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The Bookbinder
The Bookbinder: A Novel | Pip Williams
A young British woman working in a book bindery gets a chance to pursue knowledge and love when World War I upends her life in this new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the Reeses Book Club pick The Dictionary of Lost Words. It is 1914, and as the war draws the young men of Britain away to fight, women must keep the nation running. Two of those women are Peggy and Maude, twin sisters who live on a narrow boat in Oxford and work in the bindery at the university press. Ambitious, intelligent Peggy has been told for most of her life that her job is to bind the books, not read thembut as she folds and gathers pages, her mind wanders to the opposite side of Walton Street, where the female students of Oxfords Somerville College have a whole library at their fingertips. Maude, meanwhile, wants nothing more than what she has: to spend her days folding the pages of books in the company of the other bindery girls. She is extraordinary but vulnerable, and Peggy feels compelled to watch over her. Then refugees arrive from the war-torn cities of Belgium, sending ripples through the Oxford community and the sisters lives. Peggy begins to see the possibility of another future where she can educate herself and use her intellect, not just her hands. But as war and illness reshape her world, her love for a Belgian soldierand the responsibility that comes with itthreaten to hold her back. The Bookbinder is a story about knowledgewho creates it, who can access it, and what truths get lost in the process. Much as she did in the international bestseller The Dictionary of Lost Words, Pip Williams thoughtfully explores another rarely seen slice of history through womens eyes.
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CaitlinR
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An engaging historical novel telling the story of two young British women and how their lives are affected by the beginning of World War I. Peggy and her neurodivergent twin, Maude work for the bindery at Oxford‘s University Press. Peggy longs for access to higher education, but fears the Maude cannot live without her support. Refugees from Belgium change their world, offering new vistas. No easy solutions or pat endings here. An interesting read.

CaitlinR Photo of the author by Sophie Davidson 3w
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Cheryl_Russell_BookNotes
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5 star read for me. Genres: Historical (WWI), literary. The novel follows identical twin sisters Peggy and Maude, bindery girls for Oxford University Press. Issues of class, women‘s rights (or lack thereof) are woven throughout the book. What this novel brings to the forefront is the erasure of women and their contributions in history. If interested, read Williams other book The Dictionary of Lost Words first-there is crossover between the books

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Cheryl_Russell_BookNotes
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#FirstLineFridays

Scraps. That‘s all I got. Fragments that made no sense without the words before or the words after.

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rachelsbrittain
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I love books about books, and historical books about books are particularly great.

https://bookriot.com/historical-fiction-books-about-books/

Aims42 I cannot wait for “The Titanic Survivors Book Club”, I think I‘m first in line on my library‘s waitlist for it 🤪 Thanks for sharing this, added a few more to my TBR list 😇 4mo
rachelsbrittain @Aims42 I'm so excited for it too! Glad I was able to add a few more books to your tbr list 😊 4mo
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AmyK1
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“‘Sisters: Women bonded by a shared desire for change.‘ I was not alone, I realized, in wanting something I was not born to have.”

Set in England during the Great War, this focuses on twin sisters Peggy and Maude, who work as Bindery Girls at Oxford University Press. While Maude is happy where she is, Peggy dreams of joining the students at the college across the street.

I really enjoyed this and have already bought her other book 😁

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Pretty 📚❤️ 5mo
Crazeedi I liked another of her books, stacking 5mo
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marleed
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I was curious about this stand alone book because the subject matter was so similar to her previous book. I would say this one is character-driven using history to tell the story whilst the Lost Words was history-driven using characters to weave the story. In fact, I wondered if her research for Lost Words provided her the makings for another story. Sure enough , the author‘s note at the end confirmed what I suspected.

melissajayne The Book Cougars posted an interview with her that was their last episode of 2023. 6mo
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rachelsbrittain
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Who else loves bookish holiday traditions? I wrote an article over on Book Riot about Jolabokaflod, one of my favorite new Christmas traditions. And Litsy gets a shout out as the first place I heard about this lovely book exchange!

bookriot.com/bookish-tradition-jolabokaflod/

marleed Litsy has enlightened me so much about books and the love of books! 6mo
JamieArc It has become my household‘s favorite part of the holiday! 6mo
rachelsbrittain @JamieArc that's lovely! 6mo
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Brooke_H
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Set in the same universe as Williams's The Dictionary of Lost Words, this is a story of a female bookbinder who longs to study at Oxford at the dawn of WWI. I enjoyed this novel more than The Dictionary of Lost Words. The setting is immersive, the plot is evenly paced, and the dialogue is good. I also learned so much about the process of bookbinding at the turn of the 20th century and took a deep internet rabbit hole dive on WWI. Excellent read.

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bridge12
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This was a slow read but overall I enjoy a historical fiction, especially based on an academic setting. J didn‘t think I enjoyed it while reading it but I do keep thinking back on it 4⭐️

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LeftyDv
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Most readers will focus on Williams‘ love of books and the empowering story of women in WWI. I was much more taken by the themes of sacrifice: Peggy makes sacrifices for family and learning, Bastiaan sacrifices for love of country and love of a woman. Books themselves sacrifice their beautiful binding for their readers. And in the end, readers are left sacrificing the perfect ending for the reality and gravity of the time period.

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bookandbedandtea
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A cool, occasionally rainy, day and some fall colored new books. 🥰

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Reading_E
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A beautiful ode to books and love. Set in WWI in Oxford following the life of a bookbinding girl along with many wonderful characters. It has such a smooth rhythm that absorbs you in the best possible way. Such an amazing read!

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MrsMalaprop
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I read William‘s 1st book The Dictionary of Lost Words a few years ago for book club. This book, her latest, was chosen for book club this month.
Most people who‘ve read them rave about them, but for me, whilst they are a pick, I didn‘t love them.
I felt more engaged with The Bookbinder and the characters, setting and story were well developed.
It‘s great to be reading so many historical books lately that elevate the stories of women 💪❤️🔥.

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rachelsbrittain
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Another gorgeous WWI era historical fiction novel about books from Pip Williams, this time following a bindery girl who longs to read books at Oxford, not just bind them. I really appreciated the insight into the divide between Town and Gown in Oxford and the look at refugees and attitudes toward war in England before, during, and after WWI. A really excellent historical fiction novel.

#NetgalleyBingo : Author You've Read Before

JanuarieTimewalker13 Sounds really good!! 10mo
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MrsMalaprop
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Me time 📖🥰🙏
#currentlyreading
#bookclub

Jeg Did it work? Are you wrinkle free? 10mo
MrsMalaprop @Jeg Of course 😂 10mo
Rissreads You look a bit like a psychopath or serial killer! 🤣 10mo
MrsMalaprop @Rissreads Thanks, that‘s the look I was going for 😆 10mo
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rachelsbrittain
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My #weekendreads. An ebook and two audiobooks.

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Cammy1
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Really nice read after The Dictionary of Lost Words. Audio by Annabelle Tudor great to listen to. I didn‘t feel as connected to the story as I did with DoLW but I still enjoyed the characters. I wouldn‘t have enjoyed it as much if I hadn‘t read DoLW first though.

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Hooked_on_books
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I really enjoyed her previous book, and this one is great, too! Peggy is a book binder alongside her twin sister Maud (who seems to be ND) but longs to read and study the books instead of binding them. Set in the backdrop of WWI, this is an affecting love letter to the book as object and a story of a lovely young woman.

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Lynnsoprano
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One of those books to read slowly and savor. It‘s so many things, and does all of them well: a period WWI story, a book about books and the physical making of them, a study of relationships, and an exploration of dreams and ambitions, and the sacrifices made to achieve them. Loved the characters, the setting, everything. Definitely worth a read. (A shelfie seemed appropriate).

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Messiejessie
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Loved it! Loved the characters, the storyline, the setting, the way it was written, the little tie in to The Dictionary of Lost Words. Loved that it was set in the bindery of the Oxford University Press. This is a beautiful novel showing us a slice of history told through women‘s eyes.

MrsMalaprop Reading this one for book club 😊 10mo
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Lynnsoprano
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I‘d forgotten that I‘d preordered this for my Kindle, but I loved The Dictionary of Lost Words so much, I just couldn‘t resist. I‘m not waiting. I‘m starting this now!

lynneamch Oooh! Thank you! Dictionary was an all-time fav of mine. 11mo
Soubhiville Ooo, I didn‘t know she had a new book out! Stacking. 📚🙂🩵 11mo
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KristiAhlers
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I loved this book! I found myself completely swept up in this WWI story. The characters were all so very vivid and you can tell the author loves everything about a book. This is really a love note to books and the art behind how one is made.

kspenmoll I saw this today in an indie book store but resisted buying. Her previous book was sooo good 11mo
Monica5 It seems you always read such good books. My TBR list grows just about everytime you post about a book😂 11mo
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swishandflick
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Heads up that #BOTM put up a new add-on early! 📚

marleed Oh thanks! I appreciate this heads up so I can go read about it and decide early on if it‘s part of my order! 11mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Love the cover 📚 11mo
swishandflick @marleed I know, always fun to do some pre-research. Also - don't forget to send me your address so I can send your giveaway win! My email is ashleyandthecity@gmail.com ❤️ 11mo
marleed @swishandflick oh my gosh, I just sent you an email. I can‘t believe I forgot to do that!! 11mo
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Jeg
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Just finished ,sitting outside in the glorious winter sunshine and warmth. I loved this book almost as much as her Dictionary of Lost Words. Takes place around the First World War. I seem to be reading a lot lately about women lost to history because past history written by men. The authors note very interesting. The book is peppered with facts. Those I found intriguing especially a bit about an Aussie serviceman .

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BooksNBowls
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Going to be working through my arcs the next couple of weeks. I‘ve let them get so backed up. There‘s like double this amount 😩

KateReadsYA Ooooo Betrayal and banditry and north queen sound good :) 13mo
BooksNBowls @KateReadsYA you should make a NetGalley account! The more you review the more books they approve you for 😊 13mo
KateReadsYA @BooksNBowls OH that's cool. I never knew that! Thanks for telling me. 13mo
43 likes3 comments