BKMT READING GUIDES

No.
56


 
Fun,
Optimistic,
Romantic

20 reviews

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
by Katarina Bivald

Published: 2016-01-19
Paperback : 400 pages
27 members reading this now
88 clubs reading this now
11 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 16 of 20 members
New York Times and USA Today Bestseller ? Literature's Power to Transform

Once you let a book into your life the most unexpected things can happen: Just like the bestselling historical novel and Netflix film The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Readers of Broken Wheel ...

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Introduction

New York Times and USA Today Bestseller ? Literature's Power to Transform

Once you let a book into your life the most unexpected things can happen: Just like the bestselling historical novel and Netflix film The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is a heartwarming reminder of why we are booklovers. Katarina Bivald's The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is a sweet, smart story about how books find us, change us, and connect us.

Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara: Sara traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her book-loving pen pal Amy, but when she arrives she finds Amy's funeral guests just leaving. The residents of Broken Wheel are happy to look after their bewildered visitor?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 Sara 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.

If you liked books such as The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry or Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, you will love The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend.

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of January 2016: Much like champagne punch, Bivald’s book-club-perfect tale of the tiny and slowly dying town of Broken Wheel, Iowa, is frothy and fun even as it sneaks up on you to deliver an emotional wallop. When Sara, a young Swedish woman who is at loose ends after losing her bookseller job, comes to visit her pen pal Amy in Broken Wheel, her first shock is that Amy has just died from a chronic ailment. The second surprise is that the citizens of Broken Wheel expect Sara to stay in Amy’s house anyway. When Sara uncovers Amy’s delightful stash of books, Sara decides to open a bookstore in the one-block-long downtown, inadvertently sparking a renaissance in Broken Wheel as the residents come together to help the store become a success. Garnished with plenty of book and character references from popular books such as Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe and Bridget Jones’s Diary, this charming fish-out-of-water story will remind you why you’re a booklover. —Adrian Liang

Excerpt

Books 1—Life 0
The strange woman standing on Hope’s main street was so ordinary it was almost scandalous. A thin, plain figure dressed in an autumn coat much too gray and warm for the time of year, a rucksack lying on the ground by her feet, an enormous suitcase resting against one of her legs. Those who happened to witness her arrival couldn’t help feeling it was inconsiderate for someone to care so little about their appearance. As though this woman was not the slightest bit interested in making a good impression on them. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

1. Sara and Amy develop a close relationship through exchanging letters. Have you ever had a pen pal? How might a friendship conducted entirely through writing be different than an in-person relationship?

2. Even though we never met Amy in person, we get to know her through her letters to Sara. How did her letters influence your understanding of Amy and Sara’s relationship?

3. How might Sara’s visit have been different if Amy had been alive when she arrived?

4. Why do you think everyone in Broken Wheel felt so responsible for looking after Sara when she arrived?

5. Broken Wheel is a dying town, and a bookstore brings it back to life. How accurately do you think The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend portrays small town America?
Have you ever been to or lived in a place like Broken Wheel?

6. There is a strong rivalry between Broken Wheel and Hope. How do you think the residents of Hope viewed the people of Broken Wheel? How were their perceptions changed once the bookstore opened?

7. Sara arranges the books in her shop through unconventional genre names, including “Sex, Violence and Weapons” and “For Friday Nights and Lazy Sundays.” What are some creative categories you might use to group your favorite books together?

8. Why do you think Sara was so reluctant to return to Sweden? What was missing from her life that she found in Broken Wheel?

9. How did you feel about the progression of Sara and Tom’s relationship? Were you happy with the status of their relationship at the end of the book?

10. Why do you think Caroline and Josh felt so much pressure to keep their relationship a secret?

11. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend focuses on how books can change lives. How have books affected your life? Is there one book in particular that changed the way you see the world?

Suggested by Members

Why do you think Amy did not disclose her illness?
by lanahootselle (see profile) 01/21/17

Sara and Amy developed a close relationship through exchanging letters. Have you ever had a pen pal?
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend focuses on how books canchange lives. How have books affected your life? Is there one book in particular that changed the way you see the world?
If you can open a bookstore yourself, what are some books you'd like to make available and why?
by juliennelw (see profile) 05/20/16

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Book List
by lanahootselle (see profile) 01/21/17
Since the book mentioned so many of the character's favorite books we decided to make a list of the favorite books of our members

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by hauna (see profile) 02/24/17

 
  "The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend"by lanahootselle (see profile) 01/21/17

Fun and quirky book. Gives an optimistic look at how one person can enrich the lives of a whole town.

 
by Hanknlori (see profile) 12/01/19

 
  "The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend"by merrillee (see profile) 04/26/19

We found it to be slow and hard to get into.
Pretty unrealistic but cute. Ther discussion of small-town life, in general, was very interesting

 
  "A bit too fluffy"by sdelorenzo (see profile) 04/18/19

I found this book a fun and cute read but not really a book club book.

 
  "The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend"by [email protected] (see profile) 05/23/18

This was a fun read. It was slow beginning, but got better toward the end. Had to keep reading.

 
  "Book about Books"by mel29 (see profile) 08/29/17

A simpler read, but fun for any book lover.

 
  "Broken Wheel, broken town"by arizonamom (see profile) 06/28/17

Members were happy that Sara arrived to save a dying town with her spirit and love of books, and love of people and community. A feel-good book!

 
by amintcar (see profile) 01/26/17

 
by jbecker (see profile) 01/22/17

Fun light read. Enjoyable.

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