Books About Books

Ryan made the observation once that I seem to enjoy books that are about books. The more I think about it, the more I’m inclined to agree. If I read that a book is about an author or involves other written works or even just about the art form of writing, I’m intrigued.

There are many reasons I’m looking forward to the new Cormoran Strike novel (I pre-ordered my copy, have you ordered yours yet?) and one of them is that the client in question is an author and his disappearance seems to be related to what he’s currently working on. I am currently making my way through The Salinger Contract, the first book I’ve *read* not listened to in months. I am enjoying the experience, both the book and the paper reading. This book, as well, is about authors writing and relating to other authors. I’ll come back when I finish, but so far I’m really into it.

Since us bibliophiles love few things more than lists, I thought I’d compile a list of books I’ve enjoyed about books!

The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon — These are the crowning jewels of my list! The first and second installments in “The Cemetery of Forgotten Books” series. Both are tremendous and beautiful works of literature. The Cemetery of Forgotten Books is hide away catacomb in Barcelona where books of  all calibers are brought and kept if for no other reason to prove that they exist. Both The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel’s Game stem from books found and discarded in The Cemetery. In the first, a young boy picks a book that is being hunted down by a firy phantom. The second shows a much darker side of written words, and what becomes of men who attempt to write the divine. I really can’t do these books justice, they are fantasic and endearing. I just found out there is a third installment!

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield — Margaret Lea is asked to ghost write a biography for a famed author. As her life unfolds the author’s family dark history begins to intrigue and frighten Margaret Lea.

Plot it Yourself by Rex Stout — A good ole Nero Wolfe mystery from the late 1950’s.  The answer to “who done it?” is found by comparing the all author suspects’  tone, phrasing and word choice. Even Archie gets in on the literary analysis!

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley — Bestselling author, Carrie McClellend hopes to use the ruins of an 18th century castle as the setting for her new book. But the more time she spends on the Scottish crags the more she dreams of the people who once lived there. This inspiration unnerves McClellend as she discovers those who come to her in her dreams may well have been living members of the castle household.

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James — Essentially a good murder mystery in the guise of Jane Austen fan fiction. Wickham is murdered in a most sudden and suspicious way 5 years after Elizabeth and Darcy say “I do”. In finding the murderer and the motive, Jane Austen’s classic work is reminisced with some startling new details.

Out of the Flames by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone (non-fiction) — The heretical works of Michael Servetus haunt him around 16th century Europe ultimately giving John Calvin reason to burn Servetus at the stake. Long after Servetus’ death, his works take on a life of their own surviving into the 21st century among the rarest books in the world.

The Professor and The Madman by Simon Winchester (non-fiction) — The strange true story of the Oxford English Dictionary’s most prolific and eccentric contributor.

Deconstructing Penguins by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone(non-fiction) — A guide to teaching basic literary analysis to children, helping them further enjoy and understand the books they read.

Books About Books


Are there any books about books you enjoy? Is there some small subset of literature genres you gravitate towards?


One thought on “Books About Books

  1. Pingback: 2014 Reading Goal Completed | Being the Carruths

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