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The Bookshop of Yesterdays (2018)

by Amy Meyerson

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1,0616416,532 (3.48)52
"A woman inherits a beloved bookstore and sets forth on a journey of self-discovery in this poignant debut about family, forgiveness and a love of reading. Miranda Brooks grew up in the stacks of her eccentric uncle Billy's bookstore, solving the inventive scavenger hunts he created just for her. But on Miranda's twelfth birthday, Billy has a mysterious falling-out with her mother and suddenly disappears from Miranda's life. She doesn't hear about him again until sixteen years later when she receives unexpected news: Billy has died and left her Prospero Books, which is teetering on bankruptcy, and one final scavenger hunt. When Miranda returns home to Los Angeles and to Prospero Books--now as its owner--she finds clues that Billy has hidden for her inside novels on the store's shelves, in locked drawers of his apartment upstairs, in the name of the store itself. Miranda becomes determined to save Prospero Books and to solve Billy's last scavenger hunt. She soon finds herself drawn into a journey where she meets people from Billy's past, people whose stories reveal a history that Miranda's mother has kept hidden--and the terrible secret that tore her family apart. Bighearted and trenchantly observant, The Bookshop of Yesterdays is a lyrical story of family, love and the healing power of community. It's a love letter to reading and bookstores, and a testament to how our histories shape who we become"--Provided by publisher.… (more)
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English (60)  German (1)  Italian (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (63)
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
I'm not the audience for this book. Seems to be written for young women. I was a little bored and wondering why I was keeping at it. ( )
  jsmick | Nov 1, 2022 |
Miranda Brooks inherits a bookshop from her uncle. She travels across country for his funeral from her home in Philadelphia to Los Angeles. It is supposed to be a short trip, but her uncle has left her a trail of clues that leads her to discover the root of a family mystery and the secret of her uncle’s estrangement from her family.

I have mixed thoughts on this one. I generally enjoy books about books. The bookshop is almost like a separate character. I liked the literary references that held the clues. However, some are so obvious it seems odd that a book lover would not solve them immediately and others are so far-fetched it is amazing anyone could figure them out. The author engages in long expository passages. The subplot between Miranda and her boyfriend, who lives in Philadelphia, is immature. I did not get a sense of chemistry between any of the participants in the love triangle. Miranda is the narrator for most of the book, but at several points the narrative switches perspectives without warning, which detracts from the flow.

I think regular readers of contemporary fiction will enjoy this book more than I did. I can say I liked it, but it also had some drawbacks. I am going with three stars.
( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
I borrowed the audio version of The Bookshop of Yesterdays from hoopla as a break from the cozy mysteries I had been listening to. When her Uncle Billy dies, Miranda returns to Los Angeles to attend his funeral and consider her inheritance, Billy's bookstore, Prospero Books. After a fight with Miranda's mother many years before, Billy disappeared from Miranda's life. She remembered him as a fun-loving uncle who created elaborate scavenger hunts for her to solve, often based on books. His death sets off his last great scavenger hunt that leads Miranda to a painful, life-changing discovery.

Miranda, a late-twenty something middle school history teacher at a Quaker school outside Philadelphia, grew up in LA in a seemingly idyllic world with her parents. When she returns home after Billy's death and begins the hunt, she has a sense that her mother is hiding some secret that she feels she deserves to know. As the novel progresses, she becomes increasingly self-centered and, honestly, annoying. She seems to have little empathy for those around her who were also grieving Billy's death and struggling to complete his final wishes.

But, despite my sometimes irritation at Miranda, I really enjoyed the way Meyerson let the story unfold as we followed Miranda in her hunt and discovered the truth right alongside her. ( )
  witchyrichy | Sep 29, 2022 |
Note: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher at ALA Midwinter 2018.
  fernandie | Sep 15, 2022 |
Good if a little predictable. I knew from the beginning how it was going to end, what the secret was going to be, just didn't know how they were going to get there. Add it to my list of Books about Books (and bookstores and libraries). ( )
  Jen-Lynn | Aug 1, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
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What's past is prologue.
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The last time I saw my uncle, he bought me a dog.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"A woman inherits a beloved bookstore and sets forth on a journey of self-discovery in this poignant debut about family, forgiveness and a love of reading. Miranda Brooks grew up in the stacks of her eccentric uncle Billy's bookstore, solving the inventive scavenger hunts he created just for her. But on Miranda's twelfth birthday, Billy has a mysterious falling-out with her mother and suddenly disappears from Miranda's life. She doesn't hear about him again until sixteen years later when she receives unexpected news: Billy has died and left her Prospero Books, which is teetering on bankruptcy, and one final scavenger hunt. When Miranda returns home to Los Angeles and to Prospero Books--now as its owner--she finds clues that Billy has hidden for her inside novels on the store's shelves, in locked drawers of his apartment upstairs, in the name of the store itself. Miranda becomes determined to save Prospero Books and to solve Billy's last scavenger hunt. She soon finds herself drawn into a journey where she meets people from Billy's past, people whose stories reveal a history that Miranda's mother has kept hidden--and the terrible secret that tore her family apart. Bighearted and trenchantly observant, The Bookshop of Yesterdays is a lyrical story of family, love and the healing power of community. It's a love letter to reading and bookstores, and a testament to how our histories shape who we become"--Provided by publisher.

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