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Bookish People by Susan Coll
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Bookish People

$26.24

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Length 8 hours 10 minutes
Language English
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A perfect storm of comedic proportions erupts in a DC bookstore over the course of one soggy summer week—narrated by two very different women and punctuated by political turmoil, a celestial event, and a perpetually broken vacuum cleaner.

Independent bookstore owner Sophie Bernstein is burned out on books. Mourning the death of her husband, the loss of her favorite manager, her only child’s lack of aspiration, and the grim state of the world, she fantasizes about going into hiding in the secret back room of her store.

Meanwhile, renowned poet Raymond Chaucer has published a new collection, and rumors that he’s to blame for his wife’s suicide have led to national cancellations of his publicity tour. He intends to set the record straight—with an ultra-fine-point Sharpie—but only one shop still plans to host him: Sophie’s.

Fearful of potential repercussions from angry customers, Sophie asks Clemi—bookstore events coordinator, aspiring novelist, and daughter of a famed literary agent—to cancel Raymond’s appearance. But Clemi suspects Raymond might be her biological father, and she can’t say no to the chance of finding out for sure.

This big-hearted screwball comedy features an intergenerational cast of oblivious authors and over-qualified booksellers—as well as a Russian tortoise named Kurt Vonnegut Jr.—and captures the endearing quirks of some of the best kinds of people: the ones who love good books.

Praise for Bookish People:

“A smart, original, laugh-out-loud novel . . . If you sell, buy, or simply love books, Bookish People is for you. I wholeheartedly recommend this quirky gem.” —Sarah Pekkanen, New York Times bestselling co-author of The Golden Couple


  • Witty, hilarious, and heartwarming contemporary book about books

  • Stand-alone novel

  • Book length: approximately 84,000 words

  • Also by the author: The Stager, Beach Week, Acceptance, Rockville Pike

Susan Coll is the author of seven novels, including Bookish People and The Stager—a New York Times and Chicago Tribune Editor’s Choice. Her third novel, Acceptance, was made into a television movie starring the hilarious Joan Cusack. Susan’s work has appeared in publications including the New York Times Book Review, the Washington PostWashingtonian magazine, Moment Magazine, NPR.org, and Atlantic.com. She is the events advisor at Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, DC, and was the president of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation for five years. Visit Susan online at susancoll.com; Instagram: @susan_keselenko_coll; X: @Susan_Coll; Pinterest: @susancollauthor

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Reviews

Coll (The Stager, 2014) ably juggles chaotic details, turning them into hilarious running gags while making it completely clear why Sophie wants to bury herself in the book - though she can't, because the power went out. While this is full of nods to the publishing world that those in the know will appreciate, every reader who loves books will relish Coll's comedy of errors. An insightful and entertaining look behind the shelves and into the lives of the people who stock them . . . Coll's novel captures the fragmented overload of modern life so successfully . . . it's satisfying as a trip to your local indie bookstore. A lightly fictionalized, highly exaggerated, and very entertaining look at the lives of beleaguered booksellers. D.C.'s new 'it' novel . . . Bookish D.C. people will be amused by the abundant literary asides and scene-setting gold coins. What could be more fun than a week of chaos at a Washington, D.C., bookstore? Nothing, at least not in the hands of this queen of literary comedy, once a bookstore events manager herself. Hipster employees, self-involved writers, cruel tow-truck drivers and a malodorous store pet are all present and accounted for. Fans of novels with plenty of literary and political references or of relationship fiction will enjoy. Susan Coll's Bookish People is a delightful, hilarious, and utterly charming novel about a quirky bookstore and its motley crew--ridiculously lovable people who think way too much about words, writing, dead authors, customers' dogs, cats who torment birds, canceled author events, British ovens, readers, vacuum cleaners, and Russian tortoises. The perfect read for bookish people everywhere! A smart, original, laugh-out-loud novel that fans of Tom Perrotta will adore. If you sell, buy, or simply love books, Bookish People is for you. I wholeheartedly recommend this quirky gem. There's not a wittier, zanier, smarter book about books and the people who love them than Bookish People. After reading about this single screwball week in the book biz, you'll want to hug your closest bookseller (and maybe apply for a job). Take a bookstore owner who is sick of books, a pompous poet who has managed to get himself canceled, and a crew of overqualified millennial employees, then add a week of political upheaval and a rare celestial event. The result is Bookish People, a sharp yet tender comedy of bookstore manners. Susan Coll has written a love letter to bibliophiles everywhere with too many hilarious parts to list--though the tortoise named Kurt Vonnegut Jr. may be my all-time favorite literary pet. The wacky world of books and the people who love them, as seen through a week in the life of a Washington, D.C., bookstore. As much fun as Coll has with vacuum cleaners--a truly surprising amount--it's literary humor where she slays. Expand reviews
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