“The words you can’t find, you borrow.
We read to know we’re not alone. We read because we are alone. We read and we are not alone.” – Gabrielle Zevin, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
My recent read of The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman, a book about a secret Library society, spies, and of course books, made me think back to some of my favourite books that have books as one of the main themes. It is always wonderful to read something that captures the love of reading so many of us share and the beauty of a story. These are my favourite books about books:
1. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Young Daniel becomes fascinated by a book called The Shadow of the Wind by Julián Carax. When he sets out to find other works by tis mysterious author, he discovers that someone is destroying every book Carax had ever written. Beautifully written and engaging story with an intriguing mystery.
2. Mr. Peneumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Young protagonist Clay Jannon stumbles upon a pattern in customer book selection, and sets out to uncover the mystery of Mr. Penumbra’s bookstore with the help of his friends. A fun adventure that examines the relationship between new technology and old school books.
3. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Independent bookstore owner A.J. Fikry is grieving the loss of his wife and has isolated himself from just about everyone. When he discovers an unexpected package left at his bookstore, his life takes a turn in a whole new direction. A beautifully written and touching story.
4. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Margaret Lea receives an unexpected invitation from novelist Vida Winters to write her biography where she will finally reveal her true life story. Before deciding whether to accept the job, Margaret reads a book written by Miss. Winters called Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation and becomes intrigued by it as it only contains twelve stories. Where is the thirteenth tale? A beautifully written, page-turning read.
5. I’ll See You in Paris by Michelle Gable
Annie becomes fascinated with a mysterious book about the infamous Duchess of Marlborough, which turns out to be closely related to her own history. A beautifully written novel full of endearing characters that travels back and forth in time from the English countryside to the streets of Paris.
“Books are, for me, it must be said, the most important thing; what I cannot forget is that there was a time when they were at once more banal and more essential than that. When I was a child, books were everything. And so there is in me, always, a nostalgic yearning for the lost pleasure of books. It is not a yearning that one ever expects to be fulfilled.” – Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale