Cover Image: Of Literature and Lattes

Of Literature and Lattes

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Member Reviews

The idyllic suburbia of Winsome provides readers with a light look into the highs and lows of marriage, parents and their children, and community relationships. Small business owners maneuver the challenges inside the bookkeeping and relationship housekeeping necessary to life. Katherine Reay keeps the mood light and the plot driven story moving along. The lattes are hand drawn and the life lessons illustrated through Scripture and through literature the characters read. If you love books, the simple life with uplifting characters, and aromatic lattes, then Of Literature and Lattes is a very warm, comfortable read worth a couple evenings.
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As we continue social distancing for such a stretch of time, I am drawn more and more to sweet, comforting rom coms or love stories. In that need for a light-hearted yet meaningful read, Of Literature and Lattes did not disappoint. I enjoyed the characters very much and loved how relatable and real they were overall, flaws and all. At times it felt though that there were too many complex characters and subplots that made the story jump around too much for an easy read. I did appreciate, however, that the romantic storyline was not the only major one in the book but included several of depth. 

Overall, I appreciated the small-town charm of the book and am glad I picked it up to read. I heard that while this book is listed as a stand-alone book it closely follows another of hers, The Printed Letter Bookshop, that I will definitely have to check out.
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This delightful novel provides a follow-up story to The Printed Letter Bookshop, but can be read as a stand-alone novel.  This novel was interesting due to the nature of the topics within the novel and the superb writing of Ms. Reay.  Just as I love the title for this novel, readers will fall in love with the community of Winsome.  This book focuses on Alyssa and almost seems like a prodigal daughter kind of story.  She returns home after previously succeeding in the real world, but has faced recent difficulties at work where the FBI is now investigating the company.  She returns home after leaving abruptly several years earlier after some family difficulties.  She returns hoping to avoid any chance of reconciliation, but due to other circumstances may actually have to face her past.  When she returns she meets Jeremy who owns the local coffee shop.  He bought the coffee shop and moved to Winsome to be closer to his daughter.  Being a newcomer, he didn’t realize that sometimes change in a small town might not be a good thing.  His business is suffering and he is desperate for help.  With Alyssa’s business background, he asks her to help him turn the coffee shop around.  Readers will enjoy this thought-provoking novel about resentments and grudges, second chances, and even redemption.  As with all of Ms. Reay’s books, I highly recommend you read this novel!  I loved it and know you will too.
***I was given a free electronic copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.  This is my honest opinion.  Even though I received this copy free, I have purchased her books before.
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Of Literature & Lattes is a sequel to The Printed Letter Bookshop, and readers may want to begin there for a better understanding of all the characters and their back stories. If that's not possible, the story can still be enjoyed on its own merits and the author does provide enough clues to pick up on past events.

This book is all about transitions and changes. The Daily Brew--a local coffee staple of the town--has been renamed and reopened but residents have been less than thrilled with the "updates." The facelift at the coffee shop is only one of the surprising changes that face hometown girl, Ashley, crawling back home after a devestating job loss. Her biggest hurdle is facing the mother from whom she's been estranged. Ashley soon realizes the challenge of staying mad when she sees how much her mother has changed while she was away. The new leaf her mother turns over is barely recognizable to Ashley. She needs to figure out where her place in the world and in her family.

There are a number of side stories taking place as well. Characters facing their own struggles, challenges and growing pains. But they all come through with the help of good friends. This was a great book that provided a refreshing tale of new beginnings and satisfying endings.

Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of the book, Of Literature & Lattes, from NetGalley for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received and the opinions expressed are my own.
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Although this book includes The Printed Letter Bookshop in the little town of Winsome, Illinois and its own cast of characters, the book by the same name is not a necessary read in order to understand and enjoy Of Literature and Lattes.This book does conclude in a manner that leaves the reader hoping for a follow up book. One especially wants to know how things work out for Jeremy and his seven-year-old daughter, Becca, the two most lovable characters in this story. Almost every reader is likely to find at least one character with whom he or she can closely identify. The story's theme of familial relationships demonstrates the importance of love and grace in navigating those waters. I recommend this book to fans of contemporary Christian fiction and contemporary fiction in general. I am grateful to have received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Well done! Of Literature and Lattes is the first book I've read by Katherine Reay and it will not be the only one. This book took me back home. I'm not from Winsome, Illinois but, I am from a small town and the feelings that bubbled to the top while I read made me feel like I was back home if only just for a little while.

I loved her characters! They were so wonderfully flawed and it was nice to see them working hard to make wrongs right. As in any good story, there is a lot going on. I delighted in all the little facets of the book and I was sorry to see it come to an end. I definitely felt I had made some new friends and hated to close the book. We will all be fortunate if Ms. Reay returns to Winsome, Illinois. 

She has the voice of a storyteller. I could see the story in my head as I was reading and felt like I left my world behind. It truly is a great book that can take you on a good trip and deposit you on your own couch when it is over.

I want to thank the publisher and Katherine Reay for the opportunity to read an early copy.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest review.
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Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and author Katherine Reay for providing me with an ARC of this novel!

Do you know those certain comfort food meals you always turn to? This author/novel is the perfect representation of that, only in book form. I have not read any of Reay's other titles, but that didn't hurt my understanding of this story at all. I was able to completely immerse myself in the plot which I truly appreciated. I loved the characters; they were perfectly developed and had relatable flaws and struggles. We were lucky enough to have this novel included in our Booksparks summer reading camp list, and I believe it was a great pick!

Thank you to those named above for the chance to read and review this novel!
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After having read and loved Katherine Reay’s The Printed Letter Bookshop, I was excited to discover Of Literature and Lattes, which isn’t exactly a sequel but the second book to take place in this universe. And I’m happy to have read this heartwarming tale as well. 

The main plot here follows two characters: Alyssa, who is returning to her hometown after the Silicon Valley startup she worked for collapsed; and Jeremy, who moved to be close to his daughter and is now fulfilling his dream of opening a coffee shop. There are quite a few subplots and secondary characters in this novel, and as some of these characters narrate some sections the story becomes a bit muddied, especially in some cases where the point of view switches mid chapter with no warning. I suspect some of these elements are planted to root future books, but this particular book would have felt tighter without them. 

While Of Literature and Lattes is a romance, there is a lot more going on in these pages. It explores many types of relationships, from employer/employee to friendship and parent/child and more. I particularly liked the exploration of mother daughter dynamics and found much of it to be incredibly realistic and insightful. 

In the end, I enjoyed reading Of Literature and Lattes, just not as much as I loved The Printed Letter Bookshop. I don’t think I’d reread this particular book but if more are written in this universe I will definitely check them out!
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If you loved 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑷𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝑳𝒆𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝑩𝒐𝒐𝒌𝒔𝒉𝒐𝒑, this book is the follow up and feels like coming home.

It was the perfect escape for me after several heavy reads and well, life in general. I love how Katherine Reay writes; it feels like a conversation with a friend. The characters are endearing and I’m almost certain any reader can find themselves in at least one of the characters.

This is one of those books I could recommend to anyone which earns it
five stars from me. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t need an escape from time to time and this book is perfect for both that and celebrating book, coffee, and new beginnings.

Thank you to @netgalley and @thomasnelson for this gifted copy in exchange for my unbiased review.
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This is a book about the importance of considering the other side – that there is another side(!) - of an issue before being judgmental. The other person may have a quite different reality for the same event - & be equally valid in their belief. I was disappointed with the earlier chapters of this book, feeling it did not live up to the ‘extra-special’ quality of her other books, but maybe that was because I did not find the main character at all likeable. Alyssa is certainly not ready for a mature romantic relationship, when she still has so much to sort out with her family – she has a lot of growing up to do. But just as she had to rethink her position on her family story, maybe I had to rethink my position on her. (I have already had to do this as to certain things in my own life, things I had believed for many years may not have been as I perceived them at all. It is a hard – but necessary – lesson to learn. And then there is further hard work involved, in setting things right – if possible – with the other person concerned.) There are depths to this book which were not initially apparent, or at least not to me. Every other one of her books I have absolutely loved, but this one has taken me longer to appreciate – the lessons are layered on slowly... So okay : it is not my favourite, but I would still want to read Katherine Reay again – because of her earlier books. (And I am glad that Janet finally stood up for herself, nobody should have to put up with being treated like that – family or no family.)
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EXCERPT: 'What does Andante even mean?'

Jeremy blinked. Those were not words he expected to hear at his grand opening.

The older man looked around the store, his face pursed as if Jeremy's beans had burned or pulled sour and were stinking up the place. 'What was wrong with the Daily Brew? I liked it just fine. What have they done to the place? It doesn't feel like home any more.'

Jeremy looked around the coffee shop, frantic to find something good to counteract the clench in his chest. He'd studied, dreamed, and planned for this moment for twenty years. Five minutes ago he'd been fired up, still nervous enough to throw up in the tiny back bathroom, but satisfied with the remodel and confident in his decision to move across the country to Winsome and open it. He thought about all that came with both the shop and the move. He now lived near his daughter. She knew his name and his face. She called him 'Daddy.' He had an apartment she could stay in, one with two bedrooms and a view of Winsome's Centennial Park. No . . . no way could he have afforded any of this in Seattle. This was the life and the home he wanted and there was no room for regret, doubt, or naysayers.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: After fleeing her hometown three years earlier, Alyssa Harrison never planned to return. Then the Silicon Valley start-up she worked for collapsed and turned her world upside down. She is broke, under FBI investigation, and without a place to go. Having exhausted every option, she comes home to Winsome, Illinois, to regroup then move on as quickly as possible. Yet, as friends and family welcome her back, Alyssa begins to see a place for herself in this small Midwestern community.

Jeremy Mitchell moved from Seattle to Winsome to be near his daughter and to open the coffee shop he’s been dreaming of for years. Problem is, the business is bleeding money—and he’s not quite sure why. When he meets Alyssa, he senses an immediate connection, but what he needs most is someone to help him save his floundering business. After asking for her help, he wonders if something might grow between them—but forces beyond their control soon complicate their already complex lives, and the future they both hoped for is not at all what they anticipated.

With the help of Winsome’s small-town charm and quirky residents, Alyssa and Jeremy discover the beauty and romance of second chances.

MY THOUGHTS: This was a sweet, but not particularly memorable story of a family in a small town, their relationships, trials and tribulations.

Although I liked most of the characters, Alyssa being the notable exception, I failed to become involved in the story. I think it was the lack of depth to the characters that was my major stumbling block. Most of them seemed as if they probably were interesting, if we could get to know them a little better. I do note that this is the second book set in this town, so perhaps the first gave us a more in depth introduction to the characters. But I don't know as I haven't read it, and it wasn't immediately apparent when I requested this that it was the second book in a series.

There is a fractured family, and I am talking multigenerational fractures, a young woman running away from a failure in her life, and a man trying to connect with his daughter and realise a lifelong dream.

Of Literature and Lattes is a quick read, is interesting to a point but, for me, wasn't an immersive and memorable reading experience.

😊😊😊

#OfLiteratureandLattes #NetGalley

The only stable thing in life is change...and no, you don't get used to it.

After taking a wrong turn, travelling further down the (same) road doesn't get you any closer to your destination. You have to go back in order to go on.

THE AUTHOR: Katherine Reay is the national bestselling and award-winning author of several novels and one full length non-fiction work.

Katherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University and is a wife, mother, rehabbing runner, former marketer, and avid chocolate consumer. She lives outside Chicago, IL.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Thomas Nelson - Fiction via NetGalley for providing a digital ARC of Of Literature and Lattes by Katherine Reay for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...
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Cute!!!!  I’d never read any romance before, as it’s not usually my preferred genre, but with a title such as Of Literature and Lattes?  Well, sign me up!  Of the bat, I was immediately impressed with the way in which Reay could create worlds that were utterly believable.  Alyssa worked as a data analyst writing algorithms and doing all sorts of other important number work for a company that went under thanks to unethical decisions and an FBI case.  Do I understand numbers or the reason Alyssa was analyzing them?  Nope.  Was it believable?  Yes.  As for Jeremy, he opened Andante, putting a spin on the town’s old center square cafe.  Did I understand the mechanics behind that?  Yes.  Was it believable?  Also yes!  The way that Reay writes about coffee was both intoxicating and totally accurate.

But Alyssa and Jeremy’s story wasn’t the be-all end-all either!  Jeremy struggles to find equal footing with his ex-wife, and Alyssa’s own parents got divorced just a few months earlier.  Alyssa and her mother dislike each other, and her mother and grandmother even moreso.  But hey, what’s romance without a little drama?

Overall, I just adored this book.  It wasn’t something I’d usually go for but it was something that I just loved.  Cute points were off the charts, and I’d be more than interested to see what else Reay has written.
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Katherine Reay's stories always deliver thought provoking prose that sticks with the reader long after they finish reading. Of Literature and Lattes takes the reader back to the beloved small town of Winsome, and while it is marketed as a stand alone, I personally recommend reading The Printed Letter Bookshop before you pick this one up as you'll have a much better understanding of the backstory.

Winsome is truly an idyllic setting, and I loved getting a second visit to this quaint small town. I enjoyed Jeremy's journey in getting his coffee shop off the ground and reconnecting with his adorable young daughter Becca. Janet and Seth have come a long way since the previous book, and it was encouraging to see the growth and maturity demonstrated by both throughout the story. Perhaps my favorite part of all was the focus on previous Winsome mayor, George, and the beautiful romance he shared with the love of his life, Margery.

Of Literature and Lattes is a heartwarming, small town story that speaks to the importance of healing, maturing and learning to both forgive and accept forgiveness in return. It also speaks to the importance of being true to one's self, and discovering the story that we are each meant to tell. I ended up really enjoying this one, but a few small issues kept it from being a five star read for me.

Firstly, I never really warmed up to Alyssa as a character. Throughout the story, she acts completely juvenile and bitter, and I never could force myself to sympathize with the situations she finds herself in. I also, personally, found that this story carried too many characters, and it made the jumping of viewpoints seem disjointed and convoluted at certain times throughout. Lastly, I was disappointed that the story has little to no faith content, and that's not really what I was expecting when I picked this one up. A focus on our Heavenly Father truly could have turned this from a good story into a great one.

All in all, it was an enjoyable read that kept me entertained and I'll still be recommending it. However, personally, I do prefer some of the author's other stories over this particular title.

Final Rating 4/5


Thanks so much to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for allowing me to advance read this!

I received a complimentary advance reader copy of this novel from the publisher (Thomas Nelson) via NetGalley to voluntarily read and review. I was not required to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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This book is beautifully done. Fans of Gilmore Girls or Hallmark series will be deeply satisfied with the characters in Of Literature and Lattes. Following Alyssa as she returns to her hometown of Winsome, Illinois the reader discovers the expected characters of a small town with a twist of outsiders finding their way into the heart of Winsome. As Alyssa fights against the inherent love found in small towns, Jeremy strives to become a part of the fabric of Winsome and establish a relationship with his daughter.  A mix of other characters add their perspectives and the reader is left wanting more.....more books in a new series following these characters, more information on the back story of the town pastor, the owner of the sweet shop, and the relationships built over Literature and Lattes. Please let there be more!

I received this as an advanced reader copy from NetGalley and all opinions are solely my own.
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Welcome back to the town of Winsome, Illinois. We were introduced to this small town, a bedroom community located less than one hour away from Chicago in The Printed Letter Bookshop. We met the new owner of the bookshop, Madeline Cullen, and the store’s two employees, Janet—a divorcee who is estranged from her adult children due to marital infidelity issues, and Claire—a married and working mom who appears to have lost touch with her teenage children. All three women work hard to make the bookshop a viable retail store as well as make amends for past actions and oversight. Fast forward a few months and Janet’s daughter, Alyssa, is returning to Winsome after her tech company was closed due to fraud on the part of the company’s owner. Alyssa is desperate for a new job but is fearful of her return "home" especially if that means a return to her mother’s house. Alyssa doesn’t want to renew her relationship with her mother, but she has nowhere else to go. Fortunately for Alyssa, she has mad tech skills and her childhood BFF hires Alyssa to help with her family-owned restaurant. She then refers Alyssa to several other local business owners and although this isn’t the career she dreamed of, Alyssa is finally working in her field. 

Just as Alyssa struggles to find her place in the world and her family, Jeremy Mitchell, the owner of the local coffee shop, is struggling to make his business a success and find his place in Winsome. Jeremy relocated to Winsome to be closer to his daughter, but his move may have been for naught because his ex-wife is seriously considering moving to Tennessee for her job. Jeremy’s business is floundering and he isn’t sure what he can do to stop his ex-wife from leaving with their daughter.

I read and thoroughly enjoyed The Printed Letter Bookshop and was thrilled when I found out Ms. Reay was writing another book set in this small town. To say I was pleased when approved to read an early reader copy of Of Literature and Lattes is a massive understatement. Of course, I had to re-read The Printed Letter Bookshop before reading Of Literature and Lattes just to refamiliarize myself with the characters and the town. I read Of Literature and Lattes in one sitting over a few hours. I didn’t even get up to fix more tea, the story was so engrossing. Initially, Alyssa comes across as somewhat temperamental, but when you factor in losing her job, being investigated by the FBI, and then being robbed of all of her possessions on her drive from California to Illinois, her moodiness is understandable and even forgivable to a certain extent. One of the many things I enjoyed about this story was the multiple and intersecting storylines. In many ways, Alyssa’s story felt like a coming-of-age story primarily because of her insecurity and family drama issues. Jeremy’s story was a bit different, but he also seemed to experience a self-awakening and acceptance that he needed help from his friend and co-worker. Jeremy was also dealing with some major family drama issues. Of Literature and Lattes came across as a highly realistic story with believable characters and action. Major themes include self-realization, self-awareness, family and community drama, friendship and trust issues, as well as romance. I could rhapsodize about this story, but I’ll simply say that if you’re interested in realistic fiction you should definitely read Of Literature and Lattes. If you’ve read The Printed Letter Bookshop, I encourage you to grab a copy of Of Literature and Lattes. If you enjoy reading books about books and community, then you’ll want to get yourself a copy of Of Literature and Lattes. I also encourage you to read The Printed Letter Bookshop just in case you haven’t read it. I’ve read and adored everything that Katherine Reay has written and I’ll probably be re-reading Of Literature and Lattes while I await her next book.

Happy Reading y’all!
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Of Literature & Lattes by Katherine Reay is a fun romance that is as easy and enjoyable as a sweet vanilla latte. I loved the small town feel, it was charming and so easy to be enamored with. There was also a strong sense of community with a wide array of characters. The story, however, lacked real complexities and I found myself wanting more grit and drama. While the story was predictable, it was also a lighthearted, cozy, feel good book. If you love Hallmark movies, you’ll love this one.
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Of Literature and Lattes was a fun romance read.  I enjoyed the small-town location for the story and felt that it worked so well with the plot.  I liked the character's relationships and enjoyed their story arcs.

I did struggle with the number of points-of-view provided for the story and it took a while to really get into the book.  Once I did though, the story was delightful and I enjoyed it!

I was provided an advanced reader's copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.
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A delightful read. You return to the town the reader was introduce to in The Printed Letter Bookshop. A heart warming tale of Alyssa who returns to the one place she does not want to be. Her mother’s house. They have never gotten along and since her parents divorce she has not spoken to her.
Ready does a great good or reminding the reader about looking for and finding the truth. I enjoy how Reay always uses a classic to re-enforce the themes she brings to her stories. 
I recommend Katherine Reay’s books to readers because they are always a good read. She pens a good story that quietly teaches you something.
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Of Literature and Lattes is a feel-good, small town love story. I love the novel's emphasis on community and connection. It's an uplifting story, but it's also predictable. There were a few surprises toward the end of the novel,  but I would have loved a few more complications or twists. Even when minor conflicts did arise for Alyssa and Jeremy, there was an overarching feeling that everything would work out. 

This book has a beautiful message. One line that resonated with me was "A loving gentle soul doesn't get that way because life keeps it all safe and sheltered, up in a box on a shelf. Life isn't so kind." Of Literature and Lattes challenges the reader to look beyond first impressions because oftentimes, we don't know someone's whole story at first. 

I think the setting of this book will resonate with lots of readers: a charming small town with an independent coffee and book store, and a strong sense of community.
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Welcome back to idyllic Winsome, while this is not technically part of a series, I would highly recommend reading The Printed Letter Bookshop before reading Of Literature & Lattes, where we get to check in with Madeline, Claire, Janet and welcome Alyssa, Janet’s daughter back home. Also, welcome Jeremy, the new owner of the coffee shop freshly remodeled and renamed Andante. The majority of the focus of this story is on Alyssa, who I admit I did not care for until about a third of the way through the story. Alyssa is quick to anger and does not want to be around her mom, but as she begins to soften and realize she can have a place in her hometown, you start to see the smart woman that she really is. 

I feel like I could watch these stories play out in a Hallmark movie or series...sweet stories in a dreamy small town setting. 

I feel like the author left the ending open for another book set in idyllic Winsome and I’m here for it.

I received an advanced copy from The First Editions; all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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