Cover Image: The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks

The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks

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A story about a woman growing through a quarter life crisis in the safety of her bestie’s hometown?
Equal parts self-discovery, bookish society, romance, and small town drama?
This novel is definitely THEE best bookshop story I’ve ever run across in any media - believe me, I’ve looked for a bunch. Maggie is relatable even if she’s an extrovert who doesn’t initially love books. This story will have you longing to inhabit the quaint life she’s found - it’s messy imperfections and all.

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This book isn't just about Maggie helping out her friend from college at a small town bookstore during her friend's maternity leave, it is about Maggie discovering herself away from the expectations of her family, redefining what is important to her and planning for a future that has been at times only a foggy, blurry vision. It is a funny, sweet, witty story as she embarks not only to save the bookstore from financial ruin, but to meet and befriend the townsfolk, even the curmudgeon who lives above the bookstore. She also is determined to uncover the secrets of the town's obsession with a deceased author that is held within the society tasked to make his presence prominent in the townsfolk daily lives. I really enjoyed Maggie's journey of self-discovery and the friends she made along the way, the festivities she plots and her individuality. I do wish there would have been a bit more of a beginning story or interaction with her family, to see more as to why she made the choices she did earlier and more of a connection with her friend, who wasn't too much a part of the main story, even though she was the main reason Maggie arrived in town. The book concludes with a satisfying and sweet ending that uncovers the mystery and sets Maggie on a better path.

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This was a fun and heartwarming read! If you're a fan of bookish lit like I am as a librarian and book lover, you will love this! I thought the author's character development was wonderful, and I would be thrilled to read more by her in the future. This was a very quick read for me because I was so invested in the story.

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This is my favorite lighthearted book of the year. Maggie Banks is a relatable character and watching her come into her own in this small town was an absolute joy. I feel like she could be my bff and I only want the best for her. Shauna Robinson's writing style is approachable, smart, and full of heart. I'm a fan for life!

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Thanks to NetGalley, the author and publisher for an e-arc of this book.

I wasn’t disappointed. This was such a fun, cosy read but was more than just a romance novel. Maggie had depth, she was a woman who didn’t know what to do with her life or where she should end up but she found her passion!
The fictional town of Bell River and its history were so incredibly detailed that it was impressive. By the time I had finished the book I felt like I knew everything there was to know about a place.

Great book and will definitely be looking out for more by this author.

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Thank you, Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with this eARC!

The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks is the first Shauna Robinson novel I've read and I really enjoyed the tropes as well as the subtle criticism of canonical literature.

I thoroughly enjoyed the following tropes/archetypes:
- finding yourself
- forced proximity
- enemies to friends to lovers
- a book about books
- opposites attract
- schemes and more schemes

I thought the lens through which the criticism is palatable enough that even the staunchest of classicists, like our dear Malcolm, will finish the novel with much to consider.

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This is a new to me author and I have to say I am looking forward to reading more by this author! I loved this book

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When Maggie Banks shows up in Bell River to help her friend Rochelle run a bookstore, she’s barely ever read a book. Bell River is named for famous author Edward Bell. Everything in town revolves around the Bell Society and Edward’s fame. The Bell Society dictates what everyone in town can sell. And when Maggie discovers the store only sells books that are considered classics and from Edward’s time, she’s definitely not interested in reading anything. As she meets the colorful cast of characters, Maggie begins to find her purpose in life and in the community she has made herself a part of. From selling “banned” books to hosting underground literary events to befriending the town grump, Maggie has made friends and helped sales at the bookstore. Can she keep her events from the Bell Society and keep the bookstore from going under? Or will she ruin the whole reason people go to Bell River in the first place?

This was a great book, full of fun and interesting characters. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the advance copy.

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I recently read The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks by Shauna Robinson and I absolutely loved it! It was a captivating story that kept me engaged throughout the entire read. I was especially impressed with the way the author was able to create a vivid and believable world that was full of rich characters and interesting plot twists. The bookshop itself was a great setting, and I felt like I could really get lost in its atmosphere. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a great read.

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I’ve always wanted to own a bookstore, so this novel was inspiring. It was not at all what I expected. I worried it would be a political rant about banning “controversial” books, but that wasn’t it at all.

When Maggie Banks arrives in tiny Bell River to run her best friend's struggling bookstore, Maggie expects to sell bestsellers to her small-town clientele. That’s now how things work, though. The town revolves around the legacy of famed writer Edward Bell, and the Bell River literary society bans her from selling anything written after his death in 1968.

So, when a series of mishaps spell disaster for the shop, Maggie must break the rules to survive. She starts an underground book club and runs a series of events celebrating popular bestsellers. But keeping the club on the down-low, selling forbidden books, and dodging the literary society is nearly impossible. Especially when Maggie unearths a town secret that could upend everything.

I loved Maggie’s endearing character, and I could relate to her desire to find a meaningful job that wasn’t really a “job.” Isn’t that what we all want, a reason to get out of bed in the morning? The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks is a charming, upbeat book with a hint of romance and the author penned plenty of clever repartee between Maggie and her love interest, Malcolm. It’s a perfect read after something heavy and thought provoking.

Chick lit normally isn’t my go-to, but this is a charming, clever book. A rom com set in a bookstore… a book about books… now that’s for me! 4 stars.

** Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a complimentary review copy of this book. The opinions expressed are my own.

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When Maggie Banks arrives in Bell River to run her best friend's struggling bookstore, she expects to sell bestsellers to her small-town clientele. But running a bookstore in a town with a famously bookish history isn't easy. Bell River's literary society insists on keeping the bookstore stuck in the past, and Maggie is banned from selling anything written this century. So, when a series of mishaps suddenly tip the bookstore toward ruin, Maggie will have to get creative to keep the shop afloat.

And in Maggie's world, book rules are made to be broken.

To help save the store, Maggie starts an underground book club, running a series of events celebrating the books readers actually love. But keeping the club quiet, selling forbidden books, and dodging the literary society is nearly impossible. Especially when Maggie unearths a town secret that could upend everything.

Maggie will have to decide what's more important: the books that formed a small town's history, or the stories poised to change it all

I give this book a solid 4.5 stars. It was a quick fast paced read and I loved everything about Maggie. Her character development was on par with the story and a book about a bookstore always makes for an extra great read. This is a book I would definitely love to see other book lovers picking up.

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Maggie Banks is such a lovely, precious character. Shauna Robinson's authorship is magnificent, and I really enjoyed this novel.

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Ok this book was so freaking cute!!

Absolutely loved everything! The characters, plot, setting it was all immaculate!

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Without a job or money, Maggie Banks agrees to help her best friend in her bookshop, even if she strongly dislikes reading. When she arrives at Bell River, she discovers a town haunted by the memory of a famous author. Everything is dedicated to him, including the bookstore. No bestsellers in there, but only classics. To keep the shop afloat, Maggie imagines a secret book club, where authors reinvent classical titles with an unexpected twist and forbidden books are sold.

Under the cover of a fun romantic comedy, Shauna Robinson explores the place of women authors in society, especially black women. This novel really has several layers of reading, which I found really interesting. As she tries to save the bookstore of her friend, Maggie discovers how certain genres are underrated and how books can bring a community together.

With The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks, Shauna Robinson wrote a declaration of love to book and literacy. This novel is a pure moment of pleasure for book lovers. I really enjoyed every part of it : It is a great story, with delectable characters.

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I just adored this story! I loved Must Love Books - and I know it definitely had a much more sad and subdued tone - but it was still a good read for me. This was much happier, and fun - quite light and laugh out loud funny in parts - and all the best bookish things you could ask for!

I love the idea of a non-bookish person taking over the shop while her friend is on maternity leave - only to find the shop is not doing quite so well. And the semi-culty town stuff was hilarious... it felt like a breath of fresh air watching Maggie defy the town laws and secretly doing all these fun bookish things to save the shop!

Who doesn't love a small town bookshop story - and one that needs saving?! Yes, please! I could so go for a sequel to this one - I can't wait to read what this author comes up with next!

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First off, I enjoy books about books or set in a bookstore. This book unfortunately I couldn't get into. I made it 30% of the way and DNF'd it. I could not relate to the main character and could not connect to her. The book was very slow, and nothing really happened in that first 30%.. Thank you to NetGalley for the e-read copy. I did also try the audio and still did not enjoy it.

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The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks is an engaging, humorous, and light comedy/romance by Shauna Robinson. Released 1st Nov 2022 by Sourcebooks Landmark, it's 336 pages and is available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

I liked the characterizations here - the author is quite adept at making her characters live and breathe and although I found myself horrified over some of Maggie's choices (I'm supposedly older and wiser), I could sympathize. There's a definite "Bridget Jones" vibe about some of her actions. The whole has a warm and quirky vibe which will appeal to most readers, and Maggie herself is mostly appealing and clearly well meaning.

I'm never sure (as a ghostly-pale reviewer) how to mention that the MC is a woman of color - but she is, and the author does a great job of portraying her as real and certainly not as a prop. She has foibles aplenty, but she's never a cardboard cutout and Ms. Robinson doesn't ever make a huge case of her ethnicity.

There were several places where I kept thinking "oh, this isn't going to go well", but Maggie's heart really does seem to be in the right place, and she seems to manage to just about hold it together. The "frenemies" romance part wasn't personally to my taste, and the whole subplot with the "cranky white guy running the show" was a bit over the top for me personally. I don't read a lot in the light slice-of-life romance genre, but fans will find quite a lot to appeal here. It's undeniably competently written. That didn't stop me wanting to shake some sense into Maggie, and, if I'm 100% honest, her helicopter parents as well.

Three and a half stars, with the codicil that it will likely be higher for fans of the genre.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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Thanks to the publisher for the e-ARC. The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks feels like a warm cup of tea on a blustery day. It is comforting, funny, romantic.

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The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks tells the story of Maggie, a woman who moves to a small town to work at her best friend's bookshop while she's on maternity leave. This isn't an ordinary town - it has strong ties to a famous novel and its author (Edward Bell), which has become the town's identity at insistence of the local historical society. The historical society is run by Ralph Bell, a descendent of the author who is somehow involved in absolutely everything that happens in town. He reminded me of Taylor Dosey from Gilmore Girls.

One of Ralph's ridiculous rules: the bookstore can only sell books by Edward Bell or from the same time period. He even sends his employees to keep an eye on Maggie to make sure she sticks with the theme. Maggie is, of course, instantly frustrated and starts an underground bookclub to sell diverse books and host author events.

This was really cute. I loved all the characters - I enjoyed watching Maggie become more confident and watching her relationship with Malcolm unfold. The supporting characters were all great (except for Ralph) and brought so much depth to the story. Overall, I loved this and can't wait to read more from Shauna Robinson!

4.5 stars, rounded up. Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the digital ARC! Available now.

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It's a very interesting book, I have some problems liking the main character but I really enjoy the side characters especially Malcom and Vernon.

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