Review (and a Giveaway!): The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

Posted January 22, 2016 by meezcarrie in contemporary, giveaway, Katarina Bivald / 8 Comments

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readers of broken wheelAmazon Best Book of the Month
International Bestseller
An Indie Regional Bestseller
#1 Indie Next Pick
#2 LibraryReads Pick

Once you let a book into your life, the most unexpected things can happen…

Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds that Amy’s funeral has just ended. Luckily, the residents of Broken Wheel are happy to look after their bewildered tourist—even if they don’t understand her peculiar need for books – there’s not much else to do in a dying small town that’s almost beyond repair.

You certainly wouldn’t open a bookstore. And definitely not with the tourist in charge. You’d need a vacant storefront (Main Street is full of them), books (Amy’s house is full of them), and… customers. The bookstore might be a little quirky. Then again, so is Sara. But Broken Wheel’s own story might be more eccentric and surprising than she thought.

A heartwarming reminder of why we are book lovers, this is a sweet, smart story about how books find us, change us, and connect us.

GENRE: Contemporary Fiction
PUBLISHER: Sourcebooks Landmark
PUBLICATION DATE: January 19, 2016
PAGES: 400 pages

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I was captivated by this book the moment I started reading it.  The words flow lyrically and naturally all at once, a testament both to the talent of the author and the translator. So many times, books that are translated into English from another language lose some of their magic, at least for me. I happily did not find that to be at all the case in The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend. It’s one of those books that makes you want to curl up inside it – or at least with it – and settle in for a nice cozy winter’s read.  Fortunately, we are in the middle of a massive snow storm here in Central Kentucky so curling up with a book, a blanket, my dog, and my fireplace app on the FireTV is totally acceptable.

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is, at its heart and soul, a love letter to books. If you are a fellow book nerd, you will instantly bond with Sara and cheer her pursuit to make readers of the town of Broken Wheel.  Avid readers will find old friends tucked away in Broken Wheel – nods to great literature both past and present abound.  They may even discover a few new reads to add to their TBR lists 🙂

The story created on these pages is so much more than an ode to books though.  It is a poignant portrait of small town Midwest America, a delightful tribute to friendship that crosses all barriers, and a (mostly) gentle nudge to anyone who has been hiding their true selves behind a shell of insecurity.  The characters give the book vivid dimension and, in my opinion, boost it from being merely a great book into award-winning territory.  Nearly every reader will be able to find a kindred spirit in Broken Wheel, though they may not always be found in the most likely characters.

Bottom Line: This reader of snowy Central Kentucky recommends this sweet story full of humor and warmth, with touches of romance and oodles of books. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend would make a great book club selection. In fact, it would make a fantastic movie.  Though the book would, of course, be infinitely better.

(Reviewer’s Note: Since I primarily review Christian fiction, I feel I should mention that this is a novel written for the general market and does contain some profanity.) 

My Review: 5 stars / In a class by itself!

(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)


katarina bivaldAbout the Author: 

Katarina Bivald grew up working part-time in a bookshop. Today she lives outside of Stockholm, Sweden, with her sister and as many bookshelves she can get by her. She’s currently trying to persuade her sister that having a shelf for winter jackets and shoes is completely unneccessary. There should be enough space for a book shelf or two instead. Limited success so far. Apparantly, her sister is also stubbornly refusing to even discuss using the bath room to store books.

Katarina Bivald sometimes claims that she still hasn’t decided whether she prefer books or people but, as we all know, people are a non-starter. Even if you do like them, they’re better in books. Only possible problem: reading a great book and having no one to recommend it to.

Läsarna i Broken Wheel rekommenderar/The Readers in Broken Wheel Recommend is her first novel.

Connect with Katarina Bivald online:


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There are actually TWO giveaways going on right now that involve The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend. Click on the pictures below to be taken to the Rafflecopter links to enter!

Giveaway #1:

readers of broken wheel

Giveaway #2:

readers recommend your bookstore

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8 responses to “Review (and a Giveaway!): The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

  1. Valerie S

    Thanks for your review of this book. It’s on my wish list – glad to know it’s as good as I’ve heard it is!

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