The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

readers of broken wheel recommend

Photo Credit: Sourcebooks

This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration.

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

Summary from Goodreads:

Once you let a book into your life, the most unexpected things can happen…
Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds that Amy’s funeral has just ended. Luckily, the townspeople are happy to look after their bewildered touristβ€”even if they don’t understand her peculiar need for books. Marooned in a farm town that’s almost beyond repair, Sara starts a bookstore in honor of her friend’s memory. All she wants is to share the books she loves with the citizens of Broken Wheel and to convince them that reading is one of the great joys of life. But she makes some unconventional choices that could force a lot of secrets into the open and change things for everyone in town. Reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, this is a warm, witty book about friendship, stories, and love.


Traveling With T’s Thoughts:

When I first saw this book at BEA 15, I’ll admit that the cover was the initial draw. I like blue covers, the swirls, etc. Then, my next thought (after reading the summary) was could this be another The Storied Life of AJ Fikry? It had a ish feeling to that plot line.

Fast forward a few months later:

Rhiannon and I are looking for the new Book Talk With R&T selection. We strive hard to pick books that we are both excited to read- and this was in the mix. Other early readers (bloggers like Library Educated and others) had been calling itΒ  a T book and I was def feeling some great thoughts. As per our selection agreement- we read a pre-arranged number of pages- and if the book is interesting, it usually gets picked.

But enough about that, right? You want to know about the book!

The Good:

The Cover.

The plot. Sure, it was a bit quirky. Who visits a woman halfway around the world that she’s never met, has no ties to, or even really knows anything about? And yet- it works because it’s the power of books bringing them together. Sara and Amy shared a love of books- which made their friendship, their letters- even better- because they were connecting on deeper levels. Sharing and talking about books between people is a great way to get to know a person’s soul/spirit.

The town. I don’t live in Iowa. I’ve never been. But, Katarina Bivald painted a picture of Broken Wheel to the point that I could see the town, the busy-bodies, the well-meaning people, etc.

The characters. Sara and Amy were my faves- actually. But each of the other characters had a role- and were needed in the story.


The Bad-ish:

The length. At 400 pages, it was a tad on the too-long side. There were some parts that dragged a bit to me. But the magic of Sara and the characters of Broken Wheel kept me turning pages.


Overall, it did not remind so much of The Storied Life of AJ Fikry as I had hoped. But, for people who love books, who need books in their lives- this is a reminder of why books are some important.



Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,

T @ Traveling With T

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10 thoughts on “The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

  1. I wanted to like this book but I didn’t. It was LONG, the story was quirky but it just didnt grab me. I skipped ahead….a lOT.. just to find out what happened. Saggy middle for me is an epidemic.

  2. lorispielman says:

    I’d just heard about this book and this new author, so I was excited to see your review, since I normally share your taste in books. Thanks so much. I will keep it on my TBR list!

  3. This was, by far, my favorite book last year. Except for maybe The Gringos Who Stole Tequila. But that would make it my favorite fiction book. I thought the The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend was well written, and I loved those hidden book references peppered throughout the book. I don’t think it was too long, but I do agree that there were some sluggish areas. But I found it so wonderful to read about characters who love books as much as I do; I’ve always said that I bleed ink. I think The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is one of those books that I’ll come back to over and over and over again because it just holds that little spark of magic I love. πŸ™‚

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