Summer Sale! Save 20% today and get access to all our member benefits.

What do readers think of The Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher? Write your own review.

Summary | Reviews | More Information | More Books

The Paris Bookseller

by Kerri Maher

The Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher X
The Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published Jan 2022
    336 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this book


Page 1 of 5
There are currently 35 reader reviews for The Paris Bookseller
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

Carol M Peters

Shakespeare and Company
I loved this history of all the writers who congregated in Paris from 1917-1935 and the bookstore which was their haven. I had never heard of Sylvia Beach or her bookstore Shakespeare and Company. It was so interesting to "meet" James Joyce and and his struggles to write and publish Ulysses, the young Ernest Hemmingway, Ezra Pound, and Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas to name a few.
The book also captures the challenges for women trying to earn a name in the publishing business, but also the successes of individuals like Sylvia Beach an unsung hero who should have received more recognition over the ensuing years. I also thought the author captured the relative freedom for same sex couples in Paris vs. other countries during this time. I would recommend to anyone interested in Paris between the two World Wars and the many authors who called Paris home. This is a very personal story of Sylvia Beach and her life in addition to the bookstore. It opens the door to a world in the past with many fascinating moments to treasure.
Arden A. (Longboat Key, FL)

1919 Paris
Shakespeare and Company was a renowned Paris bookstore established in 1919 by a woman, Sylvia Beach. It was during a time when Hemingway, Ezra Pound, James Joyce lived and wrote and frequented Sylvia's bookstore, which was an anomaly at that time, since women were not encouraged to excel outside the home, and it took great fortitude to create the phenomenon that her bookstore became. In addition, she undertook to publish one of the most controversial novels of the times, James Joyce's Ulysses.
The novel is well written, the descriptions bring the 1900s clearly into view, and the story, mostly factual and well researched, is excellently woven around the authors and the difficulties of the time. It clearly tells the story of a remarkable woman.
Pam S. (Wellesley, MA)

Paris in the 1920s and the bookshop at its center
Kerri Maher has written a fascinating novel about Sylvia Beach, the American who opened Shakespeare and Company book shop in Paris in 1919. The store became a mecca for writers who flocked to Paris in the years between the world wars. Although I knew a little about Sylvia Beach before reading this book, I was delighted to learn more about her and her store. Her role as publisher of Ulysses, the ground-breaking novel by James Joyce, and the saga of their relationship formed a significant portion of the book. I particularly enjoyed reading about the many legendary writers (Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein and many more). It was a pleasure to experience the world of the "lost generation" through the perspective of Sylvia, who was at the center of it. I recommend this book for anyone who is interested in the period and am grateful to the author for bringing to life someone who was at the heart of it.
Dan W. (Fort Myers, FL)

The Lost Generation
Upon noticing the book title and the book cover for "The Paris Bookseller", I was hooked on this book. I have had the opportunity to visit the bookstore Shakespeare and Company in Paris several times on my trips to France. After reading this inspiring book by Kerri Maher, I long to once again visit the place that Sylvia Beach make possible for unknown, but talented, writers to create books that will live on through the ages. I found myself captivated by Kerri Maher's ability to draw the reader into a personalized way that Sylvia provided financial and moral support to some of the best "Lost Generation" authors. I think a book club would be an ideal forum to review and discuss this book! This is a book I would highly encourage any visitor to Paris to read; even those readers that might not able to actually travel to the "magical" place!
Jan, Colorado

The Paris Bookseller
It was with mixed emotions that I finished The Paris Bookseller. I could hardly stop reading it but I hated to see it end. This has been my favorite book of the year.

I had almost given up reading historical fiction because other authors had so completely and dismally strayed from the real people and real events. Kerri Maher was masterful in using the real people, real events, and the setting and then added to the story. I was not familiar with Sylvia Beach or Shakespeare and Company and I truly enjoyed learning about her influence on literature. The author brought all of the other real people to life and revealed their personalities. I also appreciated that the author told the story linearly as opposed to the popular jumping back and forth in time that many authors are employing today.

I would love to discuss this book in a book club. The characters are rich and deserve us diving into their lives and relationships. I researched some of the events while reading the book, and would like to learn more about the events depicted in the book. I will definitely recommend it to my book club after the book is published.

I think this book would appeal to people who enjoy historical fiction and literature lovers. I will watch for more Kerri Maher books in the future.
Terrie J. (Eagan, MN)

A Book for Book Lovers
This was a fun book for book lovers. Many famous authors made appearances in the midst of a great story line. The heroine of the story was a strong woman with lofty goals during a time when women weren't looked upon as successful entrepreneurs. There were surprises throughout the book which kept my interest while reading. It was well written and the descriptions made you feel like you were there. I highly recommend this book for all types of readers.
Linda S. (Milford, CT)

The Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher
This is a charming, interesting book about the origins of a famous bookshop in Paris, Shakespeare and Company and how it came to be in 1918. Sylvia Beach is a young American, visiting Paris with her family and falls in love with the City of Lights. So begins her journey to create a new English speaking bookshop and lending library and her long time relationship with Adrienne Monnier. After it was established, many famous authors frequented the bookshop, such as Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway and his wives, and Gertrude Stein. Sylvia became good friends with James Joyce, who was a large presence in the novel. Sylvia Beach is a delightful character, especially knowing that she existed.

Anyone who loves books and reading will enjoy the book. It was well researched and the Author's Notes at the end were most informative. I feel the book would lend itself to a great discussion. I thoroughly enjoyed this book!
Alyce T. (San Antonio, TX)

Old Friends
Reading "the Paris Bookseller" is like attending a High School or College Reunion. It is so much fun meeting and greeting old friends. As the characters come into the store, Shakespeare and Company owned by the famous Sylvia Beach, we "know" them as well as relatives coming home for a family reunion. it is a joy to learn of the interactions and friendships of the famous authors of the 20th Century. We experience their gathering together for support and to escape the bans and prohibitions in the early 1900s.

James Joyce's "Ulysses " is the focal point of this true story and how the community saved it. Kerri Maher's delightful book will be entertaining for both old and new readers. and will create lively discussions for book Clubs..


Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more

Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Coin
    The Coin
    by Yasmin Zaher
    A popular choice for book jackets in recent years, perhaps especially in the historical fiction ...
  • Book Jacket: The Night of Baba Yaga
    The Night of Baba Yaga
    by Akira Otani, Sam Bett
    When Yoriko Shindo gets into a brawl on a busy street in 1970s Tokyo, she has no idea what the ...
  • Book Jacket: The Anthropologists
    The Anthropologists
    by Aysegül Savas
    A documentary filmmaker, Asya is interested in the "unremarkable grace" of daily life, "the slow and...
  • Book Jacket: Mood Swings
    Mood Swings
    by Frankie Barnet
    This book begins with a bombastic premise. Seemingly fed up with the heating planet, the world's ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
The 1619 Project
by Nikole Hannah-Jones
An impactful expansion of groundbreaking journalism, The 1619 Project offers a revealing vision of America's past and present.
Who Said...

Use what talents you possess: The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!


Solve this clue:

L T C O of the B

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.