The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

Romance Fiction Book Review

Title: The Little Paris Bookshop
Author: Nina George
Publisher: Large Print Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning
Released: 2015
Pages: 509
ISBN: 978-1-59413-965-9
Stars: 5.0

Monsieur Perdu, the fifty-year-old owner of a book barge called “la pharmacie literaire, the Literary Apothecary in the Port des Champs-Élysées in Paris, has been alone in his austere apartment at number 27 Rue Montagnard for twenty-one years since the death of his —— named amour. He knows his neighbours better than they would ever suspect from their voices and movements in the old building and would do anything he could to help them, especially if they were sad. Moreover, he loves recommending books to his customers, neighbors, and everyone he meets.

Jean Perdu knows there is a book that’s just right for everyone, no matter what they’re going through. To him, books are medicine, and he can diagnose a person’s condition through the gift of transperception: seeing and hearing through most people’s camouflage.

Monsieur Perdu divides his customers into three categories: “those for whom books were the only breath of fresh air in their claustrophobic daily lives,” those who had been lured aboard the barge by the name of the bookshop and who bought any items he sold that weren’t books, and fans of the book, Night, in which the author had written, “about the inner life of men, more honestly than any men had done before.“

Max Jordan, the twenty-one-year-old best-selling author of Night, a book that “millions of women read to find out why men were so cruel to them,” had moved into 27 Rue Montagnard seven weeks before. Perdu believed “he was the positive print of Perdu’s negative.” When Perdu finds Max hiding in his Literary Apothecary, he explains why Max’s book isn’t suitable for everyone, noticing he thinks of him as a son.

Perdu is an expert at reading others, “a literary pharmacist who writes prescriptions for the lovesick. But he does not like to be touched or to give away too much about himself. He finds the cracks in his well-protected façade, slowly expanding as he becomes closer to his sad, mistrustful neighbour, Catherine, whose husband has left her. When she finds a letter addressed to Perdu in a sealed drawer in his kitchen table, and presents him with it, something inside him shatters.

Reading the letter sets events in motion that culminate in a bromantic adventure for Perdu and Max in the barge, Lulu, from Paris down the canals of Southern France, where they discover much about themselves and that the destination is the journey.

Along the way, they meet famous author P.D. Olson and a burly Italian bartender, Salvatore Cuneo, who has been scouring the rivers for his lost love for twenty years. Cuneo joins them on board the barge, becoming their cook, and the three men search for their respective muses.

Not only has Nina George written exquisitely described passages about the settings of Avignon, Bonnieux, and Sanary-sur-Mer in The Little Paris Bookshop, she teases all the senses with her words. She is also astutely aware of love and grief, and her love for her characters is profound. I found this book enormously moving because it reminded me of myself. When Perdu realizes that he has grown old without noticing and lost so much time (not truly living because he protected his heart from loving) that he no longer knew who he was, the hair on my head tingled. Likewise, this book girl, now a fifty-nine-year-old woman whose thirty-year-old memories of love and the hurt it caused, which served no purpose other than to isolate her heart and prevent her from truly living, has had an epiphany but fears it is too late.

All I’ve wanted for as long as I can remember is to go to Paris to enjoy its marvelous art and history, scour its bookshops, drink wine, and eat baguettes and cheese at a café overlooking the Seine. Possibly even finding love there. But now I’m older, poorer, and suffering from autoimmune diseases that will likely prevent me from ever pursuing my dream.

Whatever you do, do not let this happen to you.

Books find us for a reason. We pick them up and know intuitively that we will enjoy reading them, and we do. However, they are no substitute for living life large, in the now, with someone you love.

The Little Paris Bookshop is a love story about the love of friends, lovers, books, adventure, coming to terms with grief, and the metaphors of tango. It is about learning to open your heart again to allow yourself to love. And I loved it! It even contains recipes in the back from the cuisine of Provence and “Jean Perdu’s Emergency Literary Pharmacy” with book suggestions for dealing with various emotions and life issues. So read The Little Paris Bookshop and learn how to relax into the dance of life.

To Daughter a Devil by Megan Mary Moore

Poetry Book Review

Title: To Daughter a Devil
Author:  Megan Mary Moore
Publisher: Unsolicited Press
Released: January 3, 2023
Pages: 98
ISBN: 978-1956692518
Stars: 5.0

To Daughter a Devil by American poet Megan Mary Moore is one of the fiercest, most visceral books of poetry I have ever read written by a woman. Inspired by classic horror movies like The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby and the archetypal horror of being a female, from the Devil within to every devil we face, she has created a cohesive narrative of dark poetic perfection all women should read. I learned what a bezoar is. I had no idea. Moore writes poems about things that scare her, and they will scare you too.

She reveals the secret fears of all mothers of daughters, reminisces about seeing JonBenet Ramsay’s photo at a supermarket tabloid stand, what it is to be a bad seed, and how using a tampon must feel to the prepubescent. Moore also asks thought-provoking questions and covers everything about being a female child, from just knowing she was born bad to one burned as a witch and to the Enfield poltergeist, with such intelligence, insight, and courage that it has blown me away.

Her fascination with death, morbidity and natural and supernatural afflictions women face is just the kind of phantasmagoric poetry that captivates my imagination. I wish I could write something half as clever. “If Gregor Samsa Was a Girl” was simply brilliant. By the time I read “Our Love is a Two-Headed Calf, “If Swan Lake Had a Happy Ending,” “Madame Tussaud Makes a Death Mask of Marie Antoinette in Madeleine Cemetery,” “Eulogy for the Doe on the Side of State Road 128,” and “Snow White Receives a DM from Dopey,” I had goosebumps and was sighing aloud over how damn good Moore’s work is. I cannot wait to read more of her work.

It shows that Megan Mary Moore holds an MFA in poetry from Miami University. Her work has been published in numerous poetry outlets, magazines, and reviews. To Daughter a Devil was published by Unsolicited Press out of Portland, Oregon—a press I will watch.

What to Do When Writing Book Reviews

How to Write a Book Review

Writing a book review can be a great way to share your thoughts on a book you’ve read and help others decide if they want to read it too. But where do you start?

First, make sure you’ve read the book. It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people write reviews without finishing the book. The author gave their blood, sweat, and tears to write and publish it, so consider that and give them the respect of reading it in its entirety before writing your honest review.

Next, think about what you liked and didn’t like about the book. Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat, or was it predictable? Did the characters feel natural to you, or were they one-dimensional? Did the writing style enhance the story or take away from it? Finally, did you learn something valuable from a nonfiction book, and if so, what? Be precise.

It’s also important to consider the book’s genre and target audience. For example, if you’re reviewing a children’s book, your standards will differ from those of a literary novel.

When you start writing your review, briefly overview the book’s plot, but avoid giving away spoilers. You can also mention the book’s setting and any themes that were present.

Then, give your opinion on the book. Use specific examples from the book to back up your points. If you liked the book, explain why and if you didn’t, explain why not.

Next, include a recommendation. Let your readers know if you would recommend this book to a friend or if you think it’s one they should skip. I often forget this because I assume the reader will understand that I would recommend the book if I gave it a four or five-star rating. (I use the five-star rating system.) I hope what I say about a book adds to a recommendation.

Finally, post your review on (or with as catchy a title as you can write) and on Goodreads and share it with your friends and followers. You could also go the extra mile and share your review on your social media accounts. Authors will love you for this and may be willing to do the same for you!

I recently discovered a book marketing tool called Pubby that a colleague referred me to. You can sign up as a reader (click on the link to be referred) and get free books to read and review, or get them on Kindle Unlimited or purchase them for 99 cents up to $4.99. Alternatively, you can upload your books to Pubby and earn book reviews for your book(s) on or Here is my author referral link.

Pubby offers a free ten-day trial, and then you can keep earning reviews and reading books for as little as $17.00 per month. I have only been using this service for thirteen days, and I have read and reviewed six books and earned four book reviews for one of my books. Many of the books are short, so it’s easy to read them in a day or two, and so far, I’ve been fortunate with my choices as they all received four or five-star reviews, except for one.

Writing a book review can be a fun and rewarding experience. (I know because I have written two books and am writing a third.) It allows you to share your thoughts on a book and help others decide whether to read it. So, grab a book and give it a try!

You can read my reviews at Bodacious Book Reviews – My Bodacious Blog (

A Brief History of Ukraine: A Singular People within the Crucibles of Empires by Dominic Haynes

Nonfiction Book Review

Title: A Brief History of Ukraine: A Singular People within the Crucibles of Empires
Author:  Dominic Haynes
Publisher: Independent
Released: April 13, 2022
Pages: 172
ISBN: 979-8802067925
Stars: 4.5

A Brief History of Ukraine: A Singular People within the Crucibles of Empires by Dominic Haynes is an absorbing overview of a beleaguered country with an indomitable spirit that continues to fight for its freedom and independence from Russia.

Because I cannot stomach watching or listening to the news regularly, I learn about world events through books, documentaries, and online articles. Therefore, I wanted to read this 30,000-word book to try to understand more about how Ukraine has found itself in the position it’s in today. (Also, my childhood friend’s husband is of Ukrainian descent.) Haynes has crafted a well-written, informative brief history of Ukraine that helps us understand precisely what the country has been up against and what has led to the current war with Russia.

It begins with the roots and origins of ancient Ukraine from 30,000 BCE to 800s CE and takes us all the way up to the 21st century to 2022 CE.

The book has a few typos but is engaging and easy to read. However, I would have found it very helpful if the book had included a map of Ukraine, preferably one from ancient times and one from modern-day Ukraine, so I wouldn’t have to keep referring to the Internet on my phone while reading it to pinpoint where the areas referred to are located.

I looked up many leaders and empires discussed in this book, beginning with the Trypillya. I knew nothing about Ukraine other than what I experienced at a traditional Ukrainian wedding reception I attended in Toronto many years ago and saw in Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations when Tony travelled to Ukraine in 2011 with his friend and travel companion Zamir Gotta who had ancestors from Crimea. Ukraine appeared to be a beautiful country, “Europe’s breadbasket,” rich in fertile lands, abundant culture, and strong, passionate people.

I love archaeology programs, historical movies, and television series, including those about Goths and Vikings, so I knew a bit about some historical figures, like Atilla the Hun, Ghengis Khan, and Catherine the Great. But I have never read Herodotus.

The book helps put Crimea and Belarus and their influence on Ukraine into perspective. We understand that Ukraine has always been ruled by other countries, including Lithuania, Poland, and Russia. Despite this, Ukraine has its own unique culture and identity that it continues to fight to retain.

As with the evolution of any country, religion plays a pivotal role and unfailingly leads to conflict. While I believe in a Higher Power, I think that more harm than good has come from organized religion and would not be upset if Roman Catholicism and all its offshoots were abolished. I also believe in personal sovereignty and that the medieval practice of serfdom must be wholly eradicated in order for its enslaved people to be free to choose how they want to live. In light of the current war between Russia and Ukraine that some think may lead to World War III, it is evident that most of the world believes that freedom from tyranny is worth fighting for.

“Dominic Haynes has a degree in Social Sciences from the University of Manchester, and his years of study have fueled a passion for independent research. He has a deep interest in history, and his degree marked the beginning of a lifetime of extensive study.” I would not hesitate to read other books by Dominic Haynes as he has written a series of A Brief History of books, including America, Canada, England, Portugal, and China.