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The Binder of Lost Stories
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The Binder of Lost Stories

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  1,388 ratings  ·  152 reviews
From international bestselling author Cristina Caboni comes an exquisite and engrossing novel of two women, centuries apart, bound by a love of books and a longing for self-discovery.

With her delicate touch, Sofia Bauer restores books to their original splendor. In this art she finds refuge from her crumbling marriage and the feeling that her once-vibrant life is slipping
Kindle Edition, 266 pages
Published January 21st 2020 by Amazon Crossing (first published October 12th 2017)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  1,388 ratings  ·  152 reviews

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I've seen some other reviewers calling this book sweet, and it really is. It is a story of adventure, love, and history, showing us how stories and lives from centuries past still have the power to inspire change in our lives.

After the discovery of a mysterious letter in an original edition of a philosopher's text from the 1800s, Sofia sets off on a journey to figure out who the writer is, and what her story was. Along the way, she finds bravery, courage and love within herself, and learns how
This is a book that I'd wrap my arms around and snuggle if I could. It is one of those books that booklovers will count among their favorites - at least I will. It is the story of two women in two different time periods - Sofia and Clarice. Sofia was trained as a bookbinder and encounters a worn and torn old book at a bookstore in Rome that intrigues her. She asked the owner if she can take it home and rebind it. Of course, the owner agrees. And that is the beginning of a wonderful journey in th ...more
Diane Standish
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Net Galley for the chance to read and review this book.
As a lover of books, touching them, smelling them, enjoying the artwork and design of covers, this book intrigued me. The story is set in Rome in the present time, but also flashes back to early 1800s Munich. Sofia has to find herself again, and when visiting a favorite bookstore she's given an old book that needs restoration. In the end page she discovers a note from Clarice, written in the 1800s. So begins a journey of discovery
Chris Conley
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another fascinating look at a world apart from the one I know. Sofia is a wonderful character.
Amy Boughton
Aug 13, 2020 rated it did not like it
I did not like this at all. The Clarice timeline was ok, but I hated Sofia with a passion. The modern story was improbable and the writing was clunky. Maybe I missed something in the translation, but the best thing about this book is that I’ve finished it.
Linda McCutcheon
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First can we acknowledge how perfect a title this is for an historical fiction book. I fell in love with this book before I ever read a word. The author does not disappoint her readers with this exquisite tale of two women living 200 years apart but sharing a love of books so strong that it dictates the main choices in their lives.

Sofia Bauer is at a crosswords in her life and her marriage when she comes across an original copy of the first book in a series of three by a famous author in the 180
What a treat!
I just knew when I started this that it was going to be a special book.
I loved it.
It was right up my alley.

Sofia is feeling lost. She knows she needs to leave her husband. She tried to be everything that he wanted and she lost herself in the process. She has to be honest with herself that she’s lost everything she cared about in life.

One day she wanders into a book store by her grandparents’ home. The owner gives her a book written by one of her favorite authors. It’s in terrible c
Ellie at BookBucket
What a lovely story.

Sofia's life changes when she decides to leave her controlling husband at the same time as an old book by an author she admires comes into her hands. She discovers handwritten notes in the margins of the book and a letter hidden in the binding. This sets her on a quest to find out more about the author of the notes and letter, with the assistance of Tomaso - a graphologist struggling with the consequences of a family betrayal.

The story is told in dual timelines through Sofia
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a romantic story ! Expect the Italian charm to work at full speed ! The eventful lives of two heroines got intermingled by ... books. It is the principle of looking at something in the mirror itself reflecting in the other mirror in your back. Rest assure, the story is very easy to follow, and the characters to appreciate and remember.
I am quite certain that, at any point in this package of an original great story wrapped in the amazing descriptions of natural landscapes and life stories,
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a book for those who love books!
Characters: relatable and have a depth that I feel is not often captured within a single book. During the course of the novel Sophia strives to overcome her fears, re-learn who she is, find her own voice, start a new life, and open herself to love. Tomaso learns to let go of responsibilities that aren't his and open his life to Sophia.
Plot: intriguing and relatively fast moving. Amidst lifechanging events in each of their own lives, the characters travel
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

When I started reading the Binder of Lost Stories, I was not sure what to expect, as the plot alternates between the past and the present, with a woman wronged in each storyline. Sofia Bauer was feeling disconnected to her life, discontent with the direction it was going. She had married young and made her husband her sole priority, forsaking friends and work to be available to him. With the realization that he lost herself and wanted more out of life, Sophia comes across an original book by an
Jun 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to get to and complete this book. I think I finally finished it because I was listening to it while on a shopping trip and had to see it through. That does not mean it is a bad book. I was just not in the right headspace for something like this

This is the story of a woman who is seeing her life with fresh eyes and is not happy with the result of her self evaluation. Her change is fuelled by the discovery of a hidden letter of a helpless woman centuries ago. The tone and conten
Morgan Smith
I love the play on words in the title. The physical binding of book as well as lives and history. It was also really interesting to learn more about bookbinding and graphology. I loved the setting of Rome. The sensory details were all there. The author's writing was good overall too.

Now for the story itself though, it's a mixed bag for me. Everything just fell into place to well without much effort from the protagonist in modern-day. I understand how it was all meant to be, but it just seemed a
Jenna Bachman
Really decent read with a really interesting premise.

I really appreciated both women's stories and the fact they they were able to (view spoiler) However, as is the case with most novels that flit between the past and the present, I was more captivated by the historical story.

For me, the present-day timeline was just a little too coincidental (though to the author's credit, she does explain that). I think it's just that (view sp
Valerie Miller
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Beautiful Story

This is such a beautifully written story, with elegant prose and a verse of poetry that was an appropriate lead in to each chapter. The switch back and forth in time was seem less and easily followed. The story perfectly unfolded in both past and present, with a well timed buildup of mystery and intrigue, as the two main characters try to solve the puzzle hinted at in letters found in the bindings of antique books of renowned early 19th century author. The connection the female ma
Donna Frasor
Oct 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
A story of 2 women, Sofia & Clarice, in 2 different time periods, present day in Rome and the early 1800’s in Munich. Although living 200 years apart, their love of books dictates their lives’ choices. It’s a romantic story of 2 strong women who are trying to find themselves. Sofia overcomes her fears, relearns who she is, and starts a new life. Clarice, an orphan, survives marital abuse and works to become an independent book binder. Their lives intersect as Claire left notes in books, which So ...more
Kathleen Gray
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
A lovely dual time line story about two women finding themselves. Sofia finally leaves her husband and as she's casting about for her next steps, she finds a letter tucked away in a book. Clarice, the author of the letter, was a bookbinder in the 19th century who poured out her heart in a series of missives which she tucked away in books. Tomaso, a graphologist with his own issues, helps Sofia figure out who Clarice was. You'll learn a bit about bookbinding as well as about how women were viewed ...more
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. I fell in love with this story. It is a love story not just between two people but also a love of history and books. There is also a mystery that starts with a letter found in a hidden slot in an old book. I found a lot to like about this book, the cover, the writing, the setting, the two time lines, the search for the missing books, etc. Clarice and Sofia are both strong women two hundred years apart who both share the same struggles and their determination to find themselves despite ...more
Mrs. A.A. Williams
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Two women search for independence

Sophia is a trained book binder in an unhappy marriage. She is given an antique manuscript to re-cover. It leads her on an adventure to discover more about a book binder called Clarice who had lived two centuries before her. This is a beautiful story about women seeking to live their own lives and careers in worlds dominated by men. Intriguing, sensitive and poetic Caboni has captured the atmosphere of both worlds. Love, Mystery and books what more could you desi
This was an interesting read. A contemporary story of a young woman who repairs books, and finds an incredible discovery inside the cover of a very old book. Sofia has just left her husband when the story opens, and is feeling rather lost. When she discovers a letter from a woman centuries in her past, it sets her on a journey of discovery. The setting is Italy, and Sofia becomes involved with another man, Tomaso, so, the plot becomes a bit predictable. Nothing earth-shattering about the charact ...more
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-2020
Sofia is a woman who gave up everything she loves to become the perfect wife for her controlling husband. But a chance visit to a favorite bookshop has her offering to restore an antique book by her favorite author. While restoring the book she finds a letter hidden in a secret pocket inside the cover. The letter contains part of the story of heiress Clarice von Harmel, a story that Sofia longs to continue. She hires Tomaso Leoni to help her find the remaining books by this elusive book binder, ...more
Thank you to the publisher and #NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. A wonderfully romantic story examining both the relationships we have with people and books, Caboni offers a twisting plot combining history and mystery. I appreciated all of the locations that were visited in both current and historic times, as they provided this reader with a unique lens into the heritage and importance of the written word - conceptually and physically.
Annette V hees
I liked it. But not blown away. Somehow I think I missed some more background if Sofia. What happened to her marriage? Why did she marry him. There is a short passage but that does not really explain her desparation. Tomaso seems too good to be true but is often quite unreasonable. It shows me how 2 people who really are fond of each other sometimes really live on another planet with their communication . The historical story is beautful and sweet but too ...Unrealistic me.
Veronica Knudson
The book is set in Rome and was translated from Italian, so some of the language was a bit "tight", but a good story. The story moves between 2 women, a hundred years apart who are both book binders. The first, a forbidden trade for women. Modern day Sofia finds a letter from Clarice in the binding in a book and the journey begins. It's a fun book, even with some of the interpretive tightness. ...more
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such an Adventure!

She did an excellent job of taking you back into a historical era. Reminding us of the struggles women had before women's rights!
I enjoyed the adventures of both women. How she went back and forth then ties it all together at the end.
Excellent!! Looking forward to reading more of Cristina Caboni
Mark Davis
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic story!

My guess is that in the original Italian this novel would have had a bit more poetry to it. I found myself racing to see what would happen next as the prose wasn’t really capturing me. But that is a small point; the stories were incredible and they built beautifully as the book progressed. A great read!
Apr 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Carboni's The Binder of Lost Stories is a heartwarming novel, but everything works out a little too perfectly. I thought it had some "easy-win, crowd-pleasing" aspects to it, being a book where finding love and magic through books is a big element. I enjoyed Carboni's story telling but overall it didn't deliver much novelty or uniqueness to me. ...more
Angie Jones
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great story

I really enjoyed this story and the elegant style of writing (and translation - simply excellent). I happily recommend this book and hope that more of Cristina Gaboni's books are made available in English. I would love it if they were translated by Patricia Hampton although looking at Gaboni's back catalogue that would keep her very busy.
Jay Lewis
May 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Premise is different from the usual

The story of the search for antique books with hidden messages was an interesting premise, but the story lost its direction and became just another romance novel. It was very disappointing when the "search" was as easy as going to the archives and an auction.
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An enthralling story

A wonderful novel that entwines the lives of two remarkable women who, in their separate lives knew fear, sublimation of self, passion, inspiration, courage and the redemption of love. Well-written with finely drawn characters, an intriguing concept that was both absorbing and believable.
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Cristina Caboni lives in the province of Cagliari with her husband and their three children. In addition to devoting herself full time to writing, Cristina also works for the family beekeeping business, dealing with the care of queen bees, and also enjoys cultivating a variety of roses. The world of perfumes and natural essences has been a passion of Cristina's for a long time. Her debut novel, Th ...more

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