Summary and book reviews of The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland

The Lost for Words Bookshop

by Stephanie Butland

The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland X
The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland
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  • Published:
    Jun 2018, 368 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Davida Chazan

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About this Book

Book Summary

The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland is a compelling, irresistible, and heart-rending novel, perfect for all book lovers.

Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look carefully, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are some things Loveday will never, ever show you.

Into her hiding place - the bookstore where she works - come a poet, a lover, and three suspicious deliveries.

Someone has found out about her mysterious past. Will Loveday survive her own heartbreaking secrets?

POETRY

2016
Unlooked-for

A book is a match in the smoking second between strike and flame.

Archie says books are our best lovers and our most provoking friends. He's right, but I'm right, too. Books can really hurt you.

I thought I knew that, the day I picked up the Brian Patten. It turned out that I still had a lot to learn.

I usually get off my bike and wheel it on the last bit of my ride to work. Once you pass the bus stop, the cobbled road narrows and so does the pavement in this part of York, so it's a lot less hassle that way. That February morning, I was navigating around some it's-my-buggy-and-I'll-stop-if-I-want-to woman with her front wheels on the road and her back wheels on the pavement, when I saw the book.

It was lying on the ground next to a bin, as though someone had tried to throw it away, but didn't even care enough to pause to take proper aim. Anyway, I stopped. Of course. Who wouldn't rescue a book? The buggy-woman tutted, ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. How important are books to Loveday? Does she have to work in a bookshop, or would another kind of shop serve her just as well?
  2. If you were going to have a line from a book tattooed on your skin, which line would you choose?
  3. Why does Loveday choose poetry to get her message across?
  4. Do you have any sympathy for Rob?
  5. What does this book tell us about mothers and daughters?
  6. Loveday is not a fan of people in general, and men in particular. Is she justified in this?
  7. How important are the settings of this novel?
  8. Loveday collects things—books, shells, tattoos. Why does she do this? How can collections help us to make sense of our lives?
  9. Can you pinpoint the moment that Loveday's life goes wrong?
  10. Who would play Archie in a ...
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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

This is one of those novels that ticks a whole lot of boxes for me, especially the fact that it takes place in a bookshop. Seriously, what book reviewer worth their salt can resist a novel with that word in the title? Another one of those ticked boxes is the mystery behind who is sending Loveday all those books. I love a good mystery, especially if it's one that doesn't involve too much violence. Admittedly, author Stephanie Butland does include some of that here, particularly the way Loveday's father dies, but there's nothing overly visceral or graphic. Another box? That the action takes place in York, an historic walled city in northern England that I've been to several times and totally adore.   (Reviewed by Davida Chazan).

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Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rich characterizations, a vibrant bookstore setting, and several poignant Wednesday poetry nights will have readers hoping for a sequel.

Booklist
Readers who want to get lost in a world of literature, love, and companionship in a story about breaking out of the past to create a new life will fall in love.

Library Journal
Strong characterization and a sarcastic, relatable first-person perspective carry a tale that is slow to start but explosive in the end. Lovers of literature will enjoy this mix of contemporary women's fiction and mystery.

Kirkus Reviews
A tale full of romance and violence demanding readers not judge a book by its cover.

Author Blurb Matthew Sullivan author of Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
In The Lost for Words Bookshop, Stephanie Butland has created a bibliophile's delight. Witty and irreverent, funny and sad, this is a charming tribute to stories on the page and in our lives - and the powers they can hold over us.

Author Blurb Linda Green, bestselling author of While My Eyes Were Closed
Burns fiercely with love and hurt. A rare and beautiful novel.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

Performance Poetry and Slams

Poetry Slam LogoEarly in the novel, The Lost For Words Bookshop, the main character attends a weekly poetry competition night. This made me immediately think of "poetry slams" and wonder about their origins. I easily found connections to ancient traditions dating back to times of low literacy that existed long before the age of the printing press. Obviously, the great Greek and Roman traditions of theater also included performing poetry and many of Shakespeare's plays are essentially epic poems, written in iambic pentameter. These early instances of reciting poetry in a formal setting has lasted to this day, with poets reading their works at public events.

Regarding open mic evenings and performing poetry (as opposed to just reciting it), I had no...

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