Book Reviews, Nonfiction

Book Review: 84, Charing Cross Road

New Yorker Helene Hanff loves books, but not just any old books. In 1949, hoping to satisfy her ‘antiquarian taste’ in books and save herself from the exorbitant prices of New York bookstores, this self-described ‘poor writer’ turns to Marks & Co. Booksellers on London’s Charing Cross Road. So begins a 20-year letter exchange between the lively, somewhat salty and sarcastic Ms. Hanff and the oh-so-very-proper and reserved British bookseller Frank Doel… a letter exchange that slowly but surely turns into a touching friendship. This is the first time I’ve ever taken up on one of its book recommendations.…

Continue Reading

84 Charing Cross Road

This is the first time I’ve ever taken up on one of its book recommendations. Learning I’d read Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (by spying on me really), the good folks at Amazon tried to hook me up with 84 Charing Cross Road. I obligingly fell for their gimmick, and was totally charmed by the initially perfunctory letter exchange between Helene Hanff and Frank Doel,  which evolves gradually like a gracefully aged wine into a full-bodied friendship. Just as naturally, Hanff finds herself corresponding not only with Frank, but with his family and other Marks & Co. employees.…

Continue Reading