Book Highlight: The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks by Shauna Robinson

book highlight the banned bookshop of maggie banks shauna robinson
the banned bookshop of maggie banks shauna robinson

Title: The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks

Author: Shauna Robinson

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Publication Date: November 1, 2022

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

I, Maggie Banks, solemnly swear to uphold the rules of Cobblestone Books. If only, I, Maggie Banks, believed in following the rules.

When Maggie Banks arrives in Bell River to run her best friend’s struggling bookstore, she expects to sell bestsellers to her small-town clientele. But running a bookstore in a town with a famously bookish history isn’t easy. Bell River’s literary society insists on keeping the bookstore stuck in the past, and Maggie is banned from selling anything written this century. So, when a series of mishaps suddenly tip the bookstore toward ruin, Maggie will have to get creative to keep the shop afloat.

And in Maggie’s world, book rules are made to be broken.

To help save the store, Maggie starts an underground book club, running a series of events celebrating the books readers actually love. But keeping the club quiet, selling forbidden books, and dodging the literary society is nearly impossible. Especially when Maggie unearths a town secret that could upend everything. 

Maggie will have to decide what’s more important: the books that formed a small town’s history, or the stories poised to change it all.

Why This Book

The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks was not one of my favorite books last year, mostly because of the (secret) lengths Maggie went to in order to keep her best friend’s bookstore open. But, at the same time, I have to give her some kudos for the (secret) lengths she went to in order to ensure her best friend had her livelihood to return to after her maternity leave. See, Bell River is kind of cult-ish, practically run by the society devoted to a late author. The bookstore isn’t allowed to sell any modern books. At all. Instead, customers are sent to another bookstore outside of Bell River, so, what does Maggie do when she royally screws up? She concocts a plan to sell these forbidden books in secret. I mean, I have to give her a grudging nod to be courageous enough to even attempt this right under the nose of the man running the society. I just wish she had, I don’t know, at least told a certain someone.


My review: “Maggie herself is quite a bubbly, friendly, awkward young woman with a lot of life and zest to her. She’s bouncy and fun with a lot of interesting ideas, and she’ll do anything to help her friend’s store stay open, including keeping secrets from said friend”

Helen’s Book Blog gave this a 4.5, saying “I like Maggie and the large cast of characters from the old curmudgeon to the nasty society boss to the mysterious love interest. They all bring something to the story and the mood of the book that made me happy”

The Bashful Bookworm gave this a 4.5, saying “Maggie is a bit of a mess, but also adorable.  She has no idea of the power she has in bringing people together and she’s convinced herself that she’s not a success.  I loved her energy, her wit, and her courage”

The Book Review Crew gave this a 3.5, saying “Such a quick, cute, and fun read. I was so pleased to see Maggie turn into a reader and find her love for books and that she found her true calling through selling the banned books and her wonderful book events”

It’s All About Books gave this 3.5 stars, saying “It was interesting to see her discover books and slowly enjoy reading more and more; that said, her behavior, opinion and actions did start to bother me after a while. I don’t think the plot is actually credible; it’s such a small town and I just don’t think things could be kept secret in the way the plot describes. Maggie also didn’t seem to care about the fate of others all that much; instead doing whatever she wants without thinking about the possible consequences for others”

Musings of a Bookish Kitty said “I also appreciated that Maggie went behind the society’s back and sold books the community wanted as opposed to just those books written over a century ago. She saw a demand and offered to supply it–what clearer way to make money? There were several times throughout the book that I found myself holding my breath, worried Maggie would get caught. So much suspense!”

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | IndieBound | Powell’s | Target | Walmart | Booktopia (Australia) | Books-A-Million | Flipkart (India) | Kobo | Audible | Google Books | Thrift Books | Book Depository | Abe Books | Blackwell’s (UK) | Frugal Bookstore | Hooked | Books Around the Corner | Sourcebooks | Hamilton Book | Brave & Kind Bookshop | Landmark Booksellers | The Poisoned Pen | Paperbacks & Frybread | The Dog Eared Book

Check out all the other books featured this month on The Curated Bookshelf.

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