Thursday, March 9, 2023

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 and Book Beginnings


It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:
  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an eBook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.

Today I'm featuring my current read, The Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher. The excerpts shared are from a hardcover edition borrowed from the library.


Beginning:  It was hard not to feel that Paris was the place.


Page 56:  Her dark eyes fixed on Sylvia like an eagle's.


My thoughts:  This historical novel revolves around the creation of Shakespeare and Company, a famed Paris bookshop with an illustrious history. I had the opportunity to visit this wonderful store on a trip to Paris several years ago, and I am loving the revisit as an armchair traveler. I am totally and happily immersed in the story.


From GoodReads: Discover the dramatic story of how a humble bookseller fought against incredible odds to bring one of the most important books of the 20th century to the world in this new novel from the author of The Girl in the White Gloves.

When bookish young American Sylvia Beach opens Shakespeare and Company on a quiet street in Paris in 1919, she has no idea that she and her new bookstore will change the course of literature itself.

Shakespeare and Company is more than a bookstore and lending library: Many of the most prominent writers of the Lost Generation, like Ernest Hemingway, consider it a second home. It's where some of the most important literary friendships of the twentieth century are forged--none more so than the one between Irish writer James Joyce and Sylvia herself. When Joyce's controversial novel Ulysses is banned, Beach takes a massive risk and publishes it under the auspices of Shakespeare and Company.

But the success and notoriety of publishing the most infamous and influential book of the century comes with steep costs. The future of her beloved store itself is threatened when Ulysses' success brings other publishers to woo Joyce away. Her most cherished relationships are put to the test as Paris is plunged deeper into the Depression and many expatriate friends return to America. As she faces painful personal and financial crises, Sylvia--a woman who has made it her mission to honor the life-changing impact of books--must decide what Shakespeare and Company truly means to her.

This Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog,  It cannot be republished without attribution.



  1. I'm so jealous. I must get back to Paris. I visited the city of lights in the late 1970s and haven't been back. It is time! Guess I could start with this book.

  2. I haven't heard of The Paris Bookseller before. I do like novels based on historical events, so this seems like a book I would be interested in. Thanks for mentioning it!

  3. Sounds interesting. I hadn't heard of this store or the book before, but it's so great that you get to relive a trip while you read this book.

  4. I really love the color and design of that cover.

  5. I love to read almost anything set in Paris, so this is a book I'm considering reading for Paris in July.

  6. I am wanting more. I do want to visit Paris though.... Happy weekend!

  7. That was a really enjoyable book for me. And it made me frustrated that I didn't get time to visit the bookshop when I was in Paris. My tiny complaint is that there was SO much name dropping, though it certainly help set the era.
    Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys