Cover Image: Of Literature and Lattes

Of Literature and Lattes

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Member Reviews

This is the second book I read by Katherine Reay. When I saw her first book I couldn’t help to feel drawn to it, as I am with everything book-related (and I love books about books) and on this occasion when Of Literature and Lattes I thought it was just perfect because I love coffee too.
Nevertheless, I found more in this story than I thought I would, just like I found more on The Printed Letter Bookshop when I read it. Of Literature and Lattes is a tale of family and love but also about broken hearts and broken bonds. It was not easy to read about the relationship between Alysa and Janet because it felt so troubled and it made my heart ache, but I know it was necessary and it was well developed and presented. I liked the characters, although I did not like Alysa that much at the beginning. I even hated Jeremy a little bit sometimes but it the end it was all well. I liked the introduction of the new characters and the other characters playing a different role in this story. I know you can easily read this book without reading TPLB first but I think it would mean missing on a lot of background that was good for this story. I also liked the part about the community and the side stories like George’s.
In the end, it was a heartfelt story, full of difficult things but also filled with beautiful things too, like life itself. 
The only part I did not entirely like was the ending, just because I needed, still need, more. I just need to know what happens know!
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Chronic disease. Job loss. Watching your small business fail. Rebuilding one relationship while another falls apart. Katherine Reay doesn't shy away from tough topics and this title is no exception. 

"The Printed Letter Bookshop" first introduced us to the small town of Winsome, Illinois. "Of Literature and Lattes" takes us back, revisiting old friends and meeting new ones.

The switch between perspectives, combined with the wide cast of characters, was a bit confusing at first (and would be even more so if you hadn't read the first book). But if you keep reading you will find a story of friendship and forgiveness and freedom.

"The Printed Letter Bookshop" was definitely my favorite between the two. After all, it featured books much more than this new title does! And it really delved deep into friendship and the mother-daughter relationship. But "Of Literature and Lattes" hit home in other ways. And even though the character development didn't feel as complete (perhaps due more to the depth of the characters than any fault of the author's), I loved this chance to revisit the town of Winsome, even if it was on the other side of the street from "The Printed Letter Bookshop."
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Thanks to Partner NetGalley for the digital ARC of Katherine Reay's Of Literature and Lattes in exchange for an honest review. The book is available to read.

Katherine Reay's Of Literature and Lattes is a cozy comfort read. There's a warmth that infuses each page as we inhabit the small community of Winsome, Illinois, floating from character to character. I had a sense of dropping into lives in progress, of a shared history that came before and that would continue after the end of the novel.

Though the narrative moves through an array of characters’ perspectives, Reay focuses primarily on Alyssa and Jeremy. Alyssa has fled home to Winsome in disgrace after a Theranos-like scandal ended her employment at Vita XGC. Unfortunately, she's fleeing to a home she had already fled. Her relationship with her mother had always been contentious, but when Alyssa found out that her mother had been cheating, Alyssa broke off contact. Now, she's returning to divorced parents, no job prospects, utter disgrace, and horrible guilt that she was a part of a corrupt company.

Jeremy saw Winsome in the opposite light, moving there in hopes of nurturing his relationship with his young daughter, Becca. He and Becca's mom separated before Becca was born, and he wants to be a true father for her. He and his friend Ryan, a recovering addict, buy the local coffee shop, the Daily Brew, hoping that a complete overhaul can make it a success and allow each to start over.

Alyssa’s and Jeremy’s stories wind together eventually, but they also move within the larger story of the town. We come to know characters who are grieving, who are in love, who are aging. My favorite subplot is the one about Alyssa and her mom, who have to work through decades of resentment and repression to come to know each other again.

Of Literature and Lattes is a novel about redemption and forgiveness, about families born and chosen, about the ways that our communities can save us. The characters here are flawed and human, and I was absorbed in watching them come to terms with their own mistakes and misunderstandings and then working to move past them. It's not an earth shattering novel, nor is it overly plot driven. Instead, Of Literature and Lattes is a beautifully character-focused book that was, for me, a lovely and heartfelt escape.
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Of Literature and Lattes is a sweet and quick read set in Winsome (a cute little town). While I enjoyed the book, it didn’t stick with me in a way some books do. I’d recommend it for an easy beach read.
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Of Literature and Lattes is a touching, intriguing tale which follows two characters, Alyssa and Jeremy, as they liv e their lives in a small town in Illinois. 

What I loved most about this book was the realistic characters and the general atmosphere of the town. It was charming and gave me a cosy feel which I always look for in this genre) as I curled up with a latte of my own. The romance itself was great but I feel Raay's character development was the highlight of the book. 

Howver, athough I enjoyed the story, the perspective changes were a stylistic choice I was personally not a fan of. It was jarring at times and I would have preferred a single point of view.
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Of Literature & Lattes by Katherine Reay
This book is the sequel to The Printed Letter Bookshop.   I enjoyed that book and enjoyed this one, too.  The author concentrates on the lives of Alyssa Harrison and Jeremy Mitchell as they intersect with the little town of Winsome, Illinois.
Characters from the previous book populate this one, too, including Alyssa’s mother and father, Janet and Seth Harrison, the Bookshop’s owner and employees, as well as some townspeople.
Reading this book gave me a sense of a Mitford novel, where many characters’ lives are open to the reader’s scrutiny.  I loved how the characters, especially Janet, grew and changed.
Another aspect of this book that I really appreciated was the references to other works of literature and the impact that those works had on the characters.  How can an author go wrong in quoting from Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men or mentioning Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time?
This book was a clean read, but had no mention of Jesus, God, the Bible or salvation, but led the reader to assume their inclusion in the changes that some of the characters had undergone.
 The author has created a little town that I would be interested in reading more of in the future.  If you are a lover of literature and small towns, women’s fiction and second chances, you will enjoy this book.
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I enjoy Katherine Reay's writings because they are real to life and hold the reader's interest from beginning to end.  Of Literature and Lattes takes Alyssa and Jeremy through several life-altering events, shakes them up, and turns them upside down before turning them loose. 

Alyssa worked for Vita XGC, a company now under investigation by the FBI for its nefarious dealings in the health market.  Her only option is to move back home, but on her way to Winsome, IL, all of her belongings are stolen from her car.

Jeremy has moved from Seattle to Winsome because his ex-wife and daughter live there.  He wants to be a part of his daughter's life and to provide stability for her between his ex and himself. 

Alyssa is given the chance to work with the FBI to find the evidence they need to convict the owner of Vita XGC in exchange for her not being arrested. 

Jeremy has opened up a coffee house, Andante, with the help of an ex-con/recovering addict named Ryan.

Alyssa is trying to re-fit into her home town, while Jeremy is just trying to fit in and provide a nice spot for folks to hang out while drinking their coffee. 

Katherine has provided angst in abundance throughout this book, but the conflicts between some of the characters move the plot along at a fairly decent clip.  She works in concepts of forgiveness, grace, and mercy throughout the happenings of the book.   This book is the second installment to the Printed Letter Book Shop (reviewed here).  I am not sure if Katherine means this to be a series, but some of the same characters and places populate the book.   It can be read as a stand-alone book without losing much in the plot lines.   It is a solid four star book.  I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as the other two books by her that I've read, but it does have much to recommend it.

Thomas Nelson and provided the copy I read for this review.  All opinions expressed are my own.
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This is the follow up to The Printed Bookshop.  This book can be read as a stand alone.  Alyssa Harrison returns home with no job, no money, and FBI wanting time talk to her about her old job.  She left years ago because of her mom Janet who cheated on her dad Seth. Jeremy Mitchell Moves to Winsome to be close to his daughter and buys a coffee shop.  The book has some slow parts.  You want Alyssa to grow up and stop whining.  I did enjoy the book except for Alyssa’s whining. This book touches on community, forgiveness and relationships.  Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for the E-ARC.  This is my own opinion.
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What started out as confusing and slightly annoying to me, turned into a novel that I couldn't put down until it was done. And then, when it was done, I didn't want to leave. Of Literature and Lattes by Katherine Reay starts with telling the story through all the different character's perspectives one at a time which seemed confusing to me. But I kept reading, and pretty soon, I felt as if i were in the town of Winsome with the characters and then the perspective shifts made sense and I actually enjoyed them.  The ending seemed abrupt and I'm hoping there will be another book to follow up on the ending. If you are looking for romance, this book has it. Or would you rather read about a mother and daughter relationship? It has that too. Maybe you just want to read about a small town with loveable characters? This book will meet that desire.  It has so many different stories about the different town people that whatever you are looking for in a book, Of Literature and Lattes will provide. I definitely recommend this book! 
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."
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This was a very enjoyable read. The story flowed towards a cute end and alluded to an ending that would be able to carry on into the next book without the feeling of unfinished business for the main characters in their own plot lines. While I enjoyed the book, the story had a feeling of being overly busy in each story that was included. The style of jumping back and forth between character point of views was a bit much in terms of stylistic choices. Overall I would recommend to my friends as book club pick.
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This is a very readable story of families, communication, success, failure, books, and lattes. Taking place in the small fictional town of Winsome, Reay's characters are both believable and realistic, like people you know and possibly even from your own family. It was easy to get involved in the various personal stories - long-time friction between mother and daughter, a father who wants to be an important part of his young daughter's life, a young man with a second chance to start over after rehab. Using love, books, coffee and yummy treats, the book weaves together several plot threads resulting in a sweet, feel-good novel. This is the second time Reay tells the story of the town of Winsome with some of the same characters, but it's not a sequel. If you like this one, you should also read "The Printed Letter Bookshop." 

Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for a digital advance reader's copy. All comments and opinions are my own.
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☕️𝗢𝗳 𝗟𝗶𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗮𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲 & 𝗟𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲𝘀☕️
Thank you to @netgalley for the advanced reader copy!
“ 𝑰 𝒋𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒘𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒃𝒆 𝒎𝒚𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒇 𝒂𝒈𝒂𝒊𝒏. 𝑴𝒚 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒍 𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒇 𝒂𝒈𝒂𝒊𝒏.”
Synopsis 📖⠀
After fleeing her hometown three years earlier, Alyssa Harrison never planned to return to Winsome. Then when the start-up she worked for collapsed, she found herself under FBI investigation and back home. Yet, as everyone welcomes her back home, she begins to see a place for herself in this small community. Then, she meets Jeremy, the coffee shop owner and the future they both desire is not at all what they receive.
This book is the follow-up to The Printed Letter Bookshop (which I loved!) I absolutely loved how this book had a completely different storyline that was simple and sweet, but also how it tied in the characters and bookstore from the first book. This book is charming and delightful.
There were lots of relationship dynamics throughout the entire book that had me rooting for them. It was like tiny, little stories woven into a big story and I loved it. This is a perfect summer read: sweet, charming, and lovely. And makes me want literature and lattes 😉
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If you enjoyed The Printed Letter Bookshop, you'll be thrilled to know Of Literature and Lattes takes us back to the town of Winsome and gives us a chance to reconnect with many familiar characters while also embracing new ones.

Alyssa is heading back to Winsome with hardly more than the clothes on her back. Her job imploded in corporate scandal and she's waiting for an appointment with the FBI agents investigating the case. She hopes her dad will let her stay with him, because she definitely doesn't want to stay with her mom Janet, no matter what she's heard about Janet's recent life changes.

There's a new owner at the coffee shop. Jeremy is fresh from Seattle and longs to transform The Daily Brew into something that could be found in any downtown in America. But will his big city ideas fit with Winsome? 

This book is a minefield of family relationship issues. It's relatable but not light. Sometimes it even felt like a punch in the gut. One thing I appreciated was that it pulled me in right away, and I liked that it focused so much on Janet's family and getting to see what happened with her after the end of The Printed Letter Bookshop. The stylistic choice of shifting point of view characters within scenes was odd but not terribly off-putting once I got used to it.

I would certainly recommend reading The Printed Letter Bookshop before this one, and based on the way this ended, I would expect a third book set in Winsome to come next.

I received my copy of the book from the publisher. All thoughts in this review are my own.
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This is a follow-up to The Printed Letter Bookshop. I find Katherine Reay's titles to be uneven as to how fully they draw me in, but I do continue to seek them out as comfort reads. In this instance, I moved this book to the top of my reading pile, neglecting others set to publish ahead of it, at the start of quarantine. I found reading nearly impossible, although I could find pleasure in audiobooks. However, this was able to start returning me to printed pages, even as my mind was racing with the uncertainties and anxieties present when experiencing a worldwide pandemic.

In Of Literature and Lattes, Alyssa finds herself unemployed and returning to her hometown in shame after having worked several years for someone who fleeced investors. Jeremy is trying to transform a coffee shop in a community that is skeptical of the improvements. 

We see the complexity of family relationships, of how fraught they can be but how through commitment and dialogue, healing and a new normal can be found.

(I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.)
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I have never lived in a small town but found this book to be just what I would imagine.

Of Literature and Lattes by Katherine Reay is a sweet story.Alyssa, having lost her job in a scandal type shake down, finds herself moving back to Winsome IL. She tries to build a relationship with her mother, Janet, after burning bridges. The mother daughter relationship is a complex part of the story.

Jeremy moves to Winsome to be near his daughter, Becca. He buys the coffee shop and totally remodels it. To the dismay of the once steady customers. With not much business, he is constantly losing money. As he struggles to make a go of the shop, his ex-wife continues to give him grief. With the ending is a little bit of a surprise.

There were several secondary characters that added interest and complexity to the story line.

I received a complimentary ebook copy from the publisher, through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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I thoroughly enjoyed The Printed Letter Bookshop (TPLBS) and so I was nice to step back into the world with familiar characters along with some added new ones. Although this wasn’t listed as a series, I would actually strongly suggest reading TPLBS  first in this case. If not, I can see it being very difficult to keep track of all the characters. Also, I think Alyssa’s backstory is too important to skip.

While I liked stepping back into Winsome, I have to admit I enjoyed TPLBS more. I was able to feel for Alyssa in the very beginning when the legal trouble with her job was described, but aside from that I wasn’t able to make myself like her. My favorite characters were Jeremy and his daughter Becca (and no, it’s not just because of the shared name haha). Jeremy seemed more genuine and he was much easier to root for.

There were parts of the story that I found engaging and others that seemed to lull. It’s hard to love a story when you can’t connect with the main characters though. I still highly recommend TPLBS and if you enjoy(ed) that one then it’s still worth it to give this one a go.

*I received a copy of this book through JustRead Tours and NetGalley. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
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I thought that this book was going to be everything that I like. Small town, romance, book, and coffee. What I got was characters I couldn't relate to, fights between ex's, teenage angst, and cheap christianity. I was not aware that this book is christian fiction and I would have avoided it like the plague but alas, here we are.

Alyssa has moved back to her hometown after her company is raided by the FBI. She has to live with her estranged mom. They get into these weird angsty fights because Alyssa's mom cheated a few years ago and her parents ended up getting a divorce. I understand being upset that your parent cheated but why all the angst? Parents are adults and you don't know what happened during the marriage. I wasn't prepared for the constant fights and was over them fast. Jeremy moved to the small town to be closer to his daughter but just ends up fighting with his ex. 

The book has these weird transitions that follow anyone and anything so we can keep up with the small town. One transition follows the town stray cat which was weird but I wasn't mad at it. I was mad that I had to keep up with all the residents of the town.
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I fell in love with the cozy small-town of Winsome after reading The Printed Letter Bookshop so I was so thrilled to pickup Of Literature and Lattes and fall right back into that wonderful setting.  

While also being set in the same town, Of Literature and Lattes could truly be read as a standalone novel.  There are some familiar characters that appear but this novel introduces new individuals to the town.  The book primarily focuses on Jeremy Mitchell who has just moved to Winsome and taken over ownership of the local coffee shop and Alyssa Harrison, a Winsome local that is returning from Silicon Valley after a workplace scandal.  Both of these characters seem to be running from their past, and perhaps into each other's future.  

The author does an amazing job creating the town of Winsome and the cast of beloved characters.  Each character seems so realistic that that truly come to life off the page.  I think most readers would find many, if not all, of the characters relatable.  I very much hope that she will continue to explore the lives of the residents of Winsome, because I'm just not ready to let any of them go.  I just want to stroll the streets and visit The Printed Letter Bookshop, the coffee shop Andante, and the other quaint shops I envision there.  

I received this book courtesy of Thomas Nelson Fiction through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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“Of Literature and Lattes” is a sweet, sweet follow-up to Reay’s “The Printed Letter Bookshop.” Readers could certainly pick this up and enjoy without having read PLB, but I think they’ll get more out of it if they’ve read PLB first.

Multiple POVs continue in this read, and I loved seeing familiar characters and finding out what’s happened in their lives while meeting new faces.

I absolutely adore Jeremy as a character and father; he really shines in this book.

While OLAL didn’t have quite the same depth as PLB, it’s a worthy sequel, prompting me to think about legacy, community, impact, and family ties that go beyond blood.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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This is sort of a continuation of the Printed letter Bookshop, but it can definately stand alone.  I thought both Alyssa and Jeremy were interesting characters with interesting back stories, and tthey also had interesting secondary characters that moved around them that spiced up the story.  The reader got to see Janet in a different light and could understand her better--I wonder if Reay's next book will spotlight Claire from the bookshop a little more??  This book seemed to have a little more religion than the preious book, but the reader can absorb it or skp over it, whatever their preference.  So now that I have read two of her books, I believe I will triy to read more.
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