Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Village Books” as Want to Read:
Village Books
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Village Books

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  1,633 Ratings  ·  215 Reviews
Village Books is a local institution…which is good, because most of the staff probably belong in one.

There’s the manager, Dante Andolini, who’s hiding more than just his hypochondria from his overbearing mother…Sebastian Donleavy, whose hedonistic lifestyle is two rails short of being on the rails…Aldous Swinghammer, whose philosophical eccentricities have not been the big
Kindle Edition, 296 pages
Published March 28th 2012 (first published March 1st 2012)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Village Books, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Village Books

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Richard Derus
Jul 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Rating: 3.5* of five

The Publisher Says: Village Books is a local institution…which is good, because most of the staff probably belong in one.

There’s the manager, Dante Andolini, who’s hiding more than just his hypochondria from his overbearing mother…Sebastian Donleavy, whose hedonistic lifestyle is two rails short of being on the rails…Aldous Swinghammer, whose philosophical eccentricities have not been the biggest hit with the ladies…Ebeneezer Chipping, whose crotchety exterior hides a burning
Mar 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
I'm giving it two stars because I feel it is wrong giving one star to a book I didn't finish. I quit at 85%.

It started okay but then I wanted something to happen. Nothing happened. The plot was almost non-existent. I could not click one more percent.
Mar 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 13-reads, gen-fiction
This had the makings of a good book -- a pretty good plot, fairly good characters, etc. But it was a miserable failure. I got it free and got exactly what I paid for -- nada, niente, zilch, zero.

A novel about a non-chain bookstore in Toronto and its zany staff could have been a good book. But the author's filthy mind and depressing sexual obsession completely turned me off.

I know I'm more prudish than many people when it comes to literature, but I could not in good conscience recommend this to a
Aunty Janet
Mar 25, 2013 rated it liked it
''Village Books is a local institution...which is good, because most of the staff probably belong in one.

The manager's addiction to WebMD has turned him into a closeted hypochondriac. The cashier's husband may have just gone AWOL with a small arsenal of fragmentary explosive devices. The fiction lead is buying urine on the black market. Trying to hold it all together is the store's long-suffering assistant manager, who is spinning his wheels in retail while he waits for something better to come
More like 4.5 stars. I am always worried when I read books told in the First Person because sometimes the voice is not clear & also becomes a bit of a turn off. And sometimes, it takes a while to fall into the story if it's told by a narrator that doesn't have an engaging tone. None of that was the case for me while I read this book. I really liked the narrator & thought he was quite witty. The story was told colorfully & I felt a connection with the characters he related in the tell ...more
Tatyana Naumova
Jul 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015, boring
Я поняла: все книги, которые хвалит Лев Данилкин в своих обзорах к Афише, надо немедленно сжигать. Страшно скучное, картонное повествование о группе людей, которые работают в книжном и, видимо, поэтому обладают потрясающей шаблонностью мышления. Я не знаю, кому это нравится(((
Lisa *OwlBeSatReading*
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really funny in places!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book where everything is based in and around a Canadian bookstore. Some truly witty and dry characters make this a book lovers perfect read. Authors writing style was easy to follow, overall, a really entertaining story.
Julia Samkova
Это тот самый случай, когда начинаешь читать книгу, потому что тебя заинтересовала обложка. Думаешь, о, наверное, какая-нибудь филологическая проза, или хотя бы что-то близкое к ней.
А вот и нет.
Сюжет крутиться вокруг работников магазина "Книжная лавка". Кто в кого влюбился, кто с кем переспал, кто забыл гашиш у черного входа и т.д. Все очень динамично, без лишних соплей, читается очень легко. По ходу чтения все больше кажется, что легкость эта оттого, что автору нечего сказать. Совсем. Опять же
Terry Parrish
Feb 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I especially loved that it was mostly set in a Bookstore. Have to say there were some really wacky people in this book. I think my favorite characters were the germophobic cashier and the owner. There were not any that you could not like. I personally think thats what makes it so good. No evil involved. I would also recommend this book to everyone over the age of 18, for those younger there's a few things they don't need to read. Overall, I gave this book 5 stars because you h ...more
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Many thanks to the author, Craig McLay, for making Village Books available for download on

This is a surprisingly good read. The story did not grab my attention like other books have, though I was kept interested to the very last page. The author has an amazing writing style and I was pulled into the daily lives of a group of people that work at "Village Books".

The best way I can explain myself is with this sentence: "Reading Village Books is like watching a good movie in my mind". I
Nov 25, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Обожаю хэппи энды, умиленно рыдаю над счастливо спасенными от разных перипетий судьбы животными, детишками и прочими личностями) но всему должна быть мера. в этой книге ее нет. Это не сахар и не мед, это густейший сироп, липкий и приторный, от которого слипается все. Кроме того написано очень примитивно. Сначала стиль несколько напомнил Барстоу "Любовь... Любовь?", но Барстоу я перечитываю очень часто, а "Книжную лавку" в руки больше не возьму. И никому не советую)
May 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
(After just starting). Decent. Entertaining in that "beach read" kind of way. And I've laughed out loud a few times!

(Upon completion). Ok. It was a pretty boring plot with an over the top "happy" ending of fairly shallow characters. But I think this author isn't so awful that I would say they never write a book again....just keep trying. I did think it started out well. Read this on a beach if you will.

Feb 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
It was okay. It may have not been my style, which is understandable, but in the seven minutes I have to write this, I have to say: It wasn't my favorite. It had a rather unsatisfying ending to it all, and the characters kind of just... got everything they wanted. The last couple of chapters were a rush to conclude the plot after the entire book plodded along. Again, maybe it wasn't my style, but I found it a rather unsatisfying read.
Dec 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommended to Denise by: 281
Light, frothy read with odd, quirky characters. Loved that it was set in an indy bookstore, but its plot was rather predictable. A free kindle read and I did enjoy it.
Kathy Davie
Sep 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A standalone novel about life in an independent bookstore in Toronto.

I can see why, in 2012, Village Books won the eFestival of Words award for Best Literary Fiction.

My Take
McLay is intelligent with a sense of humor. I particularly enjoyed XX's comment to the woman attempting to return a $4 used out-of-print book for which she had no proof of having purchased it from Village Books.

Even though this was mostly one of those day-in-the-life sort of fictional stories (I thought it would be a mystery
Oct 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up, ebook
I gave up around the 40% mark. It felt like the plot wasn't going anywhere (was there a plot? I couldn't tell since what I thought was the plot seemed to solve itself in the first third of the book) and the conversations between the characters were just long-winded babble. They went on for far too long and just like with the plot, they didn't seem to go anywhere.
Mar 07, 2017 marked it as unfinished
Shelves: kindle-free
giving up. have no interest in any characters. no idea what story is supposed to be. don't care for the writing and keep wanting to skip ridiculous babble, so might as well give up
May 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle-books
After reading a few reviews for this book I wasn't sure if I wanted to read it because quite a few of them were not exactly favorable. Now I know why.

Village Books is a more boring (and book centric instead of music centric) version of the 1995 movie Empire Records. (I'm not sure how many people will understand the reference but I just thought I'd put it out there). Village Books is about a crazy crew of bookstore workers (some in managerial positions, some part time, some who the reader barely
Mar 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
'Village Books is a comfortable place where I can hide out from the world for a while. Which is exactly what a good book is supposed to be. I suppose the reason I have so much trouble picking a favourite [book] is because I'm in no hurry to come out of hiding.'

This novel pleasantly surprised me! There isn't a strict plot, rather it follows the lives of a rather eclectic bunch of employees at Village Books, an independent bookshop in Canada. It is written in first person, so that character takes
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebooks
I liked the setting of a small independent bookstore struggling to survive faced with competition from giant chain stores, online shopping, and e-readers. The main character was likable. But some of the other characters were not just eccentric or quirky - they were fairly unbelievable. It became difficult to accept that an employer would continue to put up with so many employees who didn't show up for their shifts, didn't do their jobs properly, and were not at all customer friendly. Surely ther ...more
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books
I have an entirely impractical dream of owning a small, independent bookstore. That's why Village Books intrigued me. It soon convinced me that I'd better hang on to my day job. McLay does a fine job of populating his story with colorful characters, each of which has at least one notable eccentricity. The narrative voice is witty and ruthlessly skewers everything from the quintessential evil corporate conglomerate to midlist authors at book signings. (No, I have never done a book signing, becaus ...more
Mar 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
I found that I really enjoyed reading Village Books. McLay introduced a cast of colorful characters who worked together at a bookstore, and the reader has no idea what these characters would do next. Each character is developed nicely and has a unique personality of their own. The narrator is a manager at the bookstore who finds love at the bookstore with a newly hired manager. I enjoyed the bookstore setting, the customers the characters had to deal with, and the surprises that happened along t ...more
Mar 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Enjoyed the characters and data on the inner workings of an independent bookstore. Took me a while to realize the setting was Canada, but that was okay.

The story was a little glib. Bookstore assistant manager--a retiring, perceptive guy--meets a would-be actress and falls hard. Since the storyline wasn't really their romance, I guess the lack of surprises in their relationship didn't really matter.

I'm slow, so it took me a while to realize this was a replay of small bookstore eaten up by big boo
Aug 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a fun read. It was a free download from Amazon for my Kindle Often these ebooks are just okay, but I really enjoyed this one. The author has quite a wit and writes in a very contemporary style.

Village Books is a local bookstore in Canada with a strange mix of employees. It's told in the first person by the store's manager. He's been working there for three years without much direction in life, but things are about to change. There's a fair amount of friendly blue language bantered about
Aug 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
I downloaded this book because it was free without reading a description. I clicked on it to read it and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. As I read I really started to care what happened to the characters. The narrator was funny and someone I could easily relate to. Definitely a fun read!
Mar 19, 2013 rated it liked it
I did not read it in a day, I started about the 5th or 6th of March. It was an enjoyable read until about haldf way through, the use of the F*** word increased as did the obsession with talking about sex. Other than that I really liked the characters and their odd differences. You trily felt like you knew them and rooted for their lives. Takes a while to get into it.
Nov 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult, 2016
I enjoyed reading this book because it was funny to follow such an average guy with an average job. He was so honest and easy going. Leah's character was a bit off and a bit too manly to be believable. I loved how all of the characters developed throughout the whole novel.
Feb 20, 2013 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the banter between characters. I only have one complaint about the book. I'm fairly intelligent and well read but the author seemed to write like a Dennis Miller storyteller. All of the movie and book name drops and obscure authors and occasionally the dialogue just annoyed me.
Kerry Stewart
Mar 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2013-read
Had the making of a good book but just never went anywhere...I was excited thinking that this would be a cozy little story about a bookstore but it just never seemed to develop a story line.
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fun, romantic, humor
I really really liked this book mostly because it is chock full of sarcasm and movie lines so it was like reading my subconscious... okay my annoying banter. I blame snappy answers to stupid questions.... It is also set in a retail location full of malcontents and having worked in a video store I can relate. I can even almost recognize some of my former colleagues...

This story centers on one of the managers - a writer whose unpublished book almost got published. He's not enthusiastic about his
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Rhubarb
  • The Parrot Talks In Chocolate (The Life And Times Of A Hawaiian Tiki Bar)
  • Sunflowers
  • Here Among Us
  • A Year at 32 September Way
  • Taking Flight
  • Happy(ish)
  • Lame Excuses
  • Jackpot!
  • Working It Out
  • Country Girls
  • Shepherd Avenue
  • Swan Place
  • The Enchanted Orchards
  • Confessions of a Cake Addict
  • Spirit Horses
  • Speculation
  • Progressive Dinner Deadly (Myrtle Clover Cozy Mysteries #2)

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“He went to India to "find himself" last year, but evidently he wasn't there, and he came back empty-handed.” 16 likes
“Trying to make her angry is like trying to find a corner on a bowling ball.” 4 likes
More quotes…