichotomy.

I thought this novel was well-written and great fun. I could not figure out what would prove to be true until the last reveal and I liked that it wasn't a choice between one good life and one bad life, but a choice between two worlds in which something would be lost on either side.

Kudos to Cynthia Swanson for a story well-told. View all 3 comments. Oct 30, Erin rated it liked it. Single gal, Kitty, runs a bookshop with her best friend, Frieda. Marriage and a family never became part of the plan, but Kitty has a good family and friend network and the faithful love of her cat, Aslan. Cynthia Swanson plays with the "What if? For Kitty it happens through her dreams. Into this alternate reality, Kitty is Kathryn, married to the blue eyed Swedish -American architect that answered her dating advertisement in Kathryn is the mother of 3 children triplets and her life is an endless round of parties and entertaining her husbands clients.

Upon awakening,Kitty becomes transfixed making her life better, but also wanting to spend time with her dream family. Think "It's a Wonderful Life" meets "Inception. I find myself agreeing with many of the other reviews, I did like Kitty much better than Kathryn. Maybe the characters Lars and the kids were just too perfect in the beginning for me to accept how everything played out in the end. I also felt a real disconnect between the Kitty and Frieda story. I failed to connect with their friendship, always feeling I was a mere observer and never immersed in the story.

Apr 06, RoseMary Achey rated it did not like it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Psychosis is the backbone of this novel set in the early 's Psychosis is a symptom of mental illness rather than the name of a medical condition itself. Broadly speaking, it means a loss of contact with reality.

The affected see or hear things, people who are not there. In The Bookseller after the loss of her parent's in a plane crash, the main character has a prolonged psychotic reaction. After reading this book, you may have a severe psychotic reaction yourself Save your time, money and sanity and skip this novel. View all 6 comments. Aug 09, Alaina Meserole rated it really liked it Shelves: I don't know about you The Bookseller was a pretty interesting book. I feel like I flew through the kindle version because it just kept reminding me of other little books.

Sort of like Outlander, but not really. In this book, you will meet Katharyn and Lars. Whenever she goes to sleep, well she wakes up in this different world sort of.


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  4. Maybe I should dive more into that? Same world but a different time zone is probably a bit easier t I don't know about you In , The Bookseller entered troublesome years, with the magazine entering joint editorial control between both The Publishers Association and the Booksellers Association. It was edited by the Publishers Association president Geoffrey S. Williams and became known as The Publisher and Bookseller. However, the decision proved less than successful, and in the decision was reversed, with editorship being awarded to Edmond Segrave — 28 years old at the time.

    He remained in charge for almost 40 years. In , he hired Philothea Thompson as his personal assistant, and when Edmond Segrave died in , she took over stewardship of the magazine until David Whitaker joined his family magazine in for little over two years, with Louis Baum assuming editorial responsibilities in Under Baum, the magazine went under radical change, with numerous design changes, culminating in the decision to become a full-colour publication in the late s.

    In , Nicholas Clee became editor, months before the magazine was sold to a division of Nielsen Business Media.