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A heartwarming debut novel about a daydreamer who gives her town, and herself, an amazing gift: a lending library in her sunroom. When the Chatsworth library closes indefinitely, Dodie Fairisle loses her sanctuary. How is a small-town art teacher supposed to cope without the never-ending life advice and enjoyment that books give her? Well, when she’s as resourceful and A heartwarming debut novel about a daydreamer who gives her town, and herself, an amazing gift: a lending library in her sunroom. When the Chatsworth library closes indefinitely, Dodie Fairisle loses her sanctuary. How is a small-town art teacher supposed to cope without the never-ending life advice and enjoyment that books give her? Well, when she’s as resourceful and generous as Dodie, she turns her sunroom into her very own little lending library.At first just a hobby, this lit lovers’ haven opens up her world in incredible ways. She knows books are powerful, and soon enough they help her forge friendships between her zany neighbors—and attract an exciting new romance.But when the chance to adopt an orphaned child brings Dodie’s secret dream of motherhood within reach, everything else suddenly seems less important. Finding herself at a crossroads, Dodie must figure out what it means to live a full, happy life. If only there were a book that could tell her what to do…


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A heartwarming debut novel about a daydreamer who gives her town, and herself, an amazing gift: a lending library in her sunroom. When the Chatsworth library closes indefinitely, Dodie Fairisle loses her sanctuary. How is a small-town art teacher supposed to cope without the never-ending life advice and enjoyment that books give her? Well, when she’s as resourceful and A heartwarming debut novel about a daydreamer who gives her town, and herself, an amazing gift: a lending library in her sunroom. When the Chatsworth library closes indefinitely, Dodie Fairisle loses her sanctuary. How is a small-town art teacher supposed to cope without the never-ending life advice and enjoyment that books give her? Well, when she’s as resourceful and generous as Dodie, she turns her sunroom into her very own little lending library.At first just a hobby, this lit lovers’ haven opens up her world in incredible ways. She knows books are powerful, and soon enough they help her forge friendships between her zany neighbors—and attract an exciting new romance.But when the chance to adopt an orphaned child brings Dodie’s secret dream of motherhood within reach, everything else suddenly seems less important. Finding herself at a crossroads, Dodie must figure out what it means to live a full, happy life. If only there were a book that could tell her what to do…

30 review for The Lending Library

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    This is a contemporary/chick lit. I choose this book for my Amazon First Reads kindle edition book for the month of June. I am excited to pick this book up. This book is all about a woman trying to do everything by herself. She also finds out that very soon she may not be able to have kids. Her sister also cannot have kids, so she was adopting. I had troubling getting pregnant, but after 5 years of trying I was blessed to get pregnant. I did think about adopting, but it costs so much. I love rea This is a contemporary/chick lit. I choose this book for my Amazon First Reads kindle edition book for the month of June. I am excited to pick this book up. This book is all about a woman trying to do everything by herself. She also finds out that very soon she may not be able to have kids. Her sister also cannot have kids, so she was adopting. I had troubling getting pregnant, but after 5 years of trying I was blessed to get pregnant. I did think about adopting, but it costs so much. I love reading books that covers not being to get pregnant and adopting because I do not think enough books do. I did really enjoy this book, but if I could not put myself in Dodie shoes I do not know if I would love it as much. I do think this is a slow moving story. This review is 100% my own opinion of this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    JLR

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book is awful. And I mean absolutely awful. I was looking for something a little light to read and I love books so this book’s description sounded fun...it was not. It’s literally a privileged white woman’s fantasy of how life goes and how things should turn out - I knew that one chapter in and then it was confirmed in thr About the Author at the end of the book. This was like reading a novel written by Charlotte in Sex in the City and edited by Martha Stewart. A few terrible highlights: 1) T This book is awful. And I mean absolutely awful. I was looking for something a little light to read and I love books so this book’s description sounded fun...it was not. It’s literally a privileged white woman’s fantasy of how life goes and how things should turn out - I knew that one chapter in and then it was confirmed in thr About the Author at the end of the book. This was like reading a novel written by Charlotte in Sex in the City and edited by Martha Stewart. A few terrible highlights: 1) The main character - Dodie - is a pathological, neurotic narcissist headcase who oscillates wildly between selfishness, fantasy and inflated sense of self-importance. And not in an interesting way - she’s the stereotypical New England snobby white woman you see in every movie or TV show. There was nothing compelling or likable about her. Shep should’ve stayed in South America and far away from this awful woman. 2) THE ADOPTED BABY NAMED TERABITHIA. Honestly? No one said to the author “This is not only cringey and stupid, but the reader will get VERY sick of reading the word Terabithia over and over again”? I loved the book it references but this was such an awful choice. 3) The horrible main character has pretty much zero reaction to her BFF of several years dying unexpectedly - in 3 pages, she’s moved on and is scheming to adopt/steal the baby bc damn it *whines* DODIE WANTS A BABY! Ugh. Just garbage. GARBAGE. So upsetting bc the writing style wasn’t bad but the story was horrifyingly awful.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rosie Wedge

    2.5* This book was okay. I liked the premise, and thought the first half was great, but then all this relationship and baby drama kicked in, and the original premise kind of lost its way a bit. A lot of elements I loved at first, such as Elmira's plot line got dropped, and then just mentioned every 60 pages of so in a very vague sense. Great idea, I think the author just threw too much else in, so it lost it's way, and ending up quite boring in the second half.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    White saviorism: the book. (It's not as bad as The Help, but...you'll see.) This is a Kindle First book for June. Within pages I could tell it was going to a REALLY NOT GOOD place. The main character, Dodie, and all of her friends/family are white. The Black people, and other characters that are coded to be of color, are props in their story of being "good people." Dodie starts a library out of her house, because the children in her town can't afford books after the public library closes. This is White saviorism: the book. (It's not as bad as The Help, but...you'll see.) This is a Kindle First book for June. Within pages I could tell it was going to a REALLY NOT GOOD place. The main character, Dodie, and all of her friends/family are white. The Black people, and other characters that are coded to be of color, are props in their story of being "good people." Dodie starts a library out of her house, because the children in her town can't afford books after the public library closes. This is on it's face kind, but the children really are used to paint Dodie as their guardian book angel in a way that doesn't come off well. Not everyone's race is specified and some of the children are white. Dodie's friend, a white woman, adopts a baby from Ethiopia, having shown zero plans for how she will raise a Black child in America other than "I hope he's not bullied for having a white mother!" She nicknames her baby Boo. A Black child. Being called Boo. For no reason that's ever named. I will acknowledge some ignorance here. Is that a common nickname? Or is this a white woman (the author, mainly) calling a Black child a name from To Kill a Mockingbird, an original white savior book? [EDIT: I had a paragraph about Dodie's sister and her husband here. I missed the fact that, while Dodie's sister is white, her husband is Black. I am very sorry. Critique of their white privilege has been removed, as only one of them has it.] The tone of the book is trying to be sweet. None of it is snarky or bad intentioned, but good intentions don't save unconscious bias. Please, please don't read this book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Edge

    I thought about giving up on this book quite early on, I wish I had. Do, as in dough, not do, is a selfish, judgemental, baby obsessed mess that is really good at naming books she once read. All of her relationships (with anyone) are just terrible. Just save your time and give this one a miss.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Whistlers Mom

    "The Perpetual Teen with Ageing Ovaries." A Grimm Sisters' fairy tale. People hired to write book blurbs today must have all dreamed of becoming doctors. Every Kindle First selection this month is "Heart-warming" or "heart-stopping." "Spine-chilling" or "gut-wrenching." Covid is raging, the unemployment rate is soaring, and there's rioting in the streets. My spine is sufficiently chilled and my guts are already wrenched and I'm afraid to take my blood pressure. In the absence of a non-fiction sel "The Perpetual Teen with Ageing Ovaries." A Grimm Sisters' fairy tale. People hired to write book blurbs today must have all dreamed of becoming doctors. Every Kindle First selection this month is "Heart-warming" or "heart-stopping." "Spine-chilling" or "gut-wrenching." Covid is raging, the unemployment rate is soaring, and there's rioting in the streets. My spine is sufficiently chilled and my guts are already wrenched and I'm afraid to take my blood pressure. In the absence of a non-fiction selection, I picked this book, the "heart-warming" one. It's billed as a "Book Club Novel." I'd be tempted to call it a "romance" novel, but my friends who read romance novels tell me that new ones now are mostly soft-core porn and this book isn't raunchy. No graphic sex and the language is so clean it was almost a relief when the narrator got irritated enough to say, "Screw both of you!:" There was nothing in it that raised a blush on the cheeks of this elderly spinster, although there was plenty that left me scratching my head, starting with the fact that it's a Kindle book written by an author who seems never to have heard of e-books. In this story, it's hard-back or paper-back. OK, it's set in 2008, but plenty of us had switched to e-books by then. The narrator is 32-year-old Dodie, the middle of three sisters. After several years of trying to support herself as a free-lance artist in New York City, she retreats to the idyllic small town of Chatsworth, Connecticut, where she's now a primary school art teacher. She's had her heart broken by a sophisticated New York businessman who urged her to have a showing of her paintings, then shrugged when the critics trashed them. She needs a man who'll support her dreams. A man who's both strong and sensitive; protective and vulnerable; manly and malleable. Good luck, honey. It's the old, old story of a young woman who wants to get married and have children, but can't seem to find the perfect mate. What's she doing wrong? In my day, a girl batted her eyelashes and acted helpless. Since men were expected to be married by twenty-five or so, it generally got her a husband. Then she spent the next four or five decades putting up with him. It wasn't a perfect system or it wouldn't have been dismantled in only a few generations. But what's replaced it? I'm puzzled by Dodie and her friends. Do women in their thirties use expressions like "super cool" and "whatevs"? They blush and giggle like middle-schoolers and plot together to meet cute guys, but they also consult doctors about their fertility. How long can Dodie wait to have a child? Should she adopt, like her friend? Where does her new man fit it? Can she mold him into the mate she wants or does he (gasp!) have his own ideas about what he wants? Dodie is a modern "superwoman." She wants to be a great teacher and a potent force in her students' lives. She wants an active social life and an impressive home and gourmet food on the table and a hot man and a baby and to run the lending library she's started in her own home when the local library is closed indefinitely. This would be a full plate (physically and financially) for about THREE women, but Dodie is puzzled that she can't manage it all effortlessly. Modern Americans have almost unlimited choices. Many are so dazzled by all the possibilities they have difficulty making any choices at all. I got mental whiplash reading this book. The language is so clean and some of the themes so old-fashioned, it was like reading a novel set in the 1950's, but many of Dodie's friends are gay and there's an interracial couple and a single woman is adopting an African child and everybody is just so THRILLED about all of it. OK, NOT the 1950's, but not very believable for 2008, either. Chatsworth is a fairy-tale town with quaint houses and shady lanes and the only worm in the apple is a boring fellow-teacher who likes math instead of books and art. Bad boy! The inhabitants all have favorite teas from that FABULOUS little shop in Paris and even the construction workers have model-worthy hair and use hand-made soaps. How could our heroine be unhappy amidst so much trendiness? It's because the sisters' biological father deserted the family. He was replaced early on by a loving step-father and their childhood was a comfortable one, but still they feel rejected and worthless. All three of them. Realistic? Probably not any more unrealistic than Dodie moving to Chatsworth and finding a great job and buying a great house and being welcomed with open arms by all the inhabitants. Due to high taxes, house prices in Connecticut are appalling. Those quaint houses in lovely small towns in Connecticut usually sell to people who've made Big Money in New York and are looking for a civilized place to spend it. Would a young, single teacher be able to afford an architectural gem of a house? Even one who doesn't have Dodie's insanely expensive tastes in food, entertainment, etc? I was disappointed in this book. I love to read and used to haunt libraries, but even the story of Dodie starting the ambitious lending library and it being such a HUGE success and everyone LOVING her for doing it doesn't ring true. If the people of Chatsworth love libraries so much, why can't they help with the costs of running Dodie's? And do construction workers really swing much weight with investors who have enough money to build malls? She's not a bad person, but I found her silly and immature. She's simultaneously kind-hearted and generous and blindly self-centered. OK. Young people today don't mature as early as they used to. Given how long they'll live, maybe they can afford an extended adolescence, but marriage and the responsibilities of parenthood should only be attempted by ADULTS. This is a book for young women who think like Dodie does. And for foodies, especially those who believe that EXPENSIVE junk food is OK. I was SO annoyed at all the talk about high-sugar foods. When the mother of a toddler politely points out that too much sugar makes her kid hyper and cranky, Dodie agrees guiltily. Then the NEXT words out of her mouth are, "Let's play a game! If you win, I'll buy you an ice cream cone!" This woman shouldn't be raising a gerbil until she gets some common sense and can control her sugar-fetish. The author's portrayal of older generations is totally off-base. Women who were young in 1960 didn't talk about having a "beau." I was young in the 1960's and 70's. Plenty of us passed on marriage or children or both. It's like the author thinks we skipped from "Happy Days" to 2008 with nothing in between. It's a light read and some of the characters were moderately interesting. Every young person in every generation must deal with the hard realities of life, but no writer should be this heavy-handed about making her points.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Gold

    Bibliophiles of all sorts are sure to fall in love with Dodie and everyone she befriends along her bookish journey. The Lending Library is a charming read full of heart, hope, and books.

  8. 5 out of 5

    MaximustheDextrous

    I have never understood the need to finish a book solely for the purpose of writing a bad Goodreads review until I read this book. I picked it up as a light vacation read from Amazon first reads and couldn't put it down, but for all the wrong reasons. Following a 30 something single woman leaving the city for her small town where she creates a lending library while teaching art to children and wishing for a child of her own? I should have loved everything about this book. But then I found myself I have never understood the need to finish a book solely for the purpose of writing a bad Goodreads review until I read this book. I picked it up as a light vacation read from Amazon first reads and couldn't put it down, but for all the wrong reasons. Following a 30 something single woman leaving the city for her small town where she creates a lending library while teaching art to children and wishing for a child of her own? I should have loved everything about this book. But then I found myself a hundred pages in following an extremely unlikable character name-dropping books and describing every meal she ate while making increasingly bad moves. I wanted to root for Dodie, I really did, but by the end I was just happy I could hold myself back from flinging my phone with the ebook on it into the campfire. I finished this book hoping the characters would be redeemed somehow, and aside for one of the cardboard side characters becoming slightly less of a cardboard characature of a math nerd, it just didn't happen. I guess one positive thing I'd say is that the author really seems to love books and love food, 2 things that I relate to strongly. I just would have loved for the descriptions of characters feelings and motivations to be as fleshed out as a tower of seafood she ate at a restaurant.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I admit — I did not finish this book. I wanted to like it. Who of us wouldn't want to read a book about libraries? Below are the reasons I didn't finish it: 1 - The writing was immature in my opinion. I felt like I was reading a children's or a very young adult book. 2 - The plot was too simplistic. It had no substance. 3 - I couldn't identify with even one of the characters. They were, to me, younger than their stage of life would seem. I think this author had a good idea, but it did not come to f I admit — I did not finish this book. I wanted to like it. Who of us wouldn't want to read a book about libraries? Below are the reasons I didn't finish it: 1 - The writing was immature in my opinion. I felt like I was reading a children's or a very young adult book. 2 - The plot was too simplistic. It had no substance. 3 - I couldn't identify with even one of the characters. They were, to me, younger than their stage of life would seem. I think this author had a good idea, but it did not come to fruition for me. Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read and provide an honest review of this book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    I RECEIVED THIS BOOK VIA NETGALLEY. THANK YOU. SO, in this #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo moment, why on *EARTH* pick up a privileged white lady's story of how Becoming A Mother and fulfilling the needs of her wacky New England neighbors for light reading and doing it all by herself dammit!!? Because it was deeply silly and mostly fun and, while *extremely* not in step with the moment, I needed it right now. No, I don't have a lot of patience for Motherhood Completed Me stories. (view spoiler)[And s I RECEIVED THIS BOOK VIA NETGALLEY. THANK YOU. SO, in this #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo moment, why on *EARTH* pick up a privileged white lady's story of how Becoming A Mother and fulfilling the needs of her wacky New England neighbors for light reading and doing it all by herself dammit!!? Because it was deeply silly and mostly fun and, while *extremely* not in step with the moment, I needed it right now. No, I don't have a lot of patience for Motherhood Completed Me stories. (view spoiler)[And she named her victim, I mean adoptee, TERABITHIA for fucksake, which is as cruel a piece of child abuse as anything I've ever heard! (hide spoiler)] But Dodie's the kind of silly little child in a woman's body that would, in fact, feel that way. That said, Dodie's actually kind of a cipher, not a fully-rounded character, simply moving the pieces of the plot from A to B then D after that L and screw all those other letters, they're probably Not Our Kind. It's set in 2008, which made Dodie the biblioholic's ignorance of ebooks puzzling. I think, though, that it was more ignoring not ignorance, so I got as far past that as I could. And her nesting instinct, her deep and ongoing self-criticism that she can not manage a busy life, wifehood, motherhood, the library, etc etc as effortlessly as she thinks she should be able to? Well, she's never a wife and no one made you a mother and let's face it, Muffin, no gold stars for Doing Your Best in this our life. Still, she feels these negative things about herself for no very good reason (abandonment issues can be overcome, Do, and it's not like someone in your place can't access the resources.) Dodie's past as an "artist" in New York City was risible. As described, her art (based on her supposed friends' responses to it) wouldn't get her a Brookly café's wall-space, still less a reviewed show in a gallery. I don't think giving Dodie's sister a Black husband was all that relevant to the story; like giving Dodie herself a lesbian BFF, a soul-sibling whose death in the first part of the book leaves little apparent mark on her life. Just more window dressing, more piece of plot to make into plotsicles. Oh, desserts! Yes, let's not forget one of today's most popular light-fiction tropes: Lots and lots and lots of sugary stuff described in lingering, sensual detail. This was, I admit without shame or blushes (he blushed shamefacedly), a big reason I kept going with the read. (view spoiler)[Well, that and the fact that I wanted Shep-the-love-interest's big secret to be he was a big ol' 'mo like all Dodie's buds back in Brooklyn were. (hide spoiler)] The sort-of-stupid references to the male gaze that Dodie craves and invites in terms of desserts is less charming, though...and I am guilty of telling my Young Gentleman Caller that he's sweeter than condensed milk. (In his defense he mimes vomiting every time I do.) Why would I recommend you read it? I would honestly say that it's an undemanding read that will, without meaning to or even wanting to, cause the least reflective among us to question our assumptions and the more Woke to examine our privilege, looking at how very, very deep it is from the outsider's vantage of an unchallenging-for-privileged-white-folks, like me, of an afternoon's read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jeeves Reads Romance

    Great... then frustrating There was a very significant portion of this book where I thought I'd be rating it as 5 stars, but then it slowly started to unravel. Let me start with the good: this is definitely one of the better First Reads selections I've made (at least for the first two-thirds of the book). It starts off light and charming with a fun, small town feel and a perpetually sunny heroine. Dodie is an art teacher who establishes a lending library when the community's library undergoes ext Great... then frustrating There was a very significant portion of this book where I thought I'd be rating it as 5 stars, but then it slowly started to unravel. Let me start with the good: this is definitely one of the better First Reads selections I've made (at least for the first two-thirds of the book). It starts off light and charming with a fun, small town feel and a perpetually sunny heroine. Dodie is an art teacher who establishes a lending library when the community's library undergoes extensive renovations, and she has a crush on the guy who keeps coming in for books. It was delightful with such a light chick lit/romance vibe. Then the tone shifted. The focus became much more about Dodie's desire to have a child, and the potential for her to adopt one. We see the highs and lows of adoption and the emotional upheaval the process causes. From there, the tone stays heavier and the angst increases, so it's sort of like a book in two parts. I really appreciated what the author was trying to do here. We see a transformation in Dodie and it's a look at a serious topic. Her relationship is central to the story but definitely not the star (and riddled with its own problems). I wish that the book had been able to maintain more of the lighter tone from the beginning while handling these difficult topics, because I felt like Dodie started to lose herself as the process went on. I liked her less and less as the story progressed. Then there's a revelation at the end that was just... no. So I wound up rating this as 3 stars - and I'm not really happy about it. There's so much good stuff in here that I wanted to go higher, but... my like of both the main characters had dissolved too much by the end.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Ugh. This one was almost DNF, but it was quick, and almost like a train wreck, I just had to see what happened and if it could redeem itself. Sadly, it did not. I love to read, and I love libraries, so I often turn to fast, fun reads that center around libraries for a break from other reading. I’ve read several that were quite good, with well-developed, interesting characters. This was not one of them. I got this from Kindle Firsts and thought I’d give it a try. The main character, Dodie, is sel Ugh. This one was almost DNF, but it was quick, and almost like a train wreck, I just had to see what happened and if it could redeem itself. Sadly, it did not. I love to read, and I love libraries, so I often turn to fast, fun reads that center around libraries for a break from other reading. I’ve read several that were quite good, with well-developed, interesting characters. This was not one of them. I got this from Kindle Firsts and thought I’d give it a try. The main character, Dodie, is self-centered and immature. The author attempts to make her selfishness appear normal for a person who’s had disappointments in life. But she is shallow, and the growth the author attempts to give her is not much growth at all. I don’t understand why the author includes all the cliches and stereotypes in the book - they are unnecessary and insulting. She makes a point of pointing out that Do is Jewish in a mainly Christian town, and yet there is no inclusion of religion being a part of any of the characters’ lives, and nothing is included in the story line, so what was the point? We have a character, Sullivan, who is a single gay woman - so what? Again, the fact that she’s gay doesn’t further the story line. She adopts a child from Ethiopia. Again, why? Why does the author feel the need to twice mention a pat on his ‘fro, and being kissed on his ‘fro. Really - do white people even say that? Does a baby/toddler from Ethiopia even have an Afro? Why not just say she patted him on the head, or kissed him on the head? Sullivan dies, and we’re all supposed to feel as devastated as Dodie, but the character was never developed enough for us to feel any sort of loss. Dodie says that is really close to her sister Maddie. She explains that they are so close that they decided they’d travel the world together. But after an argument and a few angry words over dinner, they don’t speak for weeks. If they were that close, one of them would have bridged the gap. Most of the conversations between characters are weak and banal. Characters who are presumably good friends, like Kendra and Dodie, can’t tell each other things or be honest enough to work through problems. Dodie gets engaged to Shep even though she can’t tell him her desire to have a baby immediately. Who does that? They are unable to have a conversation of any depth and don’t talk things out. In the midst of these banal conversations, and shallow thoughts, the author throws in some really bizarre attempts at literary descriptions. They don’t fit, and they don’t work. When Dodie talks of Shep - “There was a faint unfamiliar smell - the clean scent from the kind of earthy, irregular Irish soap that’s handmade.” Really? Unfamiliar? But she can then describe the smell in detail. She speaks of a tea with a “flavor that expanded on your tongue like petals opening, like those layers of the town that sprung out of the soaked pastry in Marcel’s cup.” “I would always have a special place in my heart for the madeleine dipped in tea, which opened up Marcel’s memory of his childhood town like a magical pop-up book.” Dodie takes Shep to her bedroom. “He looked at me like I was an ice cream cone.” That was sexy and encouraging? OMG And at one point trying to explain that Shep looked disappointed, “He looked as though he had missed out on the annual crop of Cadbury mini eggs.” And yet another gag-worthy description: “I hated conflict even more than I hated those scary caveman-style BBQ turkey legs on steroids they served at Disney World.” Overall, I disliked the characters, found the story line shallow, the descriptions awful, and wish I would’ve stopped reading it. I rarely put a book down without finishing it, and had this book been longer, I would have. I left it feeling very unsatisfied.

  13. 5 out of 5

    kilB

    The best things I can say about this book is that it ended and I didn’t pay for it. Terrible. Main character is awful and not likeable in the slightest. All other characters are completely 2 dimensional - so far as I can tell the romantic interest has nice hair (and oddly erotic wrists?) and not a single personality trait except....existing? There are a million other formulaic romance novels you can read that won’t make you want to through your kindle out the window.

  14. 4 out of 5

    linda hole

    I read the synopsis for this book, the lending library. And I my first reaction was , i nerd to read this book. Because i am a sucker for Reading books about libraries, bookstores and about people that loves to read. But in my opinion the book was everything else thank the thing i listed above. That might not be a bad thing. But the book was not for me. For me it was too predictable. I felt like the author had been let to down by its editor. Such a Shame. Because it was a good concept and the Ma I read the synopsis for this book, the lending library. And I my first reaction was , i nerd to read this book. Because i am a sucker for Reading books about libraries, bookstores and about people that loves to read. But in my opinion the book was everything else thank the thing i listed above. That might not be a bad thing. But the book was not for me. For me it was too predictable. I felt like the author had been let to down by its editor. Such a Shame. Because it was a good concept and the Main characters adorable. I think this book needs to be marketing in a different way. But thank you to netgalley for letting me read this e arc

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    This was a lighter read and made for a great palate cleanser. The writing was a bit clunky and the plot didn’t flow that well. Terabithia is a great book but using it as a character name kind of stunted the story, as it doesn’t really roll off of the tongue. Parts of the story moved along slow while others raced past. I loved the book references and my bookworm heart loved that aspect of the story! Overall, a quick lighter read that book lovers will enjoy. 2.5⭐️

  16. 4 out of 5

    Roberta

    Meh.... It was much more about a woman's biological clock and chest-heaving romance than about the lending library, which was mingled in and out, but clearly not the primary focus of the story. I did enjoy the library portions as well as many of the book references but overall it wasn't really a page turner.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Marianne

    2.5★s The Lending Library is the first novel by American author, Aliza Fogelson. After a major disappointment in her art career, Dodie Fairisle quits the anonymity of New York City, and the undermining of her ego by her narcissistic boyfriend, and heads to the small Connecticut hometown of her art school friend. Soon, she has bought (or her parents have bought her) a quirky but thoroughly charming little house in Chatsworth, has a position teaching art at the elementary school, enjoys the town’s 2.5★s The Lending Library is the first novel by American author, Aliza Fogelson. After a major disappointment in her art career, Dodie Fairisle quits the anonymity of New York City, and the undermining of her ego by her narcissistic boyfriend, and heads to the small Connecticut hometown of her art school friend. Soon, she has bought (or her parents have bought her) a quirky but thoroughly charming little house in Chatsworth, has a position teaching art at the elementary school, enjoys the town’s café, library and bookstore, has some close friends, and feels at home, comfortable, secure and loved. The only thing missing is motherhood, but for that, of course, she needs a man, a conspicuous absence in her current life, although her good friend Sullivan has circumvented that need by adopting a sweet little boy from Ethiopia. Dodie becomes painfully aware, though, that her biological clock is ticking louder and faster than she had thought. But then her beloved library is suddenly shut down due to safety concerns. It may be an inconvenience for Dodie to travel to the next town for her book fix, but she knows that for some patrons, especially the children, the trip will be impossible, and purchase at the bookstore will be beyond their budget. For Dodie, the solution is clear: a lending library, and soon the volume of books donated precludes a classroom location; Dodie’s own sunroom proves to be the ideal location. It’s there, through book clubs and storytimes, that Dodie gets to know the residents of her adopted town more intimately than she had ever expected. So far, so good. Then Dodie takes up with a hot guy who recently broke with his girlfriend because she wanted children, and he wasn’t ready. And Dodie does NOT mention her own urgent motherhood aspirations. And then, with a full-time job that barely covers her costs of living and running a community library, and a not-ready-to-father boyfriend, Dodie abandons practicalities, gets all entitled and decides she must have a certain little boy. And when offered help, pride gets in the way of accepting it. Initially, Fpgelson’s protagonist seems to (mostly) have her heart in the right place, but is often irritatingly flakey, naïve and immature, and morphs into self-absorbed and shallow, while most of the support cast is rather one-dimensional. It feels like we jump into the story half-way through, by which time we are meant to know and love the characters, and care about what happens to them. Sadly, this is not the case. The initial premise of the story, the lending library, has great potential, but the novel is then hijacked by Dodie’s obsession with acquiring the child, which gets boring quickly. The copious insertion of book titles and meal descriptions doesn’t rescue it. Ultimately, way too predictable, disappointing and a bit of a chore to finish. Unable to recommend this one. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jason Pettus

    Early into the page count of Aliza Fogelson's The Lending Library, my pick this month from the Amazon Prime Reads service (in which Prime members get a free copy of one out of eight books recently published by Amazon's own publishing wing), we're being told of our plucky hero Dodie Fairisle and her recent past as a hipster edgy artist in Brooklyn while dating a noted fashion designer, and how she grew sick of it and instead accepted a random opportunity to teach art to grade schoolers in a small Early into the page count of Aliza Fogelson's The Lending Library, my pick this month from the Amazon Prime Reads service (in which Prime members get a free copy of one out of eight books recently published by Amazon's own publishing wing), we're being told of our plucky hero Dodie Fairisle and her recent past as a hipster edgy artist in Brooklyn while dating a noted fashion designer, and how she grew sick of it and instead accepted a random opportunity to teach art to grade schoolers in a small town in rural Connecticut; but then author Aliza Fogelson describes one of Dodie's pieces, an overly sentimental cartoon painting of two smiling mermaid sisters, and I was like, "Wow, sheesh, leave it up to a book like this to think of such a painting as hipster edgy Brooklyn work." Ah, but a few pages later we learn that Fogelson's been in on the joke the entire time, that Dodie's first hipster-hyped gallery show had been trashed by critics as "incomprehensibly childish art from a supposed adult," and that her designer boyfriend and all his Brooklyn toadies loved her for the same reason they adored such mentally ill outsider artists as Wesley Willis, Henry Darger or Howard Finster. That lets you know quickly that you're in for something smarter and wittier than most titles from the dreaded genre of "chick lit"...or, oops, I guess I'm supposed to say "bookclub fiction" now, but it all amounts to the same thing; cozy tales by and for middle-class women in suburbs or small towns, socially conservative and often religious no matter what their political affiliation. This genre gets a bad rap, and rightly so, because a way higher percentage of its titles than in other genres are complete shit, so it's always worth celebrating when another good one comes along. Fogelson's (her full-length fiction debut) carries a dark and sharp edge to it, a reflection of her background in academic lit at Princeton; but it still has all the things that "bookclub fiction" (ugh) fans are looking for -- Babies! Weddings! Austen! Desserts! DESSERT RECIPES!!! -- ringing these people's Pavlovian bells just as surely as a set of brass goggles does to steampunk nerds. There's absolutely nothing wrong with being a slavishly breathless fan of a set of overly specific tropes within a certain genre, but you should at least be striving to read just the very best that genre offers. For the ladies at the Starbucks bookclub at the mall, this will scratch that itch nicely.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Elly

    I didn’t love it, but I wanted to. The first third was really really great, Dodie was one of those go-getters, light hearted and generally charming. She grew the lending library and ate many wonderful baked foods, had a lovely community around her and it all seemed really great. I was sure she’d manage her clear goals and any upcoming conflict in a way that resonated (spoiler: not the case). What was not great was everything after. Like her being spineless and getting chewed out by Maddie and Ken I didn’t love it, but I wanted to. The first third was really really great, Dodie was one of those go-getters, light hearted and generally charming. She grew the lending library and ate many wonderful baked foods, had a lovely community around her and it all seemed really great. I was sure she’d manage her clear goals and any upcoming conflict in a way that resonated (spoiler: not the case). What was not great was everything after. Like her being spineless and getting chewed out by Maddie and Kendra, and taking all the blame unfairly. Her stubbornness about not accepting help. Not worrying about Shep obviously keeping secrets (blah). Allowing other people to put down her dreams/needs/wants. What bs. She went from being a strong, lovely character with charming determination to an absolutely (and unnecessarily) meek damsel in distress. Once the problems had been piled on, the whole book changed. The pacing got slow and the ideas and paths got convoluted, overwhelmed with what felt like badly written emotional sullenness that didn’t feel authentic (or communicated appropriately. It came off as naff). TBH I started skimming. The way she managed (by pushing everyone out) was poor form and I don’t think true to her character we’d met in the first third. The whole Shep line was awful. Prince Charming has never been less charming. Overall, I really liked the premise. Hated the implementation.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rachel G

    I wanted so badly to like this book but the main character just came across as a whiny insecure immature woman, the love interest was not interesting, and I didn't love that the main character called a baby's hair a "fro". I'd give this one a pass.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    I got this as a kindle first reads book. I gave up on this one. It seemed too American for me to connect with and the characters came across as rather immature and annoying.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kate Oakley

    Good start but selfish protagonist frustrating by end Dodie starts as an interesting character with a rich backstory but her actions towards her boyfriend, friends and family and her refusal to confront or even sincerely acknowledge her problematic and often childish behaviours (suspect therapy would have helped for some!) ruined this book for me. At around 75% of the way through, it turned from enjoyment of the lovely descriptive prose and cosy depictions of a newcomer’s perspective on joining a Good start but selfish protagonist frustrating by end Dodie starts as an interesting character with a rich backstory but her actions towards her boyfriend, friends and family and her refusal to confront or even sincerely acknowledge her problematic and often childish behaviours (suspect therapy would have helped for some!) ruined this book for me. At around 75% of the way through, it turned from enjoyment of the lovely descriptive prose and cosy depictions of a newcomer’s perspective on joining and becoming part of a new community, to just reading to know the ending.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Gold

    Bibliophiles of all sorts are sure to fall in love with Dodie and everyone she befriends along her bookish journey. The Lending Library is a charming read full of heart, hope, and books.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Loree Johns

    Barely started and could see it had characters I don’t wish to follow. So I ceased reading.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Susan Parodi

    Any book that includes names of other books in its story has to be good. An easy read, nice plot, and of course, the happy ending. An Amazon first read selection.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Interesting idea at first, but I was dismayed at how many times our lead character was supposed to have her family and friends demean her and dismiss her dreams. I guess we were supposed to be okay with it, considering how many times Dodie apologized, but I had had enough. I skimmed the last quarter. It did not get better.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Egbert

    Improbable and contrived cheez balls is the best way to sum up this reading experience. This was bad. Not The Irresistible Blueberry Bake Shop and Cafe bad, but still pretty bad. The only redeeming factor was the fact that there was so much about books, therefore the two stars rather than one. But even that was dicey at times. I mean take this scenario...a hunky construction worker walks into the lending library and says, "To tell you the truth, I'm not much of a reader but could I get a suggest Improbable and contrived cheez balls is the best way to sum up this reading experience. This was bad. Not The Irresistible Blueberry Bake Shop and Cafe bad, but still pretty bad. The only redeeming factor was the fact that there was so much about books, therefore the two stars rather than one. But even that was dicey at times. I mean take this scenario...a hunky construction worker walks into the lending library and says, "To tell you the truth, I'm not much of a reader but could I get a suggestion, maybe for a novel? I read Don Quixote a couple summers ago and thought that was really funny." Seriously? Not a reader but just happened to laugh at Don Quixote. Sheesh. I would say that these characters and situations are caricatures but that would be an insult to caricatures. All this being said, there were moments in this book that I did love and the book side of things and the library were terribly charming. For the record, the best line in the book has to be, "He flashed a smile at me that flambéed my underwear."

  28. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for my electronic ARC in exchange for my honest review. This book was published July 1, 2020. Cute story about a woman who creates a Lending Library in her home while the city library is being renovated. Her passion for matching books with readers was delightful. The book started off a bit slow, then was a bit predictable but I still enjoyed it. Good summer read for lovers of libraries and chick-lit.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Maci Feather

    4/5 stars. *i received a gifted copy of this book in exchange for an honest review* Lighthearted. Funny and emotional. Quick read. Such a wonderfully written book. Although a few slow parts, I enjoyed the *realness* of the relationships and hardships that come with family and loving others. I recommend especially for all book lovers. this book makes me want to start my own library!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Bourque

    4 Stars "The Lending Library" was a cute, quirky, light and fluffy chick-lit read. I really enjoyed this book although I did find it predictable. Dodie is an Art teacher in the small New England town of Chatsworth. She used to be a painter and she's a veracious reader. When the town's public library is suddenly and unexpectedly closed due to unforeseen circumstances, she takes matters into her own hands by turning her sunroim into the town's lending library. This library is most definitely going 4 Stars "The Lending Library" was a cute, quirky, light and fluffy chick-lit read. I really enjoyed this book although I did find it predictable. Dodie is an Art teacher in the small New England town of Chatsworth. She used to be a painter and she's a veracious reader. When the town's public library is suddenly and unexpectedly closed due to unforeseen circumstances, she takes matters into her own hands by turning her sunroim into the town's lending library. This library is most definitely going to change Dodie's life forever. She has been living single, working, reading, spending time with her family and friends and dreaming about having a baby and becoming a mother. She feels as though she is in a good place. When her best friend and sister adopt a child internationally, she starts to contemplate her chances of becoming a mother as well. Will she find love and conceive a child before her biological clock runs out of time? Should she herself consider adoption? "The Lending Library" offers readers a cute little romance that is sure to make you smile. It's sad, happy, and enjoyable. If you like the typical chick-lit story, you will most likely enjoy this book.

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