31 December 2010

Imprint Friday: Benny & Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti

Welcome to Imprint Friday and today's featured imprint: Pamela Dorman Books. Stop by each week to be introduced to a must-read title from one of my favorite imprints. I know you'll be adding many of these books to your wish list.

You may have heard about Benny & Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti because many book bloggers reviewed it in July 2009. What you might not know, is that it is a Pamela Dorman Book.

Here is the publisher's summary:

An international sensation, this addictively readable tale asks the question: Why is it so impossible to get a relationship between two middle-aged misfits to work? The answer lies in the story of Shrimp, a young widowed librarian with a sharp intellect and a home so tidy that her jam jars are in alphabetical order; Benny, a gentle, overworked milk farmer who fears becoming the village's Old Bachelor; and an unlikely love that should not be as complicated as it seems. Reminiscent of the works of Carol Shields, this quirky, humorous, beautifully told novel breathes new life into the age-old conundrum that is love.
According to an interview with Mazetti, the story of Benny & Shrimp stemmed from a real-life event that occurred when she and her husband were living on dairy farm in northern Sweden. Mazetti's curiosity made her ask, What if? and from there the book was born.

I love the idea of second chances and of newfound love later in life. Benny and Shrimp are each cranky and quirky, easily irritated, and come from different social sectors of their town. They don't even like each other when their paths begin to cross. I wanted to know if and how the librarian and the dairy farmer mange to build a relationship and overcome their differences.
  • Dawn from She Is Too Fond of Books called "Benny & Shrimp . . . a thoroughly enjoyable love story."
  • Laura from I'm Booking It said: "I loved the main characters, and how they were both real, everyday people with real, everyday quirks."
  • Amy from My Friend Amy noted that "[t]he story is quite sweet in some ways, neither are terribly glamorous, just your everyday folk, bumbling along."
One fun aspect of the novel is that each chapter told from Shrimp's point of view opens with one of her poems. She may not be a prize-winning poet, but she seems to tell it like she sees it:
Life, steaming and messy,
I've got the better of it,
I put labels on it, seal it in folders,
and file it in the archive.
I somehow think that Benny, a bachelor farmer, doesn't have quite the same view.

Benny & Shrimp was an Indie Next pick for September 2009. The paperback edition includes the interview with Mazetti and a Reading Group Guide. Both raise several good topics for discussion. If you're looking for a fun quirky read this holiday weekend, consider downloading Benny & Shrimp to your new eReader.

This book was featured as part of my Imprint Fridays feature and my Spotlight on Pamela Dorman Books. For more information about the imprint, please read Pamela Dorman's introductory letter, posted here on December 3, 2010.

Benny & Shrimp at Powell's
Benny & Shrimp at Book Depository
These links lead to affiliate programs.

Published by Viking / Pamela Dorman Books, July 2009
ISBN-13: 9780143115991


Kaye 12/31/10, 7:51 AM  

Just popping in to wish you and your family a Happy New Year. May 2011 be filled with good books, good friends, good health and much happiness.

I liked Bennie and Shrimp too, thought it was a quick and cute read.

Mary (Bookfan) 12/31/10, 8:08 AM  

I keep waiting for a sequel - thought there was more to be told about these two :-)

Happy New Year!

Julie P. 12/31/10, 8:22 AM  

How did I not know that this was a Pamela Dorman book?

Barbara 12/31/10, 10:03 AM  

Happy New Year to you and your family. This book sounds like one I would like. I like stories about true love come late to ordinary people.

Sandy Nawrot 12/31/10, 10:50 AM  

I have this book. I bought it on the Buy Two Get One Free table at Borders ages ago, and yet I still haven't read it yet. Boo me.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks 12/31/10, 12:51 PM  

Thanks for reminding people about this short book (I mention 'short' because it might be perfect for a busy weekend). There IS a sequel, but it hasn't been translated into English (do you have any pull with Pam Dorman, to make it available to us?!?)

Happy New Year!

Jenn's Bookshelves 12/31/10, 1:30 PM  

I own this one but haven't had the chance to read it quite yet. I had no idea it was a Pamela Dorman book!

Robin M 12/31/10, 1:39 PM  

I thoroughly enjoyed this one so glad to see you are highlighting it today.

Happy New year!

Beth Hoffman 1/1/11, 11:31 AM  

I read this quite a while ago and enjoyed it -- especially how quirky and real the characters were.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

Rebecca Rasmussen 1/1/11, 11:42 AM  

Okay, any comparison to Carol Shields and I am in. Shields is among my very top two favorite writers...so you sold me (well, I guess the description did) :) xoxox

Jennifer 1/2/11, 2:19 PM  

I have a thing for love stories especially ones that are realistic. This sounds like such a heartwarming read. I'm definitely going to be adding it to my list!

Esme 1/4/11, 12:04 AM  

Gosh I have not heard of this book in a long time. I have wanted to read this.

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