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The Red Notebook

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3.88  ·  Rating details ·  12,076 ratings  ·  2,038 reviews
Bookseller Laurent Letellier comes across an abandoned handbag on a Parisian street and feels impelled to return it to its owner. The bag contains no money, phone or contact information. But a small red notebook with handwritten thoughts and jottings reveals a person that Laurent would very much like to meet. Without even a name to go on, and only a few of her possessions
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Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published March 2nd 2015 by Gallic Books (first published March 5th 2014)
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3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,076 ratings  ·  2,038 reviews


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Cathrine ☯️
Apr 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 insid
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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
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Raven
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Jennifer
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
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abby
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,
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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
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Myrna
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
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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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
Jaya
A soujourn in Paris on an otherwise mundane Sunday. That was predictable but nevetheless, a whimsical palate cleanser.
Jane
Jun 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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;
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Veronique
Apr 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stars-4-0, french, 2016, 2019
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
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Collin
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Claire McAlpine
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
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Jess (Primrose)
Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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Lyuda
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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Joanna (joreadsalot)
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
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Lindsay
May 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Mo
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 card
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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!!!
John
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 bookseller
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Erin
Apr 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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.
notgettingenough
Awful. Trivial tripe terribly written. What possessed me to buy a book about a handbag?

Just be be clear about it, that is zero stars for the first 40 pages, consequently abandoned.

And one reflects (again) on the state of French 'literature' that this author is highly regarded in that country as a writer of the same.

Karen
Jun 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ellie M
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, fiction, netgalley
Heading off on my holidays to France soon so I decided to read something set in France to get me into the right frame of mind. Basic premise - a woman is mugged outside her apartment and a stranger finds her bag and sets off on a trail to reunite her.

Have to say I was a little hesitant about reading this book. I've seen it described as romantic and cutesy and they aren't really themes I go for. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised and I will be reading the author's other works in the near fu
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N.N. Light
Have you ever read a book so beautifully written, so poignant, it touched your soul? The Red Notebook is such a book for me. I heard amazing things about this book a few years ago and bought it. It's been sitting on my shelf for years and last week I had the chance to read it.

In Paris, a man discovers an abandoned bag on the street. No name is attached but inside is a red notebook. Curiosity gets the better of him and what he discovers only fans the flames. He's got to meet this woman but how? H
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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
“If there was one thing that defined adolescence it was hysterical laughter. You never laughed like that again. In adolescence the brutal realisation that the world and life were completely absurd made you laugh until you couldn’t catch your breath, whereas in later life it would only result in a weary sigh.” 34 likes
“How many things do we feel obliged to do for the sake of it, or for appearances, or because we are trained to do them, but which weigh us down and don’t in fact achieve anything?” 29 likes
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