Books about Books

I’ve always had a penchant for books about books, be they fiction or non-fiction.  Here are my top five…

I loved this humorous account of book addiction and if you even have the faintest hint of this delicious disease, you will recognise some of the scenarios/habits explored here.

One of my all time favourite novels.  Who could resist the appeal of a cemetry of lost books hidden in the old quarter of Barcelona.  I think I can also sneak in the prequel to this, The Angel’s Game, which also features the Cemetry of Forgotten Books and is steeped in Dickensian style.  More please, Mr Zafon!

Jasper Fforde’s madcap series featuring the intrepid Thursday Next, Special Operative in literary detection might not be to everyone’s taste but I loved this parallel universe where you can read yourself into books and encounter Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester face to face.  Indeed when I was at Haworth a couple of years ago I found myself trying to will myself into the novel – sad but true!  A fabulous read if you can suspend all disbelief and immerse yourself in the intelligent but wacky humour of the author.

Set mostly in libraries and bookstores, this is a book lover’s dream and if you like all things Gothic you will be in your element.   The only downside is that this was published in 2006 and we’re still waiting on a second novel…

In this beautifully written novel, a disparate group of characters are linked by a lost book entitled ” The History of Love”.  The prose is very sharp but some have complained about the over-complex nature of the plot -  I had to do a diagram to work out who was who – but the reader’s efforts are rewarded by an engaging narrative.

Honorable mentions go to The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl, Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi, Ex Libris – Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman.  I’m sure there are countless others out there, do let me know if you find any! :-)

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