Friday, April 17, 2009

Review: 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff


book 1 of 5 for the Classics Challenge 09
genre: non-fiction, letters
rating: 5/5

Helene Hanff lives in New York City and is an avid book lover. She much prefers second hand copies (oh so like me) and would rather write to a used book shop in London and order books than walk herself 15 blocks to a local one.

This book is their correspondence. Helene is a smart-alecky writer, humorous and persnickety. I was amazed by her book lust and the titles she was out to find. I often had to read parts of her letters outloud to anyone that would listen, I thought they were so witty. The time period is just post World War 2, so from the reply letters you get an interesting, if brief, look at the lives of normal people during a time of reconstruction.

The back of my copy has a review that claims this book is a "treasure." I couldn't pick a better word. It's a must-read for booklovers.

10 comments:

bermudaonion said...

This book sounds so wonderful. It's on my wish list now. Thanks for the review.

Anna said...

Sounds like a must-read for me. Thanks for the recommendation.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Laura said...

Well if this is a "must-read for booklovers" than I need to see if I can find it! Great review!

Melissa said...

Oh, yay! SO glad you liked it. If you get a chance, watch the movie. It's just as sweet.

Michelle said...

Sounds like a fabulous book! Thanks for the review! Good luck with the Classics Challenge. I am also a participant~!

Lula O said...

I think I'd really like this one. Thanks for the review!

Beth F said...

I love this book!!! Great review.

Circe said...

This book is outstanding, and so clever and dear. A treasure, yes indeed.

I, too, adored the film. Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins; how can you go wrong?

Similarly, in the theme of real life chronicles, I just came across a mini msn article within one on women's friendships, and now am intrigued to read book that inspired it: The Read Leather Diary, by Lily Koppel.

(my word confirmation is: nestraft! how funny...)

Carl V. said...

I need to read this AND watch the film, which I own a copy of. I cannot believe I haven't done either!

Anonymous said...

Check ou the real Marks & Co at
http://www.84charingcrossroad.co.uk

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