Friday, September 30, 2016

Blog Tour & Giveaway ~ The Bookshop on the Corner - A Novel by Jenny Colgan



The Bookshop on the Corner
A Novel

By

Jenny Colgan

Blog Tour




Nina Redmond is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion… and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more.

Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile—a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling.

From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home… a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.





The problem with good things that happen is that very often they disguise themselves as awful things. It would be lovely, wouldn’t it, whenever you’re going through something difficult, if someone could just tap you on the shoulder and say, “Don’t worry, it’s completely worth it. It seems like absolutely horrible crap now, but I promise it will all come good in the end,” and you could say, “Thank you, Fairy Godmother.” You might also say, “Will I also lose that seven pounds?” and they would say, “But of course, my child!”

          That would be useful, but it isn’t how it is, which is why we sometimes plow on too long with things that aren’t making us happy, or give up too quickly on something that might yet work itself out, and it is often difficult to tell precisely which is which.

          A life lived forward can be a really irritating thing. So Nina thought, at any rate. Nina Redmond, twenty-nine, was telling herself not to cry in public. If you have ever tried giving yourself a good talking-to, you’ll know it doesn’t work terribly well. She was at work, for goodness’ sake. You weren’t meant to cry at work.

          She wondered if anyone else ever did. Then she wondered if maybe everyone did, even Cathy Neeson, with her stiff too-blond hair, and her thin mouth and her spreadsheets, who was right at this moment standing in a corner, watching the room with folded arms and a grim expression, after delivering to the small team Nina was a member of a speech filled with jargon about how there were cutbacks all over, and Birmingham couldn’t afford to maintain all its libraries, and how austerity was something they just had to get used to.

          Nina reckoned probably not. Some people just didn’t have a tear in them.
          (What Nina didn’t know was that Cathy Neeson cried on the way to work, on the way home from work—after eight o’clock most nights—every time she laid someone off, every time she was asked to shave another few percent off an already skeleton budget, every time she was ordered to produce some new quality relevant paperwork, and every time her boss dumped a load of administrative work on her at four o’clock on a Friday afternoon on his way to a skiing vacation, of which he took many.

          Eventually she ditched the entire thing and went and worked in a National Trust gift shop for a fifth of the salary and half the hours and none of the tears. But this story is not about Cathy Neeson.)

          It was just, Nina thought, trying to squash down the lump in her throat .
. . it was just that they had been such a little library.

          Children’s story time Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Early closing Wednesday afternoon. A shabby old-fashioned building with tatty linoleum floors. A little musty sometimes, it was true. The big dripping radiators could take a while to get going of a morning and then would become instantly too warm, with a bit of a fug, particularly off old Charlie Evans, who came in to keep warm and read the Morning Star cover to cover, very slowly. She wondered where the Charlie Evanses of the world would go now.

          Cathy Neeson had explained that they were going to compress the library services into the center of town, where they would become a “hub,” with a “multimedia experience zone” and a coffee shop and an “intersensory experience,” whatever that was, even though town was at least two bus trips too far for most of their elderly or strollered-up clientele.

          Their lovely, tatty, old pitched-roof premises were being sold off to become executive apartments that would be well beyond the reach of a librarian’s salary. And Nina Redmond, twenty-nine, bookworm, with her long tangle of auburn hair, her pale skin with freckles dotted here and there, and a shyness that made her blush—or want to burst into tears—at the most inopportune moments, was, she got the feeling, going to be thrown out into the cold winds of a world that was getting a lot of unemployed librarians on the market at the same time.

          “So,” Cathy Neeson had concluded, “you can pretty much get started on packing up the ‘books’ right away.”

          She said “books” like it was a word she found distasteful in her shiny new vision of Mediatech Services. All those grubby, awkward books.


Nina dragged herself into the back room with a heavy heart and a slight redness around her eyes. Fortunately, everyone else looked more or less the same way. Old Rita O’Leary, who should probably have retired about a decade ago but was so kind to their clientele that everyone overlooked the fact that she couldn’t see the numbers on the Dewey Decimal System anymore and filed more or less at random, had burst into floods, and Nina had been able to cover up her own sadness comforting her.

          “You know who else did this?” hissed her colleague Griffin through his straggly beard as she made her way through. Griffin was casting a wary look at Cathy Neeson, still out in the main area as he spoke. “The Nazis. They packed up all the books and threw them onto bonfires.”

          “They’re not throwing them onto bonfires!” said Nina. “They’re not actually Nazis.”

          “That’s what everyone thinks. Then before you know it, you’ve got Nazis.”


With breathtaking speed, there’d been a sale, of sorts, with most of their clientele leafing through old familiar favorites in the ten pence box and leaving the shinier, newer stock behind.

          Now, as the days went on, they were meant to be packing up the rest of the books to ship them to the central library, but Griffin’s normally sullen face was looking even darker than usual. He had a long, unpleasantly scrawny beard, and a scornful attitude toward people who didn’t read the books he liked. As the only books he liked were obscure 1950s out-of-print stories about frustrated young men who drank too much in Fitzrovia, that gave him a lot of time to hone his attitude. He was still talking about book burners.

          “They won’t get burned! They’ll go to the big place in town.”

          Nina couldn’t bring herself to even say Mediatech.

          Griffin snorted. “Have you seen the plans? Coffee, computers, DVDs, plants, admin offices, and people doing cost–benefit analysis and harassing the unemployed—sorry, running ‘mindfulness workshops.’ There isn’t room for a book in the whole damn place.” He gestured at the dozens of boxes. “This will be landfill. They’ll use it to make roads.”

          “They won’t!”

          “They will! That’s what they do with dead books, didn’t you know? Turn them into underlay for roads. So great big cars can roll over the top of centuries of thought and ideas and scholarship, metaphorically stamping a love of learning into the dust with their stupid big tires and blustering Top Gear idiots killing the planet.”

          “You’re not in the best of moods this morning, are you, Griffin?”

          “Could you two hurry it along a bit over there?” said Cathy Neeson, bustling in, sounding anxious. They only had the budget for the collection trucks for one afternoon; if they didn’t manage to load everything up in time, she’d be in serious trouble.

          “Yes, Commandant Über-Führer,” said Griffin under his breath as she bustled out again, her blond bob still rigid. “God, that woman is so evil it’s unbelievable.”

          But Nina wasn’t listening. She was looking instead in despair at the thousands of volumes around her, so hopeful with their beautiful covers and optimistic blurbs. To condemn any of them to waste disposal seemed heartbreaking: these were books! To Nina it was like closing down an animal shelter. And there was no way they were going to get it all done today, no matter what Cathy Neeson thought.

          Which was how, six hours later, when Nina’s Mini Metro pulled up in front of the front door of her tiny shared house, it was completely and utterly stuffed with volumes.









Teatime and Books Review

Reviewed on September 30, 2016



Oh my goodness this is definitely a book every book lover wants to add to their library! An absolute masterpiece and well deserving of High 5 Stars! The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan is a truly inspiring, funny and witty read! As soon as I started reading this book, I was hooked and stayed up all night to finish!

We first meet Nina Redmond at her job as a librarian where she’s learned that a new innovative and top of the line media center with all the glitz and high tech glam will be replacing their quaint, adorable library and there are only a few positions open.  Nina has been a bookworm from birth and there are tons of books just being thrown away, so she snatches these treasures up and heads home for the day. Her roommate and good friend, Surinder had had enough of Nina and her books and was very insistent that there just wasn’t any more room for books.

The next day at work, where they were having a team conference for the new media center, a very bubbly team representative was asking all of the employees what their dreams where and when it was Nina’s turn, she shyly admitted that she’d always wanted to open a bookshop. She was encouraged to go for it from the team rep and her good friend and colleague. However, she knew the cost of buildings and all that went into it, it was glancing through ads on the internet that she came across a van for sale in Scotland. Sparks began to fly and she immediately thought of a mobile bookstore. She couldn’t let the thought go and planned a trip to Scotland to see about purchasing the van.

Through a series of events and some amazing twists and turns, Nina purchased the van and moved to Scotland to build her mobile bookstore. A long the way, Nina has rented a barn-turned-house from a very dashingly handsome yet arrogant farmer, Lennox, whom she soon takes a liking too. She also has some amazing adventures along the way and one in particular involving a train conductor from Russia. Will Nina get her mobile bookstore in this vast and glorious unknown land? Will it thrive as she has dreamed? Will she find love along the way?

This story is truly captivating and one can’t help but be drawn into Nina’s world and her love of books! I most especially could relate to Nina, being a bookworm myself, she’s a delightful character who has so much inside her and such a unique talent for matching books with their long lost owners. This story is charming, funny, inspiring and so very addicting! I highly recommend this book to any book lover, you will not be displeased!






Jenny Colgan is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, includingLittle Beach Street Bakery, Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop, and Christmas at the Cupcake Café, all international bestsellers. Jenny is married with three children and lives in London and Scotland.











“Losing myself in Jenny Colgan’s beautiful pages is the most delicious, comforting, satisfying treat I have had in ages.”
   — Jane Green, New York Times bestselling author of Summer Secrets

“With a keen eye for the cinematic, Colgan (Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery, 2016, etc.) is a deft mistress of romantic comedy; Nina's story is laced with clever dialogue and scenes set like jewels, just begging to be filmed. A charming, bracingly fresh happily-ever-after tale…”
— Kirkus

 “This is a lovely novel with amazing characters who are hooked on books… at least some of them. The plot is believable and is a joy to read. The main female character, Nina, is the librarian who always figures out the best choice for a patron without fail. Jenny Colgan thinks outside the box and creates a memorable book.”
— RT Book Reviews

“This charming tale celebrates the many ways books bring people together”
— Booklist

“This light, fresh romantic comedy is the perfect escape for bibliophiles. Enjoy it with a cup of tea on a crisp day.”
— Real Simple

“[A] love story about reading and the joys books can bring to people’s lives.”
— All About Romance








2 comments:

  1. SO happy to see someone else who loved this like I did.... great review.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! I loved this book and I can't wait to read more from this author! :)

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