Diane Barnes's Reviews > The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
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really liked it
Read 2 times. Last read March 28, 2016 to March 31, 2016.

There was a TV series in the early 1990's called "Northern Exposure", set in Cicely, Alaska, a small town so off the grid it almost didn't exist. The town was populated by oddballs and eccentrics who used the local bar as a gathering place. Long before Tivo and Netflix entered the picture, I tuned in each week to be a part of their crazy, funny world.

This book is set in Broken Wheel, Iowa, another little town off the grid, populated with oddballs and eccentrics with no place else to go. Along comes a Swedish tourist who wants to visit her penpal friend Amy, only to find she's just in time for her funeral. Sara is a young woman who has lived her life in books, and leaving Sweden is the most daring thing she's ever done. She moves into Amy's house, uses her thousands of books to open a bookshop, and gets involved in the lives of the townspeople, none of whom read. Chaos ensues.

Of course anyone who loves books will love this one: Sara's attempts to get the perfect book in the hands of people who need them are touching and familiar, and their acceptance of her and their attempts to get her nose out of a book and into their lives are funny and real. I entered the pages of this book just like I waited patiently for "Northern Exposure" 25 years ago, I couldn't wait to get back into the world of Broken Wheel and the people I grew to love.

This one was comfort food for the soul.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading (Hardcover Edition)
April 23, 2015 – Shelved (Hardcover Edition)
April 23, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read (Hardcover Edition)
March 28, 2016 – Started Reading
March 28, 2016 – Shelved
March 31, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-19 of 19 (19 new)

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Shelby *trains flying monkeys* I've been scared to start this one because several people haven't liked it. You just made me excited. I LOVED Northern Exposure.


Diane Barnes I saw those reviews too, but I figured I'd give it a try since I love books about books. I got so caught up in this town and the people, I can't see why some people thought it was trite and predictable. I loved every word.


message 3: by Diane S ☔ (new) - added it

Diane S ☔ Awesome, review. Will try this one soon, need some comfort food.


message 4: by Dale (new) - added it

Dale Harcombe Talking about Northern Exposure made me think I might like this too. Thanks for the review Diane.


message 5: by Camie (new) - added it

Camie Lol, yes Northern Exposure was great !! I've been hearing about this book and now I must add. Thanks Diane !!


message 6: by Caroline (new) - added it

Caroline Northern Exposure was my mom's favorite tv show! I'm going to have to get this one for her!


Pamela Your thoughts on this book excites me. I remember Northern Exposure and enjoyed the quirkiness of it. I was hesitant to read this one, buy not now. Thanks, Diane. :-)


message 8: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Kaso My kids bought me the entire series because I loved it so much.


Diane Barnes Does anyone know a TV producer? We could get a petition going to have this book turned into a series. Maybe Netflix could do an original production.


message 10: by Jeannie (new) - added it

Jeannie I loved Northern Exposure too.


message 11: by Jeanette (last edited Oct 02, 2017 08:19PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jeanette I loved Northern Exposure too. The small town in MI that I go to constantly has the same vibe. If I told you about all the characters in the McDonalds every day from 9 to 11 am, most people would not believe it.


Scorkpr Allen I finished this book about a month ago, and a Northern Exposure comparison hadn't occurred to me. You're right; this book is a collection of quirky, off beat characters that the reader becomes slowly attached to. It's not a remarkable book beyond the quirky characters, literary references, and an homage to the art of letter writing in an age of instant communication. All of those elements make this easy and fun to read.


Tina I loved Northern Exposure! I had really long hair and cut it all off to have the character Maggie's haircut. I'm adding this to my list based on your review.


Elizabeth Awesome comparison to NE! Loved that show and my husband and I rewatch the entire series each winter! :)


Diane Barnes That's funny, Tina. I thought Maggie was such a beautiful woman, but never had the courage to cut my hair that short. I should rewatch old episodes too, I'll have to see if it's on Netflix.


Jeanette Northern Exposure! That's it! I'm listening to the audio version and I've been trying to figure out what Broken Wheel reminds me of! I, too, loved Northern Exposure. Perfect analogy!


Diane I too love Northern Exposure! Chris in the morning is so sexy! There were a ton of literacy references in that series too!


message 18: by Connie (new)

Connie Kalupa Diamond I made the same connection.


Kathleen Me too! The Northern Exposure reference had me sold! I'm starting this one today. Thanks Diane.


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