Albus Dumbledore (one of my very favorite literary characters) said, “words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic”. In all honesty, I don’t know if I’ve read something that resonated with me more. In fact, I have an amazing print that I found on Etsy of this quote that I framed and hung above my reading chair in my old apartment.
Ever since I can remember books have been my home. No matter how bad I felt things were at any given time, I could open a book and escape into a different world if only for a few moments.
You can imagine my uncontrollable excitement then when I stumbled across Blogging for Books. I nearly broke my computer in my haste to register and scroll through the endless possibilities of choices to make my first selection.
My choice: The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George.
Now, I’ll be completely honest with you: I knew nothing about this book when I selected it.
I’m a sucker for anything set in Paris (but come on, who isn’t?) and the phrase “literary apothecary” jumped out at me from the description. I was sold.
I’ve been purposely (and agonizingly) holding off reading it until I started my new job. I figured, the first few weeks are always stressful but what better way to unwind at the end of the night than a trip to Paris.
I envisioned a story full of quirky characters, cats, literary quotes and Parisian streets in the rain.
The book had all that but not in the way I was expecting.
The plot revolves around Jean Perdu, a literary apothecary (can you think of a better career title for you business card because I sure as hell can’t). A man going through the motions of his life but not living.
He owns a bookshop on a barge floating in the Siene where he recommends books like medicine for people to help them with where they are in life. Can’t sleep? Going through a divorce? Feel like life is boring? He’ll find the book you need. The book that will speak to you.
I don’t want to spoil anything, so all I’ll say is that Jean has a rude awakening one day and impulsively sets off on an adventure through France with his quirky sidekick, books and cats. See – it did have those few things I was hoping for.
Now, what’s the book about you may ask (the plot of a book and what it’s about are completely different things)? It’s about love and loss. Picking up the pieces of yourself when you feel like your world has been torn apart piece by piece and the importance of living your life – not going through the motions but living each and every day.
What did I think? I loved it. Ironically, I think if I were to meet Perdu in real life, this is the book he would tell me to read for where I am in my timeline. I laughed. I cried. I reread passages because it felt like they spoke to my soul.
If you’ve ever lost anyone – a friendship that’s drifted apart, a bad ending to a relationship or losing someone to death, you must read this.
If you want a book that makes you think about your life and the path you’re on, you must read this too.
If you need inspiration to break out of your comfort zone and do something for yourself, get this book immediately.
It’s beautifully written and if you appreciate the beauty of a thought-provoking sentence, you’ll love this.
As a lover of words, let me leave you with one of my favorites:
” We are loved if we love, another truth we always seem to forget. Have you noticed that most people prefer to be loved, and will do anything it takes? . . . If only they loved with the same energy; hallelujah, the world would be so wonderful”