Inspiration: The Book Shop by Penelope Fitzgerald

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I was able to read Penelope Fitzgerald's The Book Shop a couple of months ago. For me, I loved it mainly for two reasons. 1) How wonderfully written it is, and 2) The overall 'ambiance' and feel of the story and its settings. The latter, is what inspired this post. However, I do have to admit, this is not your typical novel at all, and I don't think it's for everyone. Personally, I loved it.

I decided not to write an actual review for this English/Contemporary Fiction novel. Instead, I thought it was more appropriate to create a photo-filled 'Inspiration' post -- full of images of lovely book shops and book stores that made me think of its story. The Book Shop is set in 1959, where Florence Green opens the only bookshop in the seaside town of Hardborough. The townspeople are conservative and reserved and thinks that the business is simply impractical. But Florence is eager to make her business a success, despite the fact that over time, she begins to realize that 'a town that lacks a bookshop isn't always a town that wants one.'


  1. +JMJ+

    Okay, I'm totally inspired now.

    Mission accomplished, Jillian! ;-)

    (By the way, will you be reviewing the book in the future? The line about a town not always wanting a bookshop is intriguing.)

  2. Love the pictures of Shakespeare & Co.! It's one of my all-time dreams to go to Paris and spend a few hours browsing those beautiful rickety old shelves... :-)

  3. E - Haha, well I'm glad! I don't know if I will be reviewing it, but maybe. It really is wonderfully written, but it's a little.. hmm.. weird, I guess? I liked it, but I know some of my bookworm friends who just despised it.

    Ellie - That is also one of my all-time dreams! To visit Paris, to visit the Louvre.. it would be pretty amazing :)

    May - Thanks, I love them too!

  4. Bet I could find lots of treasures in those shops! Fun post-- and I am intrigued about the town that didn't want a bookshop too. I usually love UK authors and I'm addicted to quirky britfilms and britcoms-- sounds like this has 'characters' in it so I'll keep an eye out for this book.

  5. Great idea! I love the pictures! They make me want to find a cozy spot and read! :D

  6. Lesa - Looking at them makes me want to visit other undiscovered bookstores around my area.. maybe I'll do that next weekend! :) And yes, I'm sort of obsessed with britfilms and britcoms for some reason. They're just incredibly different from everything else, so it's nice to see something new for a change.

    Holly - Me too! Makes me want to have bookstore adventures too.. Haha.

  7. Jillian-- I prefer the britcoms but my hubby is an anglophile too and is addicted to several britmysteries-- I've watched a few and they are really good and addictive and full of interesting 'characters'. I know you read some mysteries/me so you may want to check them out on Youtube, hulu or netflix.

    Midsomer Murders-- police detective solves cases in a whole county of quirky villages

    Doc Martin-- a ocd doctor solves cases

    Murder in Suburbia

    Jonathan Creek-- really good-- the investigator designs magic tricks for a living so is able to figure out the most bizarre tricky cases

  8. Lesa - I actually have heard of Murder in Suburbia before! But I'll be sure to check these out when I get free time :) Thank you for the recommendations!

  9. Simply gorgeous. I'm especially breathtaken (is that a word?...apparently not, but it should be!) by the 9th one down. The sun hitting the books just so is just beautiful. Ahhh...

  10. Teacher/Learner - Haha breathtaken should be a word. That's alright.. you can make up your own! Haha. :)