Bookish People



August 2022 Indie Next List Pick

A comedy about stories - those we sell to others, those we tell ourselves, and the everyday drama of the pages between who we are and who we’re becoming.

A perfect storm of comedic proportions erupts in a DC bookstore over the course of one soggy summer week—narrated by two very different women and punctuated by political turmoil, a celestial event, and a perpetually broken vacuum cleaner.

Independent bookstore owner Sophie Bernstein is burned out on books. Mourning the death of her husband, the loss of her favorite manager, her only child’s lack of aspiration, and the grim state of the world, she fantasizes about going into hiding in the secret back room of her store.

Meanwhile, renowned poet Raymond Chaucer has published a new collection, and rumors that he’s to blame for his wife’s suicide have led to national cancellations of his publicity tour. He intends to set the record straight—with an ultrafine Sharpie—but only one shop still plans to host him: Sophie’s.

Fearful of potential repercussions from angry customers, Sophie asks Clemi—bookstore events coordinator, aspiring novelist, and daughter of a famed literary agent—to cancel Raymond’s appearance. But Clemi suspects Raymond might be her biological father, and she can’t say no to the chance of finding out for sure.

This big-hearted screwball comedy features an intergenerational cast of oblivious authors and over-qualified booksellers—as well as a Russian Tortoise named Kurt Vonnegut Jr.—and captures the endearing quirks of some of the best kinds of people: the ones who love good books.


“The wacky world of books and the people who love them, as seen through a week in the life of a Washington, D.C., bookstore . . . it’s literary humor where she [Coll] slays.”


"A smart, original, laugh-out-loud novel that fans of Tom Perrotta will adore. If you sell, buy or simply love books, then Bookish People is for you. I wholeheartedly recommend this quirky gem."

—Sarah Pekkanen, New York Times bestselling author

“… a delightful, hilarious, and utterly charming novel about a quirky bookstore and its motley crew—ridiculously lovable people... The perfect read for bookish people everywhere.”

—Angie Kim, international bestselling author of Miracle Creek


Susan Coll - Harper Muse Author


Susan Coll is the author of six novels, including The Stager—a New York Times and Chicago Tribune Editor’s Choice. Her third novel, Acceptance, was made into a television movie starring the hilarious Joan Cusack. Susan’s work has appeared in publications including the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post, Washingtonian magazine, Moment Magazine,,, and The Millions. She works at an independent bookstore in Washington, DC, and is currently the president of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation.

Visit Susan online at

Instagram: @susan_keselenko_coll
Twitter: @Susan_Coll
Pinterest: @susancollauthor