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The Dewey Decimal System of Love Paperback – September 2, 2003
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
After 15 celibate years, librarian Ally Sheffield is in love, and the object of her newfound affections is gorgeous maestro Aleksi Kullio, the latest conductor of the Philadelphia Philharmonic. The fact that Aleksi is already married is a mere obstacle for Ally, since she knows deep in her soul that the two of them were meant to be together. As Ally tries to figure out a way to get Aleksi to notice her, she discovers some interesting things about her friends, her coworkers, and herself. Carr's tale sparkles with sharp, clever, and occasionally earthy humor, and sassy, unconventional Ally is a terrific protagonist. The choice of which man is really right for Ally may be obvious early on to some readers, but much of the pleasure in this wonderfully amusing novel comes from Carr's realistic depiction of the everyday pleasures and occasional downsides to working in a library; her wonderfully quirky, all too real characters; and her delightfully acerbic prose. John Charles
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
...a most bizarre, unpredictable and thoroughly delightful mess that keeps the pages turning and the laughs coming. -- Tampa Tribune, July 27, 2003
Carr's tale sparkles with sharp, clever, and occasionally earthy humor, and sassy, unconventional Ally is a terrific protagonist. -- Booklist, August 1, 2003
Carr...has a knack for quirky characters. -- Kirkus, July 15, 2003
Top customer reviews
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Allison Sheffield, local librarian, has "long auburn hair and perfect skin" and "looks half her age of forty". Really? have you ever known ANYONE who was 40 but looked 20? Ten years younger I could believe, but twenty? And that was the problem with this book for me -- it is certainly not terrible, but it always goes just a bit too far in what it asks the reader to believe. Let's see, Ally's been celibate for 15 years, but suddenly she is in love with a married symphony conductor whom she's never met, and now she does any number of unusual things in order to get him. Ouch.
Characters were well developed, the ending was well done and it is a quick read, so this is not terrible, but I'd recommend you borrow it from your local library rather than purchase it.
if you're interested in a librarian protagonist, check out Larry Beinhart's The Librarian instead, a political thriller.
This book is quite hilarious, and has quite a few (mildly) sexual themes and elements. Carr uses humor and irony in generous doses to the reader's delight, and definitely twists the "Miss Marian" librarian stereotype three ways to Sunday!
As entertaining as this read was, with its fantastic characters and hilarious- if sometimes unreal- plotline, I knocked two stars off my typically generous rating system for one reason- the ending.
Carr uses more then 200 pages to introduce us to characters we grow to love, and takes us through loop after loop of new insights and developments in the plot. Then, when we finally learn the conclusion, she cuts it off. The bad guy gets their due, and for Carr, that's that.
She literally leaves us hanging. We do not learn what happens in many aspects to the main character- her love life, her family relationships, the justice that the villain deserves? Carr catches the bad guy, and then ends her story. Done. Absolutely no conclusion for her audience.
It was as if she took a year to craft a wonderful story...and two days for her ending so she could meet a deadline.
I devoured this book in one sitting, enjoying it every minute up until the last two pages. If you can handle severe disappointment with an all-too-short ending, read on. If you can't handle that when you love the characters, then pick up a different book.
Give me a break. The book is set in a library. The main character (as well as most of the other characters in the book)is a librarian. The author, for heaven's sake, dedicates the book to her mother, "the paragon of a passionate librarian"; in the acknowledgements, the author encourages her readers to "continue to honor the extraordinary literary heritage found in our free library system and the librarians who help us discover its enduring wealth".
If you are a librarian, you can't help but love this book. File this book under 020 for Libraries, 306.7 for Romance.