READING IS AS essential
to me as food, oxygen and
shelter. Imagine my delight
at reading this month’s book
buyer’s pick, Nina George’s
The Little Paris Bookshop,
about a man who knows
just which book will cure
what ails you.
Nursing a broken heart?
Need to feel more confident? Want to escape adult
worries? Jean Perdu owns
a floating bookstore on a
barge on the Seine, which he
calls a “literary apothecary.”
But it seems he’s skilled at
addressing everyone’s problems but his own.
In a life-changing
moment, he sets off down
the Seine, looking for
answers that have eluded
him for decades.
Need a book to remind
you that it’s OK to take
chances and really live
life? Then The Little Paris
Bookshop (Item #2016446,
available now) is my recommendation for you.
For more book picks,
see page 77.
—Pennie Clark Ianniciello,
Costco book buyer
written under the name Jean Bagnol.
Inspiration for The Little Paris Bookshop, which
was originally published in German as Das
Lavendelzimmer in 2013, came from the unexpected death of George’s father.
“Before my father died I knew I wanted to write
a book with a male as a lead character. Then my
father died, and my whole world broke down. I
thought, ‘I can’t write just about losing love; he was
my life,’ ” George says from her home in France.
She explains that while artists sometimes have
to suffer a lot to create something good, her suffering led to a breaking free of constraints she felt as a
writer. She’d been told that books about
bookstores and booksellers just weren’t
that popular and didn’t sell. But, after
her father’s death, George felt she
could take a risk. Bad reviews or
slow sales meant little in the face of
the pain she had already experienced. Proving publishers wrong,
the novel has sold more than
500,000 copies in 28 languages.
George reports, in accented
but nearly perfect English, that
she wrote the novel only after
speaking with people who live and
travel along the Seine, reading their
travel journals and following Jean’s
path on land.
“I’m a writer, so my job is to be exact,”
In addition to her prolific writing, George
teaches classes on various aspects of writing, from
adding humor to a manuscript to visualizing written characters as people in a play to help flesh out
their roles and traits.
As if all of that isn’t enough, George has also
made a place for herself as an activist for authors’
rights in Germany. Her second home is in Berlin,
which is where she soaks up the Argentinian tango
culture thriving in Germany’s capital.
Perhaps Manon, from The Little Paris Bookshop,
says it best in her travel journal: “Tango is a truth
drug. It lays bare your problems and your com-
plexes, but also the strengths you hide from others
so as not to vex them.”
George adds, “So much can be explained
through dance.” C
Author explores the healing power of books
could take a risk. Bad reviews or
COSTCO HAS 50 copies of Nina George’s
The Little Paris Bookshop, with signed bookplates, to give away. To enter, go to costco
NO PURCHASE, PAYMEN T OR OPT-IN OF ANY KIND IS
NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES.
Purchase will not improve odds of winning. Sweepstakes is
sponsored by Random House, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY
10019. Open to legal residents of the U.S. (except Puerto Rico)
who are age 18 or older at the time of entry. One entry per
household. Entries must be received before the November
issue is available online, which will happen around October 26,
2016. Winners will be randomly selected and noti;ed by mail
on or before December 1, 2016. The value of the prize is $16.
Void where prohibited. Winners are responsible for all applicable federal, state and local taxes. Odds of winning depend on
the number of eligible entries received. Employees of Costco
or Penguin Random House and their families are not eligible.
SIGNED BOOK GIVEAWAY
BY STEPHANIE E. PONDER
TALK WITH AUTHOR Nina
George and you’ll soon learn
that two different forces have
shaped her writing and her
personal life: breaking free of
the bonds of inertia and her
love of the tango.
Both play a part in this
month’s book buyer’s pick, The
Little Paris Bookshop. Jean Perdu, the owner of what
he calls a literary apothecary—a bookstore on a
barge—has the power to choose the right healing
book for everyone but himself. After reading an
unopened and long-forgotten letter from the
tango-loving Manon, the woman who
broke his heart, he unmoors the barge
and sets sail down the Seine, accompanied by an author with writer’s block
and a lovelorn chef.
“I’m repeating this message
when, in every human life, one
asks, ‘OK, should I stay in this [sit-
uation] or find out if there’s any-
thing waiting for me?’ ” says
George. “It’s a point I will repeat in
every novel: A character finds him-
self in his or her prison and then they
It’s hard to imagine that George,
who was born and raised in Germany, has
any trouble battling inertia. She finished high
school and began writing for several newsmaga-
zines. Since her early 20s, she has written more than
20 fiction and nonfiction books under the names
Nina George and Anne West, and collaborated on a
trilogy with her husband, the author Jo Kramer,