Cover Image: Of Literature and Lattes

Of Literature and Lattes

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Member Reviews

Enjoyed this book.  It might not be the most original take, but it was still an enjoyable read. Looking forward to reading more by this author in the future.
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When I requested this book, I hadn’t realized it was a follow up to another story.. and now I’m kind of glad. Because that means I can go back and read more about some of my favorite characters! 
This was a fun read that I really enjoyed. 
In the beginning, Alyssa wasn’t my favorite. Her attitude rubbed me the wrong way. But, by the end of the book I was rooting for her. 
I did Jeremy from the beginning though and was excited when things worked out well for him. 
There was a bit too much bickering for my liking, but overall I enjoyed the dialogue and character building that happened!
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Katherine Reay is a gifted storyteller. Let her take you to her lovely fictional town of Winsome, Illinois. You won't ever want to leave. This is her 2nd book set in this wonderful community and I hope there are many more.  It is  beautiful story of forgiveness and moving forward.  This is a wonderful novel that will have you longing to be a part of the Winsome Community.  This is a must read for any fan of Katherine Reay and will certainly be getting the attention of fans that just haven't been introduced to this fabulous author.  I will be giving this as a gift to many friends.
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I loved this author’s previous book “The Printed Letter” and was happy to be able to return to the lives of these characters.  This time around, we view the life of the town of Winsome from the backdrop of both the newly-restored coffee shop and the bookstore that’s become the heart of the town’s community.

This storyline centers around Alyssa’s reluctant return home to Winsome and the contention in the relationship that exists between she and mother, Joyce.  It was easy at first for me to get quite annoyed with Alyssa and I did not care for her at all.  But all throughout this story, we have the opportunity to see Alyssa grow and change and begin to see that she really does not know her mother at all.  By the end of the book, I had warmed up to Alyssa and began to hope that maybe she’d find her place in Winsome.  I did, however, like the character of Jeremy from the very beginning and was cheering him on to find success with his coffee shop and build his relationship with his young daughter.

This is not a sweet, romantic story.  There’s romance, but it’s the kind that’s gained by hard work in establishing a relationship. I’m not sure if there will be a third book in this series, but I’ll be reading it if there is.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.
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This was a great lighter read for these times (March 2020, in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis). Set in a small town and filled with literary references and coffee shop vibes, it’s a story about community, family, and second chances. Alyssa is still reeling after a scandal completely demolished the company she was working for. Jeremy has moved to Winsome and remodeled their beloved coffee shop to rival any big city cafe. Both are wrestling with their pasts and figuring out that relationships are what sustain us more than anything else. 
I found the characters to be charming and the plot to have just enough elements to keep the story moving forward, but at times the transitions felt rushed. I would have liked to see a little more character development, especially in the main characters. 
I am not certain but I think this may be a sequel, or at least a spin-off, of an earlier book. Perhaps reading The Printed Letter Bookshop first would have rounded out the story a little better. 
All in all, a solid read that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to someone in the mood for an uplifting, heartwarming story.
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I adored the previous book, the Printed Letter Bookshop, so naturally I was very excited for the opportunity to read the follow-up, Of Literature and Lattes.  Unfortunately I only got about a quarter of the way through and realized I was really not enjoying it at all.  Unlike the last book, I felt no warmth toward the characters or their situations at all.  The main character, Alyssa, I found to be unnecessarily unpleasant.  Jeremy's ex-wife - does anyone really act THAT nasty and hostile?  Having loved the last book so much, I really wanted to love this one, but I couldn't stomach these characters.
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This is the first time I have read this author and the book and it was a good read. Enjoyed the characters.
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Of Literature and Lattes by Katherine Ready

Grab yourself a latte, get cozy and prepare to dive into a heartwarming read.

The story of two seemingly lost and wondering souls will warn even the coldest of hearts. Fantastic character development that will have you cheering not only the two leading characters but the whole group of well meaning town folk.

4/5 stars

Thank you #NetGalley and #ThomasNelson for this book in exchange for my honest review.
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I enjoyed this second novel set in Winsome, Illinois, a lovely small town where people look out for each other. The two main characters are in Winsome for different reasons: temporary refuge for one, a fresh start for another. Neither is working out too well until help is asked for and is given in various ways. There are a few loose ends by the conclusion of the book, but I figure either that's real life or there is more to come.
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I loved the characters, the town, the books, the lattes, and the story.  This book was a great escape for me and we all need that right now.  
Many thanks to Thomas Nelson Fiction and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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This book follows The Printed Letter Bookshop and we see some of the same characters in this one. However the main two characters were not present in the first novel. Jeremy has moved to Winsome, IL, a suburb of Chicago, along with a friend, to open a coffee shop in the small town where his ex-wife and daughter live. Hailing from Seattle and having worked in the coffee industry, Jeremy feels confident in his abilities and doesn’t understand why sales aren’t better. Hometown girl Alyssa, still feeling burned by her job experience in California, is recommended to Jeremy to help with figuring things out. The two are attracted to each other and Alyssa works through her next steps in life with her family and career.

Winsome sounds like a town where we’d all like to live, where there’s a true sense of community. I enjoyed the first book more than this one, but it was fun meeting some of the same characters.

I received this book from the publisher via net galley in exchange for an honest review.
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This review may contain some spoilers. 

As excited as I was to get an ARC of this book since I've read other novels from this author and enjoyed them, this novel fell short for me.

The biggest issue I had was the lack of connection to either of the leads in this story. The female lead, Alyssa Harrison, left behind the sleepy town she was raised in for a better life working in Silicon Valley and from one day to the next found herself not only out a job but also part of an FBI investigation to the fraud her company was committing. Suddenly broke and desperate she decides she has no choice but to return to her hometown. 

Despite a series of unfortunate events, like waking up one night to find everything she owned in her car had been stolen during an overnight stay at a cheap motel, then being received less than lovingly by the father she thought would be happy to see her, I wanted to feel sympathy for Alyssa and found it extremely difficult to do so. Quite frankly, I didn't care for her. She seemed to hold on to her pride in all the wrong ways and came off pretty shallow. I also didn't care for the strain in the relationship between Alyssa and her mother. Maybe it didn't help that I'd just read Regretting You and had experienced THAT mother/daughter discord which felt very realistic and even valid whereas it took a long time to get to the point of why Alyssa doesn't speak to her mother. 

The male lead, Jeremy Mitchell, was also not as charming at first, but I'd begun to warm up to him when I decided to stop reading the book. Jeremy is a single dad and moved to the small town of Winsome with a dream of opening up a coffee shop as well as being closer to his daughter, who was adorable. He wasn't being too well received by the local residents with his modern (almost hipster) new cafe and his annoyance over this overshadowed his personality in the beginning. What really made him turn into a likable character was his love for his daughter. But that wasn't enough to keep me engaged.

In addition to that, there was essentially a long list of side stories and characters to keep track of and it just became too much to focus on without enough to care about. I was struggling to find a solid story. I was really bummed that I couldn't like the story more!
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Thank you #NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This is my first time reading a novel by Katherine Reay.  It was a cozy read about second chances. .
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I can picture the little square in Winsome, ILL where shopkeepers keep an eye on things and townsfolk can rely on being the same. Same routine. Same people. Nothing ever changing.
Except in this novel.
Katherine Reay takes us a second time to the town of Winsome, Illinois revisiting the places presented in her previous novel, The Printed Letter Bookshop. If you haven’t read the first one, you’ll likely find this second one confusing, full of characters that you can’t understand and don’t really know all that well. I’d only read a portion of the first book (my library time ran out), so I was familiar with a few characters but didn’t know their respective endings. It would have helped a lot reading this new story.
I found it difficult to connect with the main characters. Alyssa has a bizarre relationship with her mother and is an angry young woman. Of course she had a tough go of it in California and is under investigation by the FBI, but I just didn’t “feel” for her. She tended to be more on the immature side, which would explain why I didn’t connect with her all that well.
Jeremy is trying to start over and establish a relationship with his six year old daughter. He tries hard – maybe too hard, and it makes it a challenge moving from Seattle to Winsome. He buys a business and changes it so drastically, his investments bleed dry. Don’t change something in a town like Winsome. But his little girl makes it all worthwhile.
There are a lot of characters to keep track of and some long drawn out scenes (which is not necessarily bad in themselves). I quite liked the description of the morning routine that the shopkeepers went through – every one checking on everyone else, waving and shooting the breeze.
There are some nice moments throughout the book, but it just didn’t grab my attention as I expected it to.
I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Though The Printed Letter Bookshop has been on my TBR list for as long as it's been out, I had not had a chance to read it yet...and to be entirely honest, until I was about three quarters of the way through this one, it somehow escaped my notice that Of Literature and Lattes was a followup to that book. Realizing that actually allowed me to appreciate this book a lot more and had me wishing that I'd started there. While it certainly CAN be read as a standalone, I found that for me the first part of the book was only eh... it took me a bit to get into the story, and frankly I felt a bit disconnected with some of the characters... as though I should have known their story better and been better able to keep up with the vast number of characters I was being introduced to. Upon realizing it was the second book, that made a lot more sense. Though I would still give it a solid 3.5 stars, I do believe it could have been higher had I already had some familiarity with Winsome and the people there. 

That being said, despite my slow start into it... by the end I was really drawn into this place with it's small town charm and the people residing there. I particularly found myself enjoying Jeremy and his daughter. I got the impression that this wasn't quite the end of their story or the last we'd see of Winsome, Illinois so I do hope to have the chance to visit them again--- perhaps after going back to reread the first book first! 

I didn't always care for Alyssa's character, particularly toward the beginning but she did grow on me as the story went on. I enjoyed the romance between her and Jeremy, though I didn't find it to be a major focus of the story. More than anything I enjoyed the stories of redemption and second chances--- and the unique love story between mothers and daughters. 

Overall, this was a good book, but one that I would personally say should be read AFTER first reading The Printed Letter Bookshop to better appreciate the story. 

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own.
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Welcome back to the town on Winsome, a place that seems like it would be nice to visit. I enjoyed the setting, characters, and story line in this book. There’s a fair amount of conflict and life learning lessons with the thread of good literature references used throughout. There’s definite growth for main characters Alyssa and Jeremy, plus a dose of romance. Recommended.
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I feel bad about this, but I absolutely hated this book. I had heard good things about Katherine Reay and this was the first book of hers I’ve read, so I was very excited, but it was a huge let-down. My biggest issue was that the characters were completely wooden. We’re told tons of stuff about their backgrounds and their problems and their motivations, but we don’t understand THEM. I never connected to them, never understood their personalities or their relationships or their connections to each other. The perspective also kept hopping at random from one character to another, which was very jarring, and I still don’t understand why we spent time on half these characters in the first place - like why are we randomly hearing so much about Zach, Margery/George, and Chris/Madeline? I couldn’t even keep them all straight and I also couldn’t bring myself to care. The romantic relationships all felt forced, the chemistry was completely lacking, and the emotional tension points were totally contrived. On top of that, the plot line was weak and full of tons of extremely convenient, unlikely scenarios that neatly solved everything. And some of them were so far-fetched, like what was even happening with the bizarre FBI plot line? And to top it all off, I found the writing trite and cliched, and some of the similes are unbearable - like comparing a tense conversation to the foam on an espresso? Really? Ultimately this book bored me and I had zero interest in any of the characters or in finding out what happened to them. I’m super disappointed but I don’t think I’ll be seeking out anything else from Reay.
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Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I enjoyed this sequel to The Printed Letter Bookshop, and while I encourage you to read that first to learn more about some of the secondary characters, it isn't essential to read it before picking up Of Literature and Lattes.  Bookstores and coffee shops are two of my favorite places, so a book that takes place in both is right up my alley.     There were times when I became frustrated over Alyssa's immaturity, especially when it came to her relationship with her mother, but overall, this was a quick and enjoyable read.
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Great book. The plot was interesting throughout. The story was well crafted and so was the writing. Overall a great light read.
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I enjoyed it but didn't love it. Katherine Reay writes books about redemption and because of that her characters are often not very likeable. I have struggled with that in all of her books except for Dear Mr. Knightley. In that one, the character had very good reason for her behaviors and attitudes so I could see past them and love her. In her other books the characters have just been selfish, or stupid,or both. However, I love her writing and enjoy her stories.
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