The Bookshop on the Corner

by Jenny Colgan

Paperback, 1796

Status

Available

Publication

William Morrow Paperbacks (2016), 368 pages

Description

Fiction. Literature. Romance. Humor (Fiction.) HTML:

Nina Redmond is a librarian with a gift for finding the perfect book for her readers. But can she write her own happy-ever-after? In this valentine to readers, librarians, and book-lovers the world over, the New York Times-bestselling author of Little Beach Street Bakery returns with a funny, moving new novel for fans of Nina George's The Little Paris Bookshop.

Nina is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion... and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more.

Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile ?? a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling.

From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there's plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that's beginning to feel like home... a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.… (more)

Rating

½ (577 ratings; 3.8)

User reviews

LibraryThing member setnahkt
I read romance novels as "palette cleaners" between more serious books. I find the best way to think of them is by lumping them with other genre fiction; scifi, fantasy, detective stories. The crimes in detective stories are nothing like what happens in reality. There are no elves or balrogs. No
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starships warp across the galaxy. And the women and men in romance novels are unlike any women and men who live in the real world; they are creations of imagination.

Nevertheless that doesn't mean romance and scifi and fantasy and murder mysteries aren't entertaining to read. And the adventures of Nina the ex-librarian in an imaginary Scotland as fulfills her romantic dreams with an imaginary Scotsman are pleasant enough. So three stars.
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LibraryThing member JJbooklvr
I read this for a few reasons. First it is about books. How can I not want to try it? The main character is a librarian which is another plus. She loves to match the perfect book to a reader which is the ultimate goal in readers advisory. The majority of the book takes place in Scotland. I like
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scotch. The last reason is I am trying to expand my reading to other genres to improve my readers advisory skills.

The general plot of the book is Nina is about to lose her job when her small library is closing. Libraries are in a crisis throughout the U.K. with many of them closing so this reflects what is really happening right now. After attending a team building workshop before applying for a new library job she decides to throw caution to the wind and start a mobile bookstore. She travels to the highlands of Scotland and without planning things out buys a rather large van. Which is the start of a new life for her. One she could not have imagined she would have the courage to try.

Without planning it this is the second book that takes place in Scotland I have read this year. The first was a cozy mystery called The Cracked Spine by Paige Shelton. That took place in Edinburgh. I liked that this one took place in the small towns in the upper parts of Scotland. The author did a nice job of bringing that way of life and the landscape alive. There is romance which may turn off some male readers. It is PG at best though so no explicit sex. The plot is a bit farfetched and a little convenient on how things work out. Which you will quickly forgive because of how fun the book is and all the quirky characters. It reminded me of a cross between The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George and The Van by Roddy Doyle. It is a shame this doesn't come out until September 20 because it would make a great Summer read.
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LibraryThing member DeltaQueen50
The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan is a fun romance story about Nina, a shy librarian who, when her job becomes obsolete, buys herself a book van, moves to the Scottish highlands and builds herself a new career and a new life. She starts a romantic friendship with Marek, an engineer with
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whom she exchanges love letters at a train crossing. She lives in a beautifully restored barn which would be perfect except for her grumpy landlord, Lennox, who for some reason Nina can’t stop thinking about.

I listened to an audio version as read by Lucy Price-Lewis who brings the book to life. Nina is far from perfect, in fact she can be a bit of an idiot at times, but she has a big heart, cares about others and loves reading and books. I loved all the bookish references that were strewn throughout the story.

The Bookshop on the Corner is a charming and fun romance about reinventing oneself and finding one’s purpose in life. It is the perfect escape read for some who loves books and perhaps has dreamed of owning a bookshop of their own. I enjoyed joining Nina on her adventure to find happiness and love.
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LibraryThing member tjsjohanna
Who doesn't have a dream of making your favorite passion your actual livelihood. Nina, in this book, does just that - taking a risk and discovering a life she didn't know she could have. My one pet peeve is that American title is silly - it has nothing to do with the story! The publisher should
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have kept the British title which actually ties into the storyline. Nice bit of romance and friendship.
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LibraryThing member susan0316
You can always depend on Jenny Colgan to write a book that's fun to read and very interesting. This is a book about books, so you just know that you're going to like it. Nina is a librarian who loses her job in Birmingham due to modernization. After trying to decide what she wants to do next, she
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realizes that her main love is books so she decides to open a book store. Realizing that she can't really pay for a building, she comes up with a plan to buy a big van and own a bookstore on wheels. The only van that she can find that fits her needs is in the highlands of Scotland. After buying the van and not being able to get permits in her home town, she decides to stay in Scotland. While there, she meets a variety of fun characters and several potential boyfriends.

I thought that this was a fun book to read -- I loved the main character and enjoyed all the problems that she had to solve to get books to the people who wanted to read. It's a great book and I highly recommend it.
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LibraryThing member bookczuk
A librarian in Birmingham (the UK one not the US one) gets laid off, and decides to open a mobile bookshop -- in Scotland. Sounds like a fun premise for a light read, right? And after all, I like books about books, because usually I get at least one good title to put on my wishlist. And a light
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read is sometimes just the ticket.

Aside from being completely misnamed, "The Bookshop on the Corner" was indeed a quick, light read. ("On the corner" makes the shop sound land based, when in fact, it is in a van, and rides the country side. Also, the actual name of the shop is "The Little Shop of Happy Ever After", which I expect was the original title of the manuscript, but that some editor found too twee, and changed it. I have no problems with changing the book title, but make it fit the book!) The main frustrations I had with it might be because I was reading an ARC. I am in the habit of looking up words I don't know as well as books mentioned which are unfamiliar. In this case, I looked up probably 17 words, two of which I was able to find meanings for. The others, thinking they possibly could be British slang I sent to various British and Scottish friends, who also were stumped. I can only assume I have somewhat unaware friends, or else these are typos that will be corrected before the final publication. As to books, aside from well-knowns, like Harry Potter or Swallows and Amazons, I was also singularly unsuccessful, even using amazon.uk. I sincerely hope there is a glossary of books mentioned for readers who wish to follow-up on interesting sounding books. But as I said, these may be ARC frustrations, and really didn't interfere too much with the telling of the story.

Even with my ARC frustrations, I still enjoyed the book. I'd like to thank the publishers and Library Thing early reviewers program for my copy of the book, and the author for one of the more entertaining Message to Readers.
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LibraryThing member mchwest
I received this book as an ARC from LibraryThing.com/early reviewers and you just can't be disappointed with a book from this author! She went away from the sea for this story inland to Scotland and I know people that are going to visit there next year and now I want to go too. The story and plot
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are a feel good read, but always Jenny's characters are well developed and well written. This is what summer reading, or anytime reading is all about. In the ARC copy the author asked to let her know where and when we read, with a book this good, it goes everywhere with me for a mere two days, from the house on the couch, to the pool until it's too hot out, to the screen house during the buggy evening and then to read before bed. Enjoy!
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LibraryThing member debnance
Nina has troubles. She's just lost her job. She's lost her home. She doesn't know what to do next.

And then she gets a crazy idea. What would happen if she bought a ramshackle van, loaded it up with books, and set up a portable bookshop?

She does and it's wildly successful and lots of other absurdly
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improbable things happen but it's all good because we want it to happen; we want her to find happiness and change the world one book at a time.

It's not realistic fiction but it's a nice summer read.
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LibraryThing member PamelaBarrett
In England, Nina is a librarian—a job she loves and wants to keep, but small libraries are closing, merging, bringing in computers and removing the personal touch and worse yet getting rid of books! With her job ending, Nina’s gift for finding the perfect book for the right person is no longer
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valuable; or is it? Nina tends to be shy, and not very adventurous and yet she gets an idea about opening a bookstore of her own and it just might be a mobile bookstore so she must travel to Scotland to find the perfect vehicle: one large enough to hold her books and her dreams.

Jenny Colgan has written a classic adventure for everyone who loves books, and for anyone who has had to start over and reinvent their life. Warning: there is a tiny bit of colorful language and romantic sexual content. This is the second book I’ve read by Jenny Colgan and I loved it just as much as Little Beach Street Bakery. I’m rating it 5 stars for the wonderful characters and an engaging story.
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LibraryThing member vnesting
How could I not enjoy this charming story of a librarian who gets laid off and decides to pursue her dream? Nina is the consummate reader's advisor who loves matching each person with the right book. When her library job goes away, she buys a van, converts it to a mobile bookstore, and moves to a
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village in Scotland where she is immediately drawn into the life of the town. Perfect for readers who loved The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend.

Thanks to HarperCollins and the LibraryThing Early Reviews program for sending me this advance readers copy in exchange for my review.
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LibraryThing member Tanya-dogearedcopy
Nina is an introverted librarian in Birmingham, England whose job has just been made redundant by a new media center. Things are getting desperate for her, so she decides to buy a van and sell books... It's a completely charming story of taking risks, Scottish landscapes, a couple of good-looking
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guys, and a lot of love for books! It's going to be released in the US on September 20 under the title, 'The Bookshop on the Corner' - which makes no sense whatsoever.
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LibraryThing member briandrewz
This was a completely enjoyable book. I really thought it was well executed. The main character, Nina, was completely relatable. Nina looses her job in a library and is faced with a hard decision: take a job she know she will come to hate, or make a complete change and start a mobile book shop in
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Scotland. She chooses the latter, and it's fun to see her exploring the town, meeting with the townspeople, and falling in love. A wonderful read if you're in the mood for something light.
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LibraryThing member smallwonder56
What a fun book about the love of books, changing the course of your life and learning to embrace change as it comes. I loved the book, and, as a 37 year library employee, I loved the way the book begins with a discussion of what libraries do in a world where they have to cater to "people who don't
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like to read". (Do they really exist? Sadly, what I see in a university population is that they do.) It was a charming novel with a cast of wonderful characters. Colgan is adept at creating characters who live and breathe, ones that you'd like to have over to dinner. And I identified with the "in over your head" feeling that the main character has a good deal of the time. Doing anything new involves feeling in over your head. Lovely book. I'll look for more from this author.
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LibraryThing member julyso
Nina Redmond is the perfect librarian. She loves finding just the right book for just the right patron. But times are changing her job involves other things now, like social media. Nina must find a new dream and that she does!

A very enjoyable read about books and people who love books...what's not
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to love???
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LibraryThing member Twink
Oh, can I tell you how much I enjoy Jenny Colgan's books! A lot - I could happily live in any one of the worlds that Jenny has created in her books.

Her latest North American release is The Bookshop on the Corner - and its my new favourite. (Released in Britain as The Little Shop of Happy-Ever-After
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- which I prefer as a title.)

What makes this latest my favourite? Books, books, and more books and oh yeah, a bookbus!

Jenny's Message to Readers before you even read the first page sets to the tone and stage for booklovers everywhere. Literally - it's a discussion of where to read - bathtub? Bed? Etc. Colgan's humour and warmth leap off the page. Somewhat - no, just like her writing.

Nina Redmond is a librarian in Birmingham England, happy in her job, connecting readers with just the right book. (And reading as much as she can.)

"Helping to match people to the book that would change their life, or make them fall in love, or get over a love affair gone wrong."

Until her library board decides to 'compress library services, become a hub with a multimedia experience zone, a coffee shop and an intersensory experience." Bottom line? Nina is out of a job. Does she dare to bring her dream of a travelling bookshop to fruition?

She does - and the reader is happily along for the ride as she navigates buying a van, finding books, finding a new home, finding herself and maybe, just maybe, finding love.......

Nina is a wonderful character, someone you would absolutely love to count among your friends. The supporting cast is fun and quirky - notably best friend Surinder - and the residents of Kirrinfief, Scotland. And the two (yes, two) romantic interests - lovely as well.

You certainly don't need to be a librarian to love this book (although if my library decides to downsize, I think a travelling bookshop is a splendid dream job.....) If you think you would enjoy a sweet, delightful, heartwarming story punctuated by books, with a lovely helping of romance, then The Bookshop on the Corner is a match for you. I loved this one - five stars for me. I can't wait for Colgan's next book!
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LibraryThing member bookappeal
It's difficult to criticize a book about books, the people who love them, and the amazing difference they can make in a person's life. This story about Nina, a librarian who strikes out on her own to run a mobile bookshop and is able to find just the right book for each person, is a quaint tale
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without much substance and a sprinkling of romance. Colgan succeeds in describing life (and food!) in the Scottish countryside as idyllic, particularly after living in a city. A nice, easy read.
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LibraryThing member KayeBarley
Reading books about about books, or about bookstores - what is lovelier? And Jenny Colgan's novel is one of the best in this distinct niche. I loved it, but it's one of those books that's impossible to review without giving something away - at least, for me. It's a book I'll be giving to friends
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and family for Christmas this year.
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LibraryThing member whitreidtan
All around us library budgets are being cut, hours reduced, staff made redundant. Those who manage to hang onto their jobs are busy in ways that don't mesh with traditional ideas of librarianship; technology and finding ways to be relevant in an age of computers is one of the biggest challenges for
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libraries of today. So what happens to those old-fashioned (but not necessarily old in age) librarians whose true love is books and helping the right book into the right reader's hand? Where do these folks go when the scope of the library changes so significantly that this is just a small, small portion of the job? In Jenny Colgan's lovely new novel, The Bookshop on the Corner, main character Nina faces this very conundrum when her own library branch is closed and unwilling to pivot away from her focus on books, she loses her job.

Nina is quiet, bookish, and unassertive. She is a fount of knowledge about books but this skill isn't enough to help her make the move to the more technologically focused centralized library. As the move is going on, she must attend training sessions, one of which asks her to look into her heart and figure out what she would do if she wasn't a librarian. The answer surprises her although it doesn't surprise her friend and flatmate, who worries that Nina's ever burgeoning book collection will cause their flat to collapse. It turns out that Nina would like to own a bookshop. Renting premises is impractical and so she sets her heart on a mobile bookshop somewhere that people are in need of books and her skill of connecting people to the right book. When she finds a van online that would be perfect for a mobile bookshop, she hies to rural Scotland to take a chance on her dream. After doubts and road blocks, both internal and external, she lands in Kirrinfief, Scotland, ready to change her life. As she works toward following her dreams and gaining confidence, she finds community and belonging and, embracing actual real life, she starts to live a life outside of the pages of her beloved books.

Nina is a timid mouse of a character who slowly blossoms in the right climate. The secondary characters, Marek, the train conductor/engineer; Lennox, Nina's landlord--a crusty, cynical farmer; Surinder, Nina's best friend from Birmingham who comes to visit; and Ainslee and Ben, the children Nina grows close to in town, are all delightful and appealing. Each of them is not only a fully fleshed character in their own right but each of them shows the reader a new facet of Nina's personality. The story is a charming and sweet romance, with books, between townspeople and a welcome outsider, and between Nina and a good man. Although Nina faces some setbacks and disappointments, these are not dwelt upon nor is the reality of the non-book work (accounting and the like) involved in opening a business really mentioned, giving the novel a dreamy, fairy tale feel. The story is a gentle and joyous look at the good in life and it will appeal to fans of whimsical, feel-good tales, those who love books about bookselling, and those for whom a small Scottish village is their idea of heaven. In short, it appeals to someone very much like me!
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LibraryThing member ItsBookishMe
This is my first book by Jenny Colgan and I definitely want to read more from her. I truly enjoyed this book. Nina is probably a character any reader would be able to identify with, at least when it comes to her obsession with books and reading. Nina is all about books, she loves to read and
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collect them obsessively, and she also has a knack for matching the perfect book to the right reader. We meet Nina at a time when her life was unraveling but she can't seem to stop bringing books home to her tiny house she shares with roommate and friend Surinder. Nina doesn't live in the real world, her head's in her safe perfect ending books. She dreams of that perfect unrealistic bookmance and is afraid to take the steps necessary to fulfill her dreams and facing reality.

After being laid off and in danger of being evicted for her book hoarding. Nina decided she wanted to open her own bookstore. Nina is the type of person that is her own worst enemy and I was yelling at Nina to just go for it, don't give up. Which she wanted to do so many times.

Nina was very lucky to have such good friends, especially Surinder. I was worried she was going to be one of those stereotypical bookish "friend" who is really just a jealous hater but was so glad she wasn't. She pushed Nina to go for her dreams, and to maybe put the books away once in a while and see what life has to offer outside in the real world. I worried she was being a book hater, but she saved it when she made it clear that she has no problem with books, just that maybe it's not all the world has to offer.

Even though I was able to see where the story was heading it didn't deter me from falling in love with the people and Scotland. There was a sweet romance or two, and some drama, and yea that one person to dislike a little bit, but not too much. Nina was very fortunate to have such good friends and to meet such wonderful people. I was so happy and jealous of her at the same time. Nina moved to a small town in Scotland where she started a new chapter of her life and meet the typical quirky small town folk. I was so jealous when she described the scenery, food and people, she made me wish I was the one moving there to start my own glorious adventure.
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LibraryThing member susan0316
You can always depend on Jenny Colgan to write a book that's fun to read and very interesting. This is a book about books, so you just know that you're going to like it. Nina is a librarian who loses her job in Birmingham due to modernization. After trying to decide what she wants to do next, she
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realizes that her main love is books so she decides to open a book store. Realizing that she can't really pay for a building, she comes up with a plan to buy a big van and own a bookstore on wheels. The only van that she can find that fits her needs is in the highlands of Scotland. After buying the van and not being able to get permits in her home town, she decides to stay in Scotland. While there, she meets a variety of fun characters and several potential boyfriends.

I thought that this was a fun book to read -- I loved the main character and enjoyed all the problems that she had to solve to get books to the people who wanted to read. This would be a great book for the beach - I highly recommend it.
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LibraryThing member bookswoman
Not as good as it could have been but I enjoyed the stories about Scotland. Thought she was pretty naive about what it takes to run a library but at least she didn't make it sound easy. The romance angle was a bit boring, or just weird. Not sure if I will read anything of hers again.
LibraryThing member voracious
Nina is single and in her 30's when she loses her job as a London librarian due to budget cuts and downsizing. Unlike her coworkers who seek out corporate career options, Nina buys an oversized van to take a first step towards pursuing her lifelong dream of owning a bookstore. With city parking
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restrictions and other barriers preventing her from city curbside entrepreneurship, Nina decides to temporarily move to rural Scotland, where she is confident the locals will welcome her business. With the unexpected interest of two men and a community that embraces her as one of their own, Nina soon discovers that her temporary plan might be the best thing that has ever happened to her.

This was a heartwarming and quick read of a woman who finally decides to take a chance on her future and exchange her dependency on books for real relationships. Though somewhat predictable, I enjoyed the uplifting story and romantic situations, which was a nice change of pace from the darker stories I was reading at the time.
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LibraryThing member FlowerchildReads
Sometimes you simply find the right book at the right time. This is a true comfort read about ditching your life in the city, moving to the country, finding the right relationship, peace within yourself. Add books, books, and more books, making this one bibliophiles will love. It's like being
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wrapped in a warm hug!
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LibraryThing member CheryleFisher
I REALLY ENJOY READING BOOKS ABOUT BOOKS AND READING. THIS BOOK TAKES THE READER TO AN ADVENTURE OF STARTING A BOOKSHOP IN A VAN AFTER LOSING HER JOB AS A LIBRARIAN. A ROMANCE IS SPARKED BETWEEN THE OWNER OF THE HOUSE SHE LIVES IN AS WELL AS THE ADVENTURES OF HELPING A FAMILY RE-ESTABLISH DIGNITY
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AND WORTH.
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LibraryThing member wagner.sarah35
As a professional librarian and lifelong bookworm, this book is practically a guilty pleasure which allows me to see a little too much of myself in the heroine's role. This fun read tells the tale of a out-of-work librarian starting up her own bookshop out of truck in the Scottish Highlands, where
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she displays a remarkable talent for matching the right book with the right customer. Fun, and highly recommended for bookworms!
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Language

Original language

English

Original publication date

2016

Physical description

8 inches

ISBN

0062467255 / 9780062467256
Page: 0.219 seconds