Take Ten – Books About Books

The blog’s been a little quiet lately – we’ve had a rather busy month so far at the Library. The first two weeks of April we were still in Civil War 150 exhibit mode, and, of course, this week is National Library Week! In celebration, here is a list of ten great titles that are all about books. (All are highly recommended by yours truly.)

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The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak

  • Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel–a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.

The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl

  • In 1865, the preparations of the Dante Club–led by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Oliver Wendell Holmes–to release the first translation of Dante’s “The Divine Comedy” are threatened by a series of murders that re-create episodes from “Inferno.”.

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

  • In a world where one can literally get lost in literature, Thursday Next, a Special Operative in literary detection, tries to stop the world’s Third Most Wanted criminal from kidnapping characters, including Jane Eyre, from works of literature.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

  • A totalitarian regime has ordered all books to be destroyed, but one of the book burners suddenly realizes their merit.

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

  • Six Californians join to discuss Jane Austen’s novels. Over the six months they meet, marriages are tested, affairs begin, unsuitable arrangements become suitable, and love happens.

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession by Allison Hoover Bartlett

  • In telling the true story of book thief John Charles Gilkey and the man who was driven to capture him, journalist Allison Hoover Bartlett explores the larger history of book passion, collection, and theft through the ages.

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

  • Offered a coveted job to analyze and conserve a priceless Sarajevo Haggadah, Australian rare-book expert Hanna Heath discovers a series of tiny artifacts in the volume’s ancient binding that reveal its historically significant origins.

The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester

  • Describes how more than ten thousand definitions were submitted for the first Oxford English Dictionary from Dr. W.C. Minor, an American Civil War criminal who was considered both a genius and a lunatic.

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir by Azar Nafisi

  • The author describes growing up in the Islamic Republic of Iran and the group of young women who came together at her home in secret every Thursday to read and discuss great books of Western literature.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

  • A boy named Daniel selects a novel from a library of rare books, enjoying it so much that he searches for the rest of the author’s works, only to discover that someone is destroying every book the author has ever written.

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