Books About Books for People Who Love Books

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

This post is pure and simple: recommendations for books about books or books that include many mentions of books or references to books or lots of characters who like to read. Essentially, books for people who love to read, and love even more to read about books.

1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
A clear and obvious choice, and one of my favorite books of all-time. This stunning novel follows a young girl in Hitler-controlled Germany, who moves in with a foster family, finds a new best friend and discovers a love of the written word at a time when it's not safe to read. It's heartbreaking and amazing and full of books. This book is as close to perfection as it gets.
My Rating: 5/5

2. Harry Potter (Chamber of Secrets and Half Blood Prince, in particular) by J.K. Rowling
All of the Harry Potter books include plenty of reading and books, from the Monster Book of Monsters, to spell books and secret messages. However, the second and sixth installments in the series in particular strike me as more book-focused. In Chamber of Secrets, books and an enchanted diary are at the center of the mystery, and in the Half-Blood Prince, Harry becomes obsessed with a potions textbook, which is a catalyst for many of the major events of the story. But of course, this entire series is perfection and always worth reading.
My Rating: 5/5

3. November 9 by Colleen Hoover
In November 9 (my favorite Colleen Hoover book--it's so great) two strangers meet and immediately hit it off. They spend only one day together (November 9! Gasp!), but they feel an intense connection, and decide to meet up each year on the same day, with no contact in between. As the years go on, the characters develop, and plenty of romance, humor and drama goes down. The entire time, Ben, the male protagonist, is working on writing a book about their November 9 experiences. So the book itself doesn't involve a lot of books, but the fact that the main character is writing about their encounters is a huge part of the novel and makes for an overall amazing story.
My Rating: 5/5

4. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Fangirl is one of Rainbow Rowell's most popular books, and though it isn't my favorite of hers, I still loved it and it's definitely very book themed! The protagonist is Cath, a new college student who has always been obsessed with a series of books following a group of wizards and their adventures (think Harry Potter parody). She writes fan fiction about the characters and all the things she wants them to do, and has a huge following online. This book has a very familiar feeling, particularly for those of us who grew up obsessed with Harry Potter and everything about it. It's also a growing up, coming of age story, and has plenty of humor and romance too, like any Rainbow Rowell book. Definitely worth reading.
My Rating: 4.5/5

5. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
This modern classic takes place in the early 1960s in Mississippi and follows several main characters navigating issues of family, relationships and racism. The novel delves into the lives of wealthy white families, and the black maids they employ to clean their houses, cook their meals, and raise their children. It focuses in particular on two maids and one young white writer, who work together to create and publish a book that exposes the experiences of "the help" in Southern communities and homes. It's funny, dramatic, moving and incredible. Another that will always have a place on my favorites list.
My Rating: 5/5

6. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Books featuring bookstores are automatically awesome to me. This one features A.J. Fikry, a bookstore owner, whose life has recently gone majorly downhill. He's a quirky, cynical and endearing person, and the various other characters are all wonderful as well. It's not a particularly deep or insightful book, but it's totally amazing in it's own way. This one will leave you laughing, crying, and feeling your faith in the world restored. It also has tons of references to books and authors, which makes it extra special.
My Rating: 5/5

7. Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
This is a funny, sweet, tiny little novel that will warm your book-loving heart. Dash and Lily are two teenagers living in New York, both lovers of words and stories. Lily decides to leave a red notebook on a bookstore shelf, filled with dares for whomever picks it up. Dash finds it and starts following Lily's whirlwind of tasks. The characters are highly intelligent and fascinating, and their language (while not completely realistic for teenagers) completely endeared them to me. These are people I'd want to meet, and adventures I'd like to go on.
My Rating: 5/5

8. Me & Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter
This charming, lighthearted book follows a young woman named Emily who chooses to go on a Jane Austen themed European adventure, rather than join her friends on a party-heavy trip to Mexico. She's a hardcore Austenite and Darcy fangirl, who never expects that she'll meet a real life Darcy during her trip. The characters in this book are funny and quirky. It's a simple, fun book, with enough Jane Austen knowledge and references included to make any book lover happy.
My Rating: 4.5/5

9. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
It's been a very very long time since I read this book, but I still remember that I loved it. Cornelia Funke is without a doubt one of my favorite childhood authors (Dragon Rider is still cherished to me), and this book is a classic. This is the first sentence of its Goodreads description:
"Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, can "read" fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and tries to force him into service."
Ummm, that's amazing. I hope that sold you, because I don't think I could possibly do a better job of explaining.
My Rating: Can't actually be sure; this was before I used Goodreads. Maybe 4 or 4.5/5?

10. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
This is one of my most recent reads, and I've been talking about it a lot (see more info in a post below). But this book, written by 3 authors, and told from 3 viewpoints, is one of my favorites of the year so far. It's hilarious and adventurous and romantic and just so fun. It's a historical retelling and reshaping of the story of Lady Jane Grey, who was queen of England for 9 days, centuries ago. Jane, one of the 3 main protagonists, has an intense passion for books, which fills the story with tons of bookish references, and gives the reader that feeling of companionship that can only form between a book lover and a book loving main character.
My Rating: 4.5/5

Other bookish book suggestions from my to-read list (even though I can't tell you if I liked them, other people definitely have!):

  • The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
  • The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler
  • The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

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