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84, Charing Cross Road
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July 2016: Biography Memoir > 84, Charing Cross Road / Helene Hanff - 5*****

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Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6405 comments 84 Charing Cross Road – Helene Hanff
5*****

In October 1949 Helene Hanff, a single woman living and working in her small New York apartment, responded to an ad placed in the Saturday Review of Literature by Marks & Co, a bookshop in London that specialized in used books. Thus began a two-decade long correspondence and friendship between the reserved bookseller and the irrepressible Miss Hanff.

What a delight it is to be allowed to watch this growing relationship, fueled by a shared love of books, and an ability to laugh at oneself and one’s follies. I laughed aloud in places. I shared her outrage at books being torn apart to use as wrapping, and then agreed with Frank Doel’s explanation on the practicality of this practice. I marveled at their generosity – not just in the gifts they gave one another, but more importantly, their generosity of spirit, how they gave so freely of their thoughts, gratitude, wishes, grievances, and forgiveness.

I saw the movie, starring Anne Bancroft, many years ago. As I read the letters, I could not help but picture Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins as Helene and Frank. I’m so happy that Hanff decided to publish it, and that Doel’s family gave their wholehearted permission and encouragement to her to do so.

As with most books I read these days, I got this from the library, but I’m going to go out and buy a copy for myself. It’s the kind of book I’ll read over and over just for the sheer joy of it.


Anita Pomerantz | 6749 comments Can't wait to get to this . . .hopefully this month although my current book is long so not sure if it will happen.


Sara (mootastic1) | 770 comments Two hours tops Anita. You can do it!


Anita Pomerantz | 6749 comments Sara wrote: "Two hours tops Anita. You can do it!"

I appreciate the encouragement!


KateNZ | 2671 comments Anita wrote: "Can't wait to get to this . . .hopefully this month although my current book is long so not sure if it will happen."

I got the audiobook, Anita - it was gorgeous! Just over 2 hours of glorious amusement.


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6405 comments Anita wrote: "Can't wait to get to this . . .hopefully this month although my current book is long so not sure if it will happen."

Put the big book aside for a couple of hours and read this one!


message 7: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy | 9372 comments I'm starting this as soon as I finish The Nest! Can't wait. Am thankful to PBT to exposing me to other things I wouldn't have picked up.


Barbara M (barbara-m) | 2300 comments Amy wrote: "I'm starting this as soon as I finish The Nest! Can't wait. Am thankful to PBT to exposing me to other things I wouldn't have picked up."

That's what I love about PBT, the opportunity to read what I wouldn't normally pick up! I'm a big fiction reader so this tag is outside my wheelhouse and I'm loving it. I'm totally absorbed in the audio of Desert Queen. Also, you can add me to the huge fans of Charing Cross!


Sara (mootastic1) | 770 comments I recommended this book to a friend who ordered it off amazon. She received and read it yesterday and then declared it to be the best book ever. She is not prone to over-statements and exaggeration, so this is obviously high praise indeed. I am thrilled this tag pushed me and so many others to read this book this month.


message 10: by Denizen (new)

Denizen (den13) | 1138 comments Kate wrote: "Anita wrote: "Can't wait to get to this . . .hopefully this month although my current book is long so not sure if it will happen."

I got the audiobook, Anita - it was gorgeous! Just over 2 hours o..."


2 hr audio book does sound tempting,


message 11: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy | 9372 comments 4 stars! I almost gave it 5. As everyone promised, it was simply charming! How pleased I am that PBT has given me the opportunity to discover hidden jewels like this, that I never would have known to engage in. Loved it. A Beautiful read makes a Beautiful Day!.


Barbara M (barbara-m) | 2300 comments You all make me wish I could read it again for the very first time! I loved it.


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