[Review] 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff & It Started in Naples by Saul Cooper

Title: 84, Charing Cross Road
Author: Helene Hanff
Page: 230 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Subject: Authors - American - Correspondence, Booksellers and Bookselling
First Published: 1970

In 1949 Helene Hanff, ‘a poor writer with an antiquarian taste in books’, wrote to Marks & Co. Booksellers of 84 Charing Cross Rd, in search of the rare editions she was unable to find in New York. Her books were dispatched with polite but brisk efficiency. But, seeking further treasures, Helene soon found herself in regular correspondence with bookseller Frank Doel, laying siege to his English reserve with her warmth and wit. And, as letters, books and quips crossed the ocean, a friendship flourished that would endure for twenty years.

- Synopsis from book cover

Oh, how much I adore this delightful and charming little book! And not to mention witty and heart-warming too! Reading the exchange of letters was pure enjoyment and even though I have not even heard most of the works mentioned in the letters, I too share Hannf’s excitement in anticipation of her books being delivered across the Atlantic Ocean. A quick and seamless read, something a bibliophile would come to appreciate. Here’s to all the bookstores and libraries that shapes the way we are today =)

Title: It Started in Naples
Author: Saul Cooper
Page: 143 pages
Genre: Romance
Subject: Love Stories, Naples (Italy)
First Published: 1960

Mike Hamilton was that most American of Americans—the self-made man. A bachelor and a successful lawyer, he was a man of light heart but lots of Good Common Sense. At least so he thought until he went to Naples to wind up the affairs of his not-so-dearly departed brother. The most pressing of these affairs had resulted in an eight-year-old boy-a kid who smoked like a steam engine, swore like a sailor and charmed like a new-born kitten! To complicate matters the kid had a maiden aunt-or at least an aunt. And what an aunt!

- Synopsis from book cover

Another charming little novel based on the 1960 motion picture starring Clark Gable and Sophia Loren. When you hear the names of the actors, you’ll definitely know what’s in store for you—a classic romance! But this is not any typical romance, I can tell you that! What an enjoyable read. And what a charming city to fall in love in =)


I really should read 84, Charing Cross Road. It sounds like such a cosy, nice read :)
Teacher/Learner said…
So glad you loved 84 Charing Cross Rd.! It became an instant favourite of mine & I agree that anyone who loves books without even recognizing titles mentioned in the book will love it, too :)
Anonymous said…
I also loved very much 84, Charing Cross Road, and I watched the movie, same title, very good too. You have to read now The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street, where she meets the people at 84 Charing Cross Road! Unfortunately, I read those before my blogging life. Emma @ Words And Peace
bumblesby said…
I really liked 84 Charing Cross Road. After I read the book, I purchased the DVD. Now I need to get to The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street!
Great review... I am a new follower and love your blog... :-)
I loved 84 Charing Cross Road so much... I haven't seen the movie yet though although I have heard great things.... Great reviews :-)
bumblesby said…
Thumbs up for 84 Charing Cross Rd and I have/liked the movie too!
Anonymous said…
I love your flower system of rating - so cute. I really enjoyed this book as well.