Peggy's Reviews > 84, Charing Cross Road

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
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Aug 15, 07


If you love books (and given where you are right now, you must), you have to read this. Hanff shares with us the letters that tell the story of her relationship with a British bookstore and its employees over a number of years. It's funny and heartwarming and wonderful, and if you don't get teary-eyed, I'll eat my hat.
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Comments (showing 1-31 of 31) (31 new)

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Peggy I have, and it's excellent. Apparently Bancroft read the book and loved it, and hubby Mel Brooks bought the film rights for her as a gift. It differs a tiny bit from the book, but the wonderful characters are all there.


message 2: by Michael (new)

Michael What you have to do is actually visit Charrin Cross. Its amazing. Not as many used bookstores as their used to be, but the plethora that still exist is just...delightful. I bought a cool little version of Through The Looking Glass and a Sherlock Holmes book i think from a couple of the stores there.

it's one of my favorite places in london


Peggy Soooooo jealous now.


Anna I have to agree with Michael...and make sure to leave lots of space in your bags for books. :-)
I found some awesome books there!


message 5: by Michael (new)

Michael yeah that was a problem i ran into. just not enough room for books...and man they are heavy getting them back from England to Michigan.


Anna I KNOW. My friend and I ran into that street on our second night in London. The bulk of our shopping budget was spent on books. I found this amazing, torn copy of The Call of The Wild that had belonged to several people before me. The first owner was a Scot who had gotten it for his birthday 1905 or something and then passed iit on with each successive owner signing it. I love books like that (and it is a great adventure story).


message 7: by Michael (new)

Michael I have a few books like that, some from within my family and some that i've found at used bookstores or other such places. books that are well over 100 yrs old and have been through multiple hands....love old books....the smell....mmmm


Peggy Heh. This is rapidly becoming book porn. And, as Martha Stewart would say, that's a good thing.


Anna Hehe :) I do love the smell of old books...there's something very promising in that smell. And I love the fact that you have no idea what books you might find.


message 10: by Anna (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anna I guess it's kind of in line with the review anyhow (old books, bibliophiles etc) but I loved 84, Charing Cross too. There was something utterly heartwarming with the book.


message 11: by Michael (new)

Michael Heck yes it is....on all counts.

In another thread i was recounting a bit of my visit to Sir Walter Scott's house....now his library.....would make the biggest literary naysayer drool with utter delight....and thne there was me....a friend had to help me keep my jaw from tripping my feet up.


message 12: by Michael (new)

Michael haven't read it but it sounds like i need to add it to the stack....theproblem is its going to make me want to go back...not that thats ever a hard thing to do.


Peggy We're incorrigible. My boss had a going away party for a co-worker who was retiring. When I arrived, I joined the throng of folks staring at his bookshelves. He looked at us all, then said, "You know, this is why no one ever invites y'all anywhere."


message 14: by Michael (new)

Michael did he really say y'all?


message 15: by Anna (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anna It's teh first thing I do when I enter someone's house (after greeting and some polite phrases)...cehck their bookshelves out.

This is why I love goodreads!


Peggy Michael: yes, he really said "y'all." We're Texans! Besides, I'm convinced that "y'all" is a perfectly acceptable second person plural (as long as you're actually referring to more than one person).

Mmmmmmmmmm...built-in bookcases....mmmmmmmmm


message 17: by Michael (new)

Michael not only the built in book cases but someday when i have enough books, and probably even if i dont i will install one of those cool rolling ladders that attatch to theshelves....oh man, thats been my dream since forever....yeah enough books to necessatate a rolling ladder....add that on top of teh fire, the comfy chair and one of those cool flor standing globes in teh corner...yeah i could go for that for eternity.


message 18: by Anna (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anna Mmmmm-built-in bookcaes - now that's serious bibliophilia porn! I want my armchair with those little things that we call "ears" - for comfort.

I lived in Oklahoma for a year - I love hearing y'all.


Peggy Especially if it's one of those big standing globes that contains a mini-bar!

Oh, how I love those rolling ladders.


message 20: by Anna (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anna Yeah! A ladder! And the tiny shelves attached to the bookshelevs that you put the books on while looking at tehm


I love it when you find stuff in old books, like newspaper clippings from the time, or postcards.
I ahve a great book on the last king of teh Belgians that I found, with lots of newspaper clippings about him and the decline of their colonial "empire"


message 21: by Anna (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anna Thanks Tracy - that's exactly what I mean. We call them "ear armchairs".



message 22: by Michael (new)

Michael also known as Wingback Chairs....i love me some Wingback chairs.

As to articles found in volumes of books....found a couple cool family ones in an old book from my grandfather that was handed down to him by his grandmother....man that sucker is old....1850s maybe?


message 23: by Anna (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anna It's cool...it makes me wonder even more about the people who owned the book before me. Who said something like that books can't be owned, just borrowed ...or something like that?


message 24: by Michael (new)

Michael Books are living things....well at least in a metaphorical sense i guess, connecting all who read them and even pcik them up to look at them. Reminds me of teh book THe Raw Shark Texts...a book everyone should read!!!


Peggy Did you try the online game that was connected to the book, Michael?


message 26: by Michael (new)

Michael a bit yeah...didnt get incredibly far, but thats ok. The book was enough craziness for me. Literally one of the most unique pieces of fiction i have read in a while....well other than Crooked Little Vein which i can't recommend to anyone. Raw Shark Texts though is my go to book lately for recommendations.


Peggy Warren Ellis's Crooked Little Vein?


message 28: by Michael (new)

Michael IT's one of those books either you buy into or you dont. I could see why some popel just didnt like it, but me....one of the best books i've read all year and maybe last.

Just an insanley unique way of looking at words, literature and how they relate and intertwine in all of our lives.

Hall just takes some very odd twists and turns.

after abuot the first 30 pages he takes a turn into crazytown and never lets go.


message 29: by Michael (new)

Michael yeah Ellis is a madman. I couldnt put the book down but it was so crazy and offensive and jsut screwed up i can't really give anyone a reason to read it other than it is literally the craziest book i have ever read.


Peggy I'll agree with you there--I don't know who I could recommend it to, but I'll admit that it made me laugh out loud in places, too.


message 31: by Michael (new)

Michael It's true.


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