The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks
by Shauna Robinson
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Pub Date 01 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 08 Nov 2022
SOURCEBOOKS Landmark, Sourcebooks Landmark
I, Maggie Banks, solemnly swear to uphold the rules of Cobblestone Books.
If only, I, Maggie Banks, believed in following the rules.
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.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 341 members
A story of self-discovery. I loved this book, this was my first time reading a book by Shauna Robinson, but it will not be my last! The character development in this book was wonderful!
Maggie is a 30 something woman who moved across the country, from California to Bell River [near D.C.] to temporarily escape reality and help her best friend, Rochelle, run her bookstore. Maggie has no idea what she's signed up for. This is a great story with some romance, rebellion and a little revenge.
If you love a good bookish novel, this is one you should add to your TBR!
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with this eARC!
I really really enjoyed this book.
Shauna Robinson is officially one of my new favorite authors!
I devoured this book in one day and couldn't put it down.
Maggie is trying to figure out who she is, what to do next in her life, and what's her purpose. (personally, I get it) She ends up at her best friend's bookstore to help out for a few months and her life goes from intermission to full speed ahead.
Bell River, where Maggie is temporarily visiting, bans books post 1935-ish. The early 1930s is when Edward Bell, a heavily memorialized famous author and town hero, passed away. This leaves Maggie and the people of Bell River at a loss because they desperately want to read new novels, especially ones with diversity, romance, sci-fi, etc. Maggie and her 'army' must balance protecting their secret book society and saving the town of Bell River from a dictatorship and being stuck in the early 1900s.
I absolutely loved Maggie and how she stood up for POC and diversity and books. Books are beyond necessary, and the classics, as she said, aren't loved by everyone. Robinson includes twists on classics that will have the reader rolling with laughter.
While restricting access to books is a significant message of the book, Robinson includes many important themes such as racism, sexism, societal expectations, family acceptance, and loyalty; However, when books are banned and restricted, people will seek them out. Reading expands knowledge, culture, friendships, and imagination.
Thank you Netgalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for my eARc in exchange for an honest review.
The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks releases on November 1, 2022!
My blog post will be published on 10/1 www.jourdanawebber.com
I really loved this book! The author's writing was so good, I can't wait to read more from her. I love it when you read a romance book that has an excellent story line, and this was one of them.
Honestly, I have to give The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks 4.5 stars! I admit that I waffled back and forth on my review as I was reading, though. Because, Maggie almost isn't redeemable. More on that in a minute.
This is the first book I've read by Shauna Robinson and I really enjoyed her writing. Her characters are real and believable. Their interactions and conversations so easy and realistic. I wasn't inwardly groaning at forced writing, which I often do in these types of books. I really loved Maggie's wit.
I also enjoyed that a certain male character develops an interest for rom-com novels. Working in a library, I see male patrons check out various types of romance books all the time. It was refreshing to see this portrayed in a book.
So many things to love about The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks! The championing of banned books and the brief discussion on why banned books need to be highlighted. The events Maggie creates - especially the events where a modern author twists up a beloved classic. The quaint, quirky little town and it's residents and it's festivals. The independent bookstore community. Maggie and Malcolm's friendship. Vernon. The autumn setting. I just loved the atmosphere created in this book.
Now, for my one gripe. Maggie spends a massive majority of the novel as a selfish girl making haphazard decisions that affect others livelihoods, while hiding what she is doing from those people. And, these are the people she cares most about in the book! I think what is most frustrating -- both about Maggie's character and the author's decision to write it this way -- is that Maggie could have easily accomplished what she did, without the deceit. The deceit does nothing for Maggie's character, nor the plot.
This is a quick, fun, and cozy read. I really enjoyed it, even though rom-com isn't my normal cup of literary tea. But, in the end that was also fitting for the plot of the book, so it definitely endears the book to me just a bit more.
One last comment: I can't really explain why, but the entire book I pictured Ralph as the landlord from Bob's Burgers. In my mind, Ralph always came up resembling Bob's landlord and it made me smile. Even the landlord's voice would play in my head when Ralph would have dialogue.
My thanks and gratitude to Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for an advanced (digital) reader copy, in exchange for my honest review.
A book about books? Of course, I had to read it, especially since it’s about a banned bookshop. Who could resist?
We follow Maggie who struggles to find her true calling, a job that would passionate her. Thankfully, her best friend has to take a leave from work and calls her to take her place for a few months. But there are a lot of rules to follow at the bookshop and Maggie does not really believe in rules. I really liked Maggie. I could totally relate to her. I am only entering the job market but it is so difficult to know what you can and want to do. Moreover, Maggie was quite funny and I loved her determination. I also really enjoyed her relationship with Malcom. This book was easy to read and the mystery part was quite intriguing. Small bonus, how smutty books are brought to the centre and given a space in literature.
I recommend to people looking for a fun read and a bit of mystery
A quirky, light read with lovable characters who carry the story well. This is certainly a book for anyone who loves books and bookshops and who is looking for a pleasurable read.
I gravitate toward novels that feature bookstores, so this one was an easy decision for me to explore. Much to my delight, it went way beyond my expectations with a fresh and unique approach. Woven into the fabric of this intriguing storyline is subtle and not so subtle commentary about human nature. The quirky cast of characters and the protagonist’s wit added another dimension. This book can be read on a several levels – a quick, light, entertaining read, a reflection on social dynamics in a closed community and a more nuanced exploration of the courage needed to find one’s voice and take a stand to be unique.
Maggie Banks has agreed to manage Cobblestone Books as her best friend goes on maternity leave for four months. In addition to helping, Maggie has a personal agenda – to figure out where her life is headed. She has drifted along with low paying jobs that have provided no real fulfilment and now finds herself unemployed, living with her parents and no real vision for her future…in other words, she feels a failure.
Arriving in Bell River, Maryland, Maggie discovers she is now responsible for the world’s most boring bookstore. It stocks only classics published prior to 1962, the year the town’s famous author, Edward Bell, died. Ralph Bell is determined to maintain his grandfather’s legacy through a museum, the bookstore, and several other businesses in the small town. His dictatorial stance and rigid viewpoints are in direct contrast to Maggie’s fun and fluid style.
In her determination to ensure the financial viability of her friend’s business, Maggie orders “forbidden” books, i.e., a variety of contemporary offerings; launches an underground, creative book club; creates an online bookstore; uncovers a literary scandal; and generally shakes up the status quo. She begins to discover that what she has viewed as personal flaws are really her strengths as she becomes part of the community and takes a chance on romance.
Overall, I found this a charming story that kept me engaged and left me with a satisfying conclusion.
My thanks to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for the privilege of reviewing this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
This review is being posted immediately to my GoodReads account and will be posted on Amazon upon publication.
This was my first book by Shauna Robinson. It was great! I loved Maggie and the talk of small towns in the book. Goes to show how some smaller towns are set in their ways. Great story that I enjoyed!
Shauna Robinson is a rapidly becoming one of my favorite authors. A recommended purchase for most collections.
The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks is a very charming story that seems like it's going to be about agitating for change in a small town... and it is, but it's also about learning to see yourself as others see you, learning to recognize your strengths as strengths instead of discounting them as flaws, letting go of the weight of heavy expectations from others and finding your own path, and trying new things and letting those things change you. Maggie is such an endearing character, and readers will fall in love with her the way the residents of Bell River do.
Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for the opportunity to read this book!
I really need the recipe for those apple cheddar biscuits which sound amazing…
I really liked this! Lots of fun to read about Maggie’s adventures as she tries to figure out her life, and stumbles into her true calling. The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks was a delightful read. I had assumed that the focus of it was going to be romance, but was overjoyed that there was not only a good romance, but so much more to the story. I'm not a fan of romance-centric books, they always seem predictable, but this one was fun, and i loved the characters soo much. I want Maggie to be my best friend. The characters were so immediately lovable, and the setting of a small bookish town was lovely, and I loved how cultish Maggie saw the town in the beginning.. I really enjoyed the idea of setting up secret book meetings and selling contraband books and having meetings about it
I absolutely loved this book. The writing was immaculate, the story was well crafted, and the characters were likable and relatable. Maggie was such a great main character. She was real and flawed and so much fun. Her character arc throughout the book was realistic and believable. Watching her find herself and grow as a person was super satisfying. I loved all of the other characters too, although Vernon was my favorite. Shauna Robinson did an excellent job of building Bell River; it's a place I would absolutely visit if it were real.
All in all, this was a five star read for me and I will absolutely read more from Shauna Robinson!