Celine is a French blogger who writes some fictional reviews about the books she loves the most and they always make me laugh. I hope the humor even if translated is kept. Thanks for her reviews.
Synopsis: Warning: once you let books into your life, the most unexpected things can happen…
This is a book about books. All sorts of books, from Little Women and Harry Potter to Jodi Picoult and Jane Austen, from to Stieg Larsson to Joyce Carol Oates to Proust. It’s about the joy and pleasure of books, about learning from and escaping into them, and possibly even hiding behind them. It’s about whether or not books are better than real life.
It’s also a book about a Swedish girl called Sara, her elderly American penfriend Amy and what happens when you land a very different kind of bookshop in the middle of a town so broken it’s almost beyond repair.
Or is it?
Disclaimer: « The characters and situations in this story are fictional, any resemblance to existing persons and situations can only be coincidental »
Salon du Livre de Paris
I finally enter into the grand lobby lounge and an oppressive heat wave assails me. There, the world, many people. A real human tide. Positive point, melting into the mass will be easy. Negative point, I hate crowds. I hope that this is not a bad omen and that I will not grill in the hellfire of the Gods-of-all-the-stuff-of-the-sea-and-de- earth.
Despite the prevailing tropical climate, I cover my nose a little more with my scarf. While preparing this morning, I was hesitant to take my commando-scarf, one in which I drilled two holes to only show my eyes. Anonymity level, I would have had all good. Level discretion, I am less sure. I cross my fingers so hard that my knuckles whiten: I hope that my physical boilerplate allows me to carry out my mission. In all case, I adjust a little more my scarf.
I tread carefully while slaloming between different groups of readers who are immersed in lively conversations. I listen and pick up a few words while passing. I would join them, but I need to keep moving forward. Do not disperse … Think about the mission … and not of the Aiden’s physical… I squeeze a little more my shopping bag against me. It is yellow mustard, and the edges are slightly worn. I took what I had bigger at home. It was that or my suitcase. The storage capacity was tempting, but the wheels tend to squeak. DIS-CRE-TION. My old bag was the most appropriate. I lift the lid of a small sharp movement to ensure that I can open it easily. This is good.
A portly man hits me with his shoulder and mumbles a few flowery words. A few clumsy steps allow me to restore my balance. I retain the cry that threatens to escape my throat, but the look from that person makes that my bladder is about to rebel. Reflect of an inhuman look, cruelly divine through me.
I hurried on to shield myself to those pupils that devastate me. Maybe it’s nothing, just a look launched under the heat of anger, but you never know.
The first stands are behind me. Piles of books with colorful covers are piled on tables. I goes next to Roanne who is signing her book, but I don’t manifest myself. Efficiency and discretion are my watchwords.
A stand has a revised edition of Pride and Prejudice. I thrust a copy in my bag. That’s why I’m here. This show is a concentration of books that may appear on the list of the black-banned-books, and I set a goal of saving as much as possible. It explains my big bag.
I see Melliane a few stalls away. She is smiling at me but she immediately pulled herself together, curbing the expression of joy that had taken possession of her pretty face. Her jacket over her arm, she pretends to walk casually through the books. But I know it is not the case. Today, we work together, but separately. We will be more effective as well and we will cover more ground. She makes me a funny sign with the hand, and I frown. We are developing codes, except that I can not identify it. Is it an « All is well » or « I have to pee »? I gather even more eyebrows, and I see that she looks up to heaven in exasperation. I absolutely do not understand what she means. We’ll have to rework it all.
I suddenly stop in front of the nearest table. There thrones « The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend » by Katarina Bivald, it’s so cute with this cover. A quick look around, and hop in my bag. Well, it must be saved.
It meets all the criteria for the list-of-the-prohibited-books. It is a great book, one we want to read in the evening after an intensive day of work, that caresses your heart and accompanies you through their music to a world where good feelings are in order. We could blame it of a certain naivety, a candor devoid of cynicism and jealousy that characterize the human race, but I’d like to believe in a world like this one. I want to believe that there are villages like this, where people are desperate to change and evolve. To love … I want to believe in the saving power of books to salvation through reading … To life in reading. At the core of all these books of which the novel refers. This is what drives our fight eventually. Because yes, everything is predictable, but I found myself in Sara and her love of books. A book, a moment … And I loved Caroline and her principles which are gradually crumbling into a lioness ready to defend what is hers. I loved this village that learns to breathe, this air that Sarah breathes slowly with her books full of history in these beings who have suffered too much. And I found this reading, night after night to immerse myself in its protective bubble far from my professional frenzy. Yes, it deserves to be saved.
My phone vibrates in my pocket. I find it with great difficulty. It’s Melliane.
« Le Chat and Johanne are there. »
I breathe a sigh of relief. Our quartet is operational. I see the Le Chat’s flaming hair moving in the middle of the professionals. As if nothing had happened, she opens her bag to slide a book there but I can not distinguish the title. Our struggle is engaged …
We move like shadows in this packed room in search of stories to save. Johanne just passed before me, and her face did not betray our link. It is strong, our team. This is a victory that awaits us at the end of the day, I feel it. The gods will not dare to act here in front of everyone. No need for a Aiden finally, we are just as effective without him!
I continue my progress and gently mice while seeing Roanne signing her autograph. It is safe … Safe …
I mound suddenly against a tile plate poorly sealed to the ground. I stare at it for a few seconds. My instinct screams to my brain that something is wrong. The floor and the walls start to shake. A dull roar rips the air …