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The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

My rating: 4.5 of 5

ebook, 400 pages
Fiction, Bookish
Published January 19th 2016 by Sourcebooks Landmark
Available on: Paperback, Kindle, Library binding, Audible, MP3 CD

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What they say:

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A heartwarming tale about literature’s power to transform.” – People

“Charmingly original….sweet, quirky.” – Bethanne Patrick, The Washington Post

What I have to say:

The first book you read in a year is an important decision for this bookworm. I feel it sets the mood for my entire reading year. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Swedish author Katarina Bivald is the first book I’ve read on 2016. I couldn’t have chosen a more perfect title to start my reading year. It was all that I expected it to be. It didn’t disappoint me and it left me with a smile on my face. It left me feeling like it’s going to be a good reading year.

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The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is a book I chose to read because of its cover, title and description. It is a book that is impossible to miss with that fabulous blue color on the cover; it just made the book stand up and immediately made me want to read it. Then you see the title in that lovely whimsical font with all those swirls around it. It makes the book look so alive and enticing. I particularly like how the title seems to be coming straight out of the open book in the cover.

The color palette is my favorite color combination in the world. Blue, white and yellow are birds of a feather IMHO and they’re happy colors too. Having read the book, I can see how the cover design fits the story perfectly. I can definitely get the vibe of the old forgotten town that comes back to life thanks to books. And placing Nina George’s praise for the book was the cherry on top that made me without a doubt want to read the book. The title screams “bookish”. And after I read the description my book loving heart couldn’t stop beating as fast as it could in anticipation of a story about life and books.

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is the story about Broken Wheel, an almost abandoned town in Iowa and how the power of books can transform a society.

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is also the story of Amy and Sara. Amy, an elderly resident of the town of Broken Wheel, Iowa, and Sarah, a young woman from Sweden, are pen pals that form a lovely friendship through handwritten letters and exchanging books. After two years of correspondence, Amy invites Sara to visit her so they can finally meet in person. However, when Sara arrives, she finds out her beloved friend is dead but is quickly adopted by the people and the town of Broken Wheel. Sara’s arrival to Broken Wheel is not inconsequential; as it brings the little almost dead town and its people back to life.

Even though we lose Amy right at the beginning of the story, I chose to describe this book as the story of Amy and Sara because Amy’s presence is felt from start to finish, not only because of her letters to Sara that we read throughout the book but because of the influence she had on all the remaining inhabitants of Broken Wheel, who kept her memory alive with their thoughts and actions.

Being that this is a story about a small town, it has a set of charming supporting characters. The last remaining inhabitants of Broken Wheel are all as peculiar as can be. Some can be considered a walking cliché but at the same time their personalities have a degree of complexity that blends well with the story. There are quite a few characters in the story but they are enough. Without any of them the story wouldn’t feel complete. Each and every one of them plays an important role. But what’s most important is that even though these characters can be a bit odd, they are real; they all deal with different life struggles with which readers can relate to and this is what adds credibility to the story.

If I had to choose a favorite character it would be the town or the bookstore. I know they are not people, but once you read the book it’s impossible not to be fascinated by life in Broken Wheel or not want to set foot inside the little cozy bookstore. There’s something about reading of little cozy bookstores or small towns in the countryside that is appealing to me.

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is a book for bookish people. Whether you call yourself a bookworm, book lover, avid reader, etc., this book is full of references, quotes and bookish facts and humor that you will highlight and keep in your bookish heart forever. SPOILER ALERT, I must say the book has a lot of references to other books, which will be spoiled for you if you haven’t read them!

It also poses a lot of bookish questions and interesting answers for them. Questions like: are people better than books? If you were a book character would you be a main one or a minor one? Do you judge books or people without knowing them? Have you ever smelled a book? (Tell me you pictured Rory smelling a book after reading that question!) And a lot more interesting questions of the sort that will leave your bookish mind thinking of your answers to them.

If you’re looking for a book about how books can transform lives, this is the book for you. If you’re looking for a book about friendship, family, and love, this is the book for you. If you’re looking for a book with romantic love stories and adorable heartwarming stories about small-town people, this is the book for you. If you’re looking for a story about a little town and how everyone in town comes together for common good, this is the book for you. If you are a bookworm, this is the book for you.

The following is one of my favorite quotes from this book:

There’s always a person for every book. And a book for every person.

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend has it all: friendship, romance, family bonds, humor, deceit, recovery from addictions, fatherhood, single life, bisexuality, religion, and many more topics that are blended and dealt in a feel good way. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is a good read for all ages, like the quote above says, it is a book for every person. I’m glad I read it.


The lovely people from Sourcebooks Landmark are hosting a Rafflecopter giveaway of this amazing title. Hope you win this book. It will be so worth it. Good luck! 😉



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It’s hard to choose a few quotes from so many good ones, but I’ll leave you with some of the best.

Bookish quotes:

To give someone the power of a book is to unleash magic.

As long as she had books and money, nothing could be a catastrophe.

You’ve got to be something of a dreamer to enjoy books, at least to begin with.

People are better in books.

With books she could be whoever she wanted, wherever she wanted. She could be tough, beautiful, charming; she could come up with the perfect line at the perfect moment, and she could…experience things.

How tragic it was that the written word was immortal while people were not…

Sometimes, I still long to be in a little cabin in the woods, together with some books, and free from all the strange demands we humans place on one another and ourselves. maybe we would all benefit from a break from “civilization”for a year or two every now and then.

An incomplete series could be catastrophic, even for those around you.

They [books] should be dignified, magical portals to mystery, entertainment, love.


About book lists:

The real crime of these lists isn’t that they leave deserving books off them, but that they make people see fantastic literary adventures as obligations.

It was boring to think of books as something you should read just because others had….There were far to many books out there to stick to any kind of theme.


About friendship:

Sara had never believed that you had to meet someone in person to be friends – many of her most rewarding relationships had been with people who didn’t even exist – but suddenly it all felt so false, disrespectful even, to cling to the idea that she and Amy had, in some way, meant something to each other.


For life:

Never live your life according to the idiots’ rules. Because they’ll drag you down to their level, they’ll win, and you’ll have a damned awful time in the process.

…in war, as in life, boredom was one of the greatest problems, a slow, relentless, wearing down. Nothing dramatic, just a gradual erosion of a person’s energy and lust for life.

does having dreams make us more or less happy?

Age difference in relationships, two quotes one for every side of the story:

Older women always make fools of themselves when they fall for younger men. Law of nature. Same thing with older men falling for younger women.

It should be hard work and complicated and wrong and strange. Let people laugh. It just means we’re living more interesting lives than they are.

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I received an Electronic copy of this book but was not financially compensated in any way nor obliged to review. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my personal experience while reading it. This post contains affiliate links as stated in my disclosure policy.