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The Red Notebook

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3.86  ·  Rating details ·  13,701 ratings  ·  2,252 reviews
Heroic bookseller Laurent Letellier comes across an abandoned handbag on a Parisian street. There's nothing in the bag to indicate who it belongs to, although there's all sorts of other things in it. Laurent feels a strong impulse to find the owner and tries to puzzle together who she might be from the contents of the bag. Especially a red notebook with her jottings, which ...more
Paperback, 159 pages
Published April 7th 2015 by Gallic Books (first published March 5th 2014)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,701 ratings  ·  2,252 reviews


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Nat K

J'adore! Sometimes you need to read a love story. And to believe that good things can happen to good people. This is told with such beautiful simplicity. It is gentle and caresses you, like a soft cashmere sweater.

In a city of millions, are two souls destined to meet? I'm sure you've already guessed the answer to that. It's a tried and true formula. One that can either be ordinary or can lift your spirits. This is the latter.

With Parisian charm, what starts with the petty crime of a bag snatchin
...more
Cathrine ☯️
Apr 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone needing refreshment
4★
description

Jim Nelson at Food & Wine writes that "An apéritif is an alcoholic beverage served before a meal to stimulate the appetite without overwhelming the senses and distinct from anything you have been served back home. It is light and refraissant as the French would say."

How perfectly that describes this little gem. At just 159 generously spaced pages, you can read it in one sitting.
There is lovely Laure. She is an artist, a gilder. She has been mugged and her bag stolen. There are items inside th
...more
Raven
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Being some one with a rather cynical attitude to the whole idea of love and romance, I found my icy heart delightfully thawed by this book. It is poignant, touching, peppered with literary references, witty and quite simply perfect...A must read- even for old cynics like me!
Camie
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
To be filed under charming little books translated from French. When Laurent the owner of a bookstore in Paris finds a handbag abandoned in a trash bin his life changes forever. Certainly no woman ever abandons a lovely pocketbook. With only the clues given in the bag's contents which includes a small red notebook of random thoughts can he ever find it's owner ?
Short, sweet, and surely soon to be film material.
KUYH Club June - 4 stars
abby
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
Whatever charm this book is supposed to possess escapes me. If it had been any longer, I wouldn't have bothered to finish it. I found it boring, and the romance is stalkerish instead of cute.

This book starts with a woman getting mugged for her handbag, and a bookseller finding the remnants of said bag the next day in a dumpster. Based on the contents of the bag, which includes a host of items no woman would logically carry around with her, like the only copies of photos of her deceased parents,
...more
Jennifer
Jan 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
What do you carry in your handbag? Are the items intriguing enough to make someone want to meet you, even if they only saw the contents of your bag and knew nothing else about you?

This charming, romantic, and oh, so French, book hit the right spot after a few enjoyable (but heavy) reads. In this tale, sophisticated Parisian Laure is mugged after a late night out. Her attacker runs off with her handbag. The next morning, book store owner Laurent finds Laure's bag (minus her wallet and any ID) on
...more
Bianca
I'm jumping with joy and exhilaration having just finished a charming and very delightful novel. Exactly what I was after! A perfect Sunday afternoon companion. Well, a perfect companion, regardless of the day of the week or season.

I loved everything about the Red Notebook. The writing is simple but has a beautiful flow. The main characters, Laurent and Laure, are well drawn and interesting. It was refreshing to read a romantic book with middle-aged protagonists. The plot was lovely and romanti
...more
Myrna
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-ebook
A great story reminiscent of Sleepless in Seattle and Goodnight Tweetheart with a beautiful French setting. The main characters are well developed and intertwine through a stolen purse. The adolescent daughter, Chloé, is my favorite because she added humor and sensibility. One sees the conclusion but enjoys the ride, nonetheless. If you are looking for a short, sweet, unique story, read this one with possibly a café au lait and an èclair.
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...more
Jessaka
Mar 04, 2020 rated it liked it
A Fun Clean Flip

I was looking for a heavier book to read, one like what Cormac McCarthy would write, but I found this one instead. I liked the title, so settled on it. I have noticed of late that many romance books have nice titles, and titles can easily draw me to them. Of course, most of the time I am disappointed and stop reading them. This book was not disappointing; it was charming and a clean flip, as they are called here at the Tahlequah library in Oklahoma. A clean flip is a book with pa
...more
Collin
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Let me just start by saying, and don’t ask me why, but if a book has a bookshop in it, then I nearly always like it.

Laure realises how much the little things matter in our modern world when her handbag is violently stolen from her at 2am in the morning right outside her building. She has no key to get into her apartment, she has no phone to call her friends, she has no credit card or money to pay for a room in the motel across from her apartment building. Luckily the elderly gentleman at the cou
...more
Libby
This is a delightfully charming and whimsical tale, whose movie rights have already been sold to Union Générale Cinématographique (UCG). The translation of this French novel transported me to the streets of Paris, where Laurent Leteillier, bookseller and owner of bookstore, Le Cahier Rouge (The Red Notebook) has found a purse on the top of a garbage bin. Laurent is definitely a character I want to know more about. His capacity for laughing at himself, the fact that he’s taught his sixteen-year-o ...more
Jane
Jun 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: borrowed
This is a lovely little book: a bittersweet romantic comedy that captivated me from the very first page.

A young woman, Laure, arrives home late at night, after dinner with friends. As she arrives at her apartment block somebody tries to snatch her handbag. She resists, but she is shoved against the door frame and her bag slips from her grasp.

She can’t get through the security door without her keys; she can’t call anyone because she relied on the mobile phone in her bag to remember their numbers;
...more
Jaya
A soujourn in Paris on an otherwise mundane Sunday. That was predictable but nevetheless, a whimsical palate cleanser.
Veronique
Apr 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Re-read

Is there anything better than to spend a whole Saturday morning reading a charming story? The premise is so simple and yet so engrossing. Laurent, a bookshop owner in his 40s, finds a ladies' handbag one morning and decides to find its rightful owner. Little by little, he becomes fascinated by the mysterious woman, imagining her from the eclectic mix of possessions found in the said bag, and the reader follows, willingly in my case. After the first few pages, I was sold. The book is pure
...more
Claire
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Intrigued and incensed in equal measure, as a notebook toting woman myself, I wanted to know more of this story centred around a character whose red notebook, containing handwritten thoughts and random PRIVATE jottings, has fallen into the hands of the curious bookseller, Monsieur Laurent Letellier.

Recognising it as a handbag of quality and not something intended to be thrown out, when Monsieur Letellier comes across the abandoned handbag on a Parisian street early one morning, he picks it up in
...more
HBalikov
Feb 24, 2020 rated it liked it
"‘It’s the story of a bookseller who finds a handbag in the street one day, takes it home with him, empties out its contents and decides to look for the woman who owns it.” {This is not a promo quotation, it was taken from the book’s text.}

The Red Notebook is a very cozy and light tale of a lonely middle-age man who has settled into his life as the proprietor of a very reader-friendly bookshop in a corner of Paris, France.

His decision to pursue the mystery of an unknown owner of a handbag aband
...more
Primrose Jess
Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oh!!! What a charmer of a little book! I was swept up in a modern love story with all the classic elements steeped in the tradition of courtly love. How Laurain takes his reader at a rapid pace of a story without the feeling of rushing the story... I can't explain. I have never encountered a story telling style of this manner. My little copy is dog eared with pages for me to go back to to mull over sentences that struck me and I even underlined a few with pencil that especially stood out. I com ...more
Dana
Aug 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 A charming little French jewel to read when you want something light and entertaining. Very sweet.
Pamela
Delightfully charming! I love this little novel/novella!!! A bit of mystery and intrigue sprinkled with just the right amount of serendipity, whimsy, and literary verve to make this sparse yet profound character-driven/atmospheric love story feel ever so wishfully real.

"Can you experience nostalgia for something that hasn't happened? We talk of 'regrets' about the course of our lives, when we are almost certain we have made the wrong decision; but one can also be enveloped in a sweet and myster
...more
Lyuda
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Uplifting and charming story of two lonely souls finding each other through the mystery of a stolen bag in Paris. It echoes both Amélie and While You Were Sleeping . Part of its charm comes from the city of Paris itself - it is so wonderfully described and makes me want to hop on a plane and go visit it again.
Çimen
Sep 08, 2015 rated it liked it
An abandoned woman’s handbag finds its way to the hands of a Parisian bookseller, Laurent, who after an unfruitful attempt to leave it at a police station decides to take it with him for the time being. Later at home, he takes up examining the contents of the bag so as to find a clue about its owner and finds himself-unintentionally at first, irrevocably later- spiraling through the life of the bag’s mysterious owner.

I must admit that if you haven’t really liked Laurent up to this point, his fu
...more
Joanna
May 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Hey Book Peeps

I came across this book from a Booktuber who mentioned it and because of the premise (guy finds girl's handbag, tries to find her and while doing so reads her red notebook and starts to fall for her) I decided to give it a try. This is my first adult fiction book of the year and it is closer to a 2.5 star rating for the actual story. It got an additional 0.5 star more because of the great performance by the narrator.

I listened to this via audiobook and I started it once earlier thi
...more
Lindsay
May 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'd seen quite a lot of positive feedback for this book on social media over the past six weeks so when I was given a WH Smith voucher for Easter from my daughter this is the book I chose. There's been lots of tweets with #therednotebook and #inmyhandbag hashtags to promote the book so I was really looking forward to reading it.

At only 159 pages this is a book that needed to and does get straight into the action; no mincing about, the story starts with the theft of the bag and how Laurent finds
...more
Mo
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Recommended
 photo aa5fe18e-dada-4244-8303-ae71a2c840ff_zps626ce42a.jpg

UPDATE: My favorite book read in 2016

I was captivated from the very first page of this slim little novel. I think I’ll be hard pressed to read anything this year that I will enjoy more than this one. (UPDATE: I was right!)

I LOVED this author’s manner of turning a phrase. Here are some of my favorites:

‘Watching someone sleep is like reading a letter that’s not addressed to you.’

‘They had kept their relationship going like two poker players who continue late into the night, shuffling their
...more
Becky
I read this in one sitting!! I LOVED this sweet little book.

A stolen purse leads to a man finding the abandoned purse & then trying to locate the person it belongs to, with no identification.

It was a lovely story & for such a slim book it sure told a very full story....just a total delight!!!
...more
Jayme
Jun 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
More of a novella, (96 pages on the IPAD) which will make you think of words like whimsical and fanciful! :-)
Antonomasia
Recommended by : being top of the non-spammy-looking votes here: https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/8...

Like another novella I read recently, Reader for Hire, this is one of those upbeat, slightly twee French film comedies in book form. Only The Red Notebook is more so, because a) it's a romcom b) it reads like it was created with film options in mind (successfully so).

I really like this post about the process of rating a fluffy book that was enjoyable and right at the time, though not as, uh,
...more
John
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's not often that I agree with anything the Daily Torygraph says, but the quote from that newspaper's review on the front cover of The Red Notebook more or less says it all: "A gem."[*] I couldn't help thinking, as I read this short novel, that this is what I'd hoped Nina George's The Little Paris Bookshop would be like.

Late one night in Paris, craft gilder Laure Valadier is mugged as she returns to her apartment, and her chic handbag (purse) is stolen. The next day divorced local booksell
...more
Erin
Apr 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-borrowed
I feel the need to state up front that when it comes to romance driven books or cinematic "rom-coms", I'm a bit of a cynic complete with eye-rolls and emitting gagging sounds.. But this darling little bit of a book (exactly 159 pages), whispered "give me a chance" and so I did.

Once I began reading,I felt myself transported to this Parisian love story where by a strange series of events, two strangers become something more. I credit it to Antoine Laurain because he made me fall hook, line, and si
...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Bookseller Laurent finds a purse abandoned in the streets of Paris, and he looks inside to try to find information in order to return it to its owner. Inside is a red notebook, and, almost against his will, he begins to read it. Can a person fall in love with a person one has never met simply by reading the person's secret thoughts?

The Red Notebook is a fun romp of a book, with action, adventure, mystery, romance, and, of course, Paris.
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Antoine Laurain was born in Paris and is a journalist, antiques collector and the author of five novels. The President’s Hat, a charming fable set in the Mitterrand years, was awarded the Prix Landerneau Découvertes and the Prix Relay in 2012 and is published in English by Gallic. It was a Waterstones Book Club book and ABA Indies Introduce pick in 2013. Antoine was chosen to represent France at E ...more

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