W.B.’s Book Report: The Last Chance Library

I love books. And I love books about books and people who love books and libraries. One of my favorite Ray Bradbury stories is the one about writing Fahrenheit 451 — a book about people who love books — on rental typewriters in the basement of his library for 10 cents a half-hour. One of my favorite books I’ve read in recent years is The Haunted Bookshop, which revolves around a man who loves books.

And so I was a sucker for The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson. It’s about the shy assistant librarian in a small English village whose life is turned upside down by a pending decision to close the town library. With the help of a kindly old gentleman, a feisty veteran of women’s liberation protests, a crabby old lady, a teen, a little boy and a recent immigrant, among other quirky characters, she gets involved in the effort to save the library.

They all love books, of course, but the point is that the library is an important and irreplaceable community meeting place in small towns. And of course the effort breaks her out of the shell she’s been in for many years.

It’s a charming little book for book lovers and I recommend it to anyone who fits the description. This is a lovely debut novel for Sampson, who apparently works in TV but let’s not hold that against her.

Published by WarrenBluhm

Wordsmith and podcaster, Warren is a reporter, editor and storyteller who lives near the shores of Green Bay with his wife, two golden retrievers, Dejah and Summer, and Blackberry, an insistent cat. Author of It's Going to Be All Right, Echoes of Freedom Past, Full, Refuse to be Afraid, Gladness is Infectious, 24 flashes, How to Play a Blue Guitar, Myke Phoenix: The Complete Novelettes, A Bridge at Crossroads, The Imaginary Bomb, A Scream of Consciousness, and The Imaginary Revolution.

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