Writers are told, ‘write about what you love!’ Here’s a list of all kinds of books about books, written by people who love them.
1. It’s a Book! Lane Smith. A children’s book. Worried about children being attached to screens at the expense of the page? You wont be when you have read this. For the publisher’s trailer go here.
2. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. Great fun, especially if you know the original. The Literary Tec, Tuesday Next, needs to straighten out a parallel universe. Reader, will she marry him? Nicely presented LA Times review here.
4. Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman. A series of enchanting essays about books, countering the trend ‘that books are so often written about as if they were toasters’. The author talked to Robert McCrum about her writing: you can find it here.
5. Howard’s End is on the Landing by Susan Hill. She decided not to buy any books for a year and to immerse herself in those she already owned. A writer’s taste in books explored. Bloggers didn’t always like it but The Captive Reader did.
6. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. A novel narrated by Death about a girl in Munich in the early ‘40s who steals books. A present from my niece. Inevitably it’s been turned into a film.
7. If on a winter’s night a traveller … by Italo Calvino. A novelist’s novel that can be described as postmodern if you like that kind of thing. Each chapter is written in a different style, and linked by the idea of a particular book. You had to read it … David Mitchell, whose own work, such as Cloud Atlas, plays with form and interrupted narratives, paid tribute to this novel back in 2004 in the Guardian.
8. Reading like a Writer by Francine Prose, subtitled A guide for people who love books and for those who want to write them, includes a chapter called Books to be read immediately. Help, I haven’t even heard of some of these. I’ve praised this book before in a post called Reading for Writers on this blog: here.
STOP PRESS: Just as I finished writing this post I have received two more books about books.
So Many Books by Gabriel Zaid, a present from my sister. It’s a provocative book about book production its economics and its meaning today.
The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe, a library reservation. The author and his mother discuss life and books as her life comes to a close.
My late arrivals notwithstanding, please add your nominations for #9 & #10 to this list?
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