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Bookish People

A novel by

A perfect storm of comedic proportions erupts in a DC bookstore over the course of one soggy summer week—narrated by two very different women and punctuated by political turmoil, a celestial event, and a perpetually broken vacuum cleaner.

Independent bookstore owner Sophie Bernstein is burned out on books. Mourning the death of her husband, the loss of her favorite manager, her only child’s lack of aspiration, and the grim state of the world, she fantasizes about going into hiding in the secret back room of her store.

Meanwhile, renowned poet Raymond Chaucer has published a new collection, and rumors that he’s to blame for his wife’s suicide have led to national cancellations of his publicity tour. He intends to set the record straight—with an ultra-fine-point Sharpie—but only one shop still plans to host him: Sophie’s.

Fearful of potential repercussions from angry customers, Sophie asks Clemi—bookstore events coordinator, aspiring novelist, and daughter of a famed literary agent—to cancel Raymond’s appearance. But Clemi suspects Raymond might be her biological father, and she can’t say no to the chance of finding out for sure.

This big-hearted screwball comedy features an intergenerational cast of oblivious authors and over-qualified booksellers—as well as a Russian tortoise named Kurt Vonnegut Jr.—and captures the endearing quirks of some of the best kinds of people: the ones who love good books.

Praise for Bookish People:

“A smart, original, laugh-out-loud novel . . . If you sell, buy, or simply love books, Bookish People is for you. I wholeheartedly recommend this quirky gem.” —Sarah Pekkanen, New York Times bestselling co-author of The Golden Couple

  • Witty, hilarious, and heartwarming contemporary book about books

    Stand-alone novel

    Book length: approximately 84,000 words

    Includes discussion questions for book clubs

    Genre: General Fiction

Praise for this book

"Susan Coll's Bookish People is a delightful, hilarious, and utterly charming novel about a quirky bookstore and its motley crew--ridiculously lovable people who think way too much about words, writing, dead authors, customers' dogs, cats who torment birds, canceled author events, British ovens, readers, vacuum cleaners, and Russian tortoises. The perfect read for bookish people everywhere!" - Angie Kim

"A smart, original, laugh-out-loud novel . . . If you sell, buy, or simply love books, Bookish People is for you. I wholeheartedly recommend this quirky gem." - Sarah Pekkanen

"There's not a wittier, zanier, smarter book about books and the people who love them than Bookish People. After reading about this single screwball week in the book biz, you'll want to hug your closest bookseller (and maybe apply for a job)." - Leslie Pietrzyk

"Take a bookstore owner who is sick of books, a pompous poet who has managed to get himself canceled, and a crew of overqualified millennial employees, then add a week of political upheaval and a rare celestial event. The result is Bookish People, a sharp yet tender comedy of bookstore manners. Susan Coll has written a love letter to bibliophiles everywhere with too many hilarious parts to list--though the tortoise named Kurt Vonnegut Jr. may be my all-time favorite literary pet." - Lisa Zeidner

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