Book Club Discussion // The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson


Hello, everyone! Happy Monday!

Thank you for patiently waiting a few extra days for this post to go up. I am really excited to discuss The Bookseller today and see what you thought of the book! But first, let’s take a look at the book we’ll be reading in October. It is…


And now, time for the discussion.


  1. In her “dreams” with Lars, people kept telling her that her behavior was understandable and it was apparent something had happened. Did you guess what it was or did you have other thoughts?
  2. When Michael first appeared in the story, were you surprised?
  3. Did you figure out ahead of time which life was real? Why or why not?

This is a hard book for me to review, because I liked it a lot, but there was one big part of the novel that held me back from really loving it. This book was described as being reminiscent of Sliding Doors, which is one of my favorite movies. One of the things I really liked about that movie is that both “lives” that she was living could have happened, but in The Bookseller that wasn’t the case. Once we learned that Lars was dead in Kitty’s world, it was clear that only one of the “lives” was a possibility. At first, I really liked that idea, but as the story went on it felt a little… long. I think knowing that either life could be real, wondering what would happen in each and how we’d reach the end in Sliding Doors created a tension that kept things moving and held my attention. In The Bookseller that tension wasn’t there. I enjoyed the story for awhile in the book, but the question of which world was real/should she stay in wasn’t enough to hold my attention for the entire novel, so about halfway through I started to lose interest.

Also, it seemed odd to me that Michael was kind of “hidden” for as he long as he was. I don’t think it would have seemed so strange if we hadn’t had that scene in the kids bedroom the first day that she woke up in that life.

I don’t want this to sound like I didn’t enjoy the book, though. I did! I enjoyed seeing each of the two lives develop and I loved that both lives were pleasant. Yes, each life had cons, but they also had a lot of good and I couldn’t decide between which “life” I wanted to be real.


1 Comment

  1. Mia

    October 7, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    I’m so glad to read your review because I felt the same way. Some things were handled really strangely and I felt it went on too long in some parts. But I did like the overall concept and story. I need to write my review! I’ll come back and post the link. 🙂


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  • I’m a little late in sharing the little things from March (aka, those little—and sometimes not so little—moments that make each day special), but April has been filled with Easter prep. Now I can take a breath and blog again! First up, catching up on those little moments, including this selfie in which I look so tired (I wasn’t, I was just running late), but loved the morning light coming through the window of my NYC hotel.

What were some of your little moments from March?
  • “When was the last time you spent a quiet moment just doing nothing - just sitting and looking at the sea, or watching the wind blowing the tree limbs, or waves rippling on a pond, a flickering candle or children playing in the park?” [Ralph Marston]

I used to see my dad just sit and think, “How can he do that?” I always wanted to be doing something.

And now I try to remember—and often forget—to find pockets of time to be still.
  • I forgot it was Earth Day when @annagracegruen and I decided to visit the conservatory at the University of Minnesota today.

I love that this is a working conservatory. There are tight spaces, browning leaves, and notes to help those who work there care for everything. It’s one of the things I love about it.

What did you do on Earth Day?
  • Easter prep has kept me busy, but the to-do lists are all checked off and it’s time for a few days of rest. On the agenda: a trip to the conservatory and repotting some of my plants that need new homes. What are you up to today?
  • Here’s your reminder to take the time to look up and around each day, even in the midst of the hustle.

I was reminded of this tonight. The sky was showing off and birds chirped this evening as I left the office. I took some time to take it all in and breathe the fresh air. The first three days of this week are jam-packed for me, but it’s so refreshing to take time to just be.
  • Missing these nighttime views. 🌙 ✨ 🌃
  • I had a tight frame to get to the airport and through security yesterday. As I contemplated missing my flight I decided it would be God’s way of telling me to move to New York. Unfortunately, not only did I get through security in record time, I made it home before all the delays that might have kept me in New York for a few extra hours. 😂🤷🏻‍♀️ On the bright side: I guess I don’t have to figure out how to get Mina to New York and I got to soak up alllll the puppy cuddles last night.
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