Bookworms not only love to read, but we love to read books about books, bookstores, libraries, bookselling, and everything about the bookish life. After all, what better place to explore literature than within literature? So, from classics to contemporary, check out this booklist filled with books about books and the bookish life!
The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell
The Diary of a Bookseller is Shaun Bythell’s funny and fascinating memoir of a year in the life at the helm of The Bookshop, in the small village of Wigtown, Scotland.
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Ex Libris: 100+ Books to Read and Reread by Michiko Kakutani
Pulitzer Prize-winning literary critic Michiko Kakutani shares 100 personal, thought-provoking essays about books that have mattered to her and that help illuminate the world we live in today–with beautiful illustrations throughout.
Shelf Life: Chronicles of a Cairo Bookseller by Nadia Wassef
The warm and winning story of opening a modern bookstore where there were none, Shelf Life: Chronicles of a Cairo Booksellerrecounts Nadia Wassef’s troubles and triumphs as a founder and manager of Cairo-based Diwan
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?
The Liar’s Dictionary by Eley Williams
An award-winning novel that chronicles the charming misadventures of a lovelorn Victorian lexicographer and the young woman put on his trail a century later to root out his misdeeds while confronting questions of her own sexuality and place in the world.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest.
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Reclusive author Vida Winter, famous for her collection of twelve enchanting stories, has spent the past six decades penning a series of alternate lives for herself. Now old and ailing, she is ready to reveal the truth about her extraordinary existence and the violent and tragic past she has kept secret for so long.
84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
This charming classic love story, first published in 1970, brings together twenty years of correspondence between Helene Hanff, at the time, a freelance writer living in New York City, and a used-book dealer in London at 84, Charing Cross Road.
The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams
Set during the height of the women’s suffrage movement and with the Great War looming, The Dictionary of Lost Words reveals a lost narrative, hidden between the lines of a history written by men. Inspired by actual events, author Pip Williams has delved into the archives of the Oxford English Dictionary to tell this highly original story.
Hell of a Book by Jason Mott
In Jason Mott’s Hell of a Book, a Black author sets out on a cross-country publicity tour to promote his bestselling novel. That storyline drives Hell of a Book and is the scaffolding of something much larger and more urgent: Mott’s novel also tells the story of Soot, a young Black boy living in a rural town in the recent past, and The Kid, a possibly imaginary child who appears to the author on his tour.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But when he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, he begins to question everything he has ever known.
How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry
Enter the world of Nightingale Books for a serving of romance, long-held secrets, and unexpected hopes for the future–and not just within the pages on the shelves. How to Find Love in a Bookshop is the delightful story of Emilia, the unforgettable cast of customers whose lives she has touched, and the books they all cherish.
The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa, translated by Louise Heal Kawai
An enthralling tale of books, first love, fantasy, and an unusual friendship with a talking cat, The Cat Who Saved Books is a story for those for whom books are so much more than words on paper.
The Pages by Hugo Hamilton
One old copy of the novel Rebellion sits in Lena Knecht’s tote bag, about to accompany her on a journey from New York to Berlin in search of a clue to the hand-drawn map on its last page. It is the brilliantly captivating voice of this novel—a first edition nearly burned by Nazis in May 1933—that is our narrator.
The Library Book by Susan Orlean
The Library Book, Orlean chronicles the LAPL fire and its aftermath to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives; delves into the evolution of libraries; brings each department of the library to vivid life; studies arson and attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL more than thirty years ago.
Browsings: A Year Of Reading, Collecting, And Living With Books by Michael Dirda
Dirda’s latest volume collects fifty of his witty and wide-ranging reflections on literary journalism, book collecting, and the writers he loves. Reaching from the classics to the post-moderns, his allusions dance from Samuel Johnson, Ralph Waldo Emerson and M. F. K. Fisher to Marilynne Robinson, Hunter S. Thompson, and David Foster Wallace.