Books about Books

Top 10 Books about Books : The Thirteenth Tale, 84, Charing Cross Road, The Princess Bride, Northanger Abbey, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, The Phantom Tollbooth, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader, Possession, The Book of Lost Things

The Thirteenth Tale
AuthorDiane Setterfield
ISBN0743298020
All children mythologize their birth...So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter's collection of stories, which are as famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale as they are for the delight and enchantment of the twelve that do exist.

The enigmatic Winter has spent...
84, Charing Cross Road
AuthorHelene Hanff
ISBN0140143505
This charming classic, first published in 1970, brings together twenty years of correspondence between Helene Hanff, a freelance writer living in New York City, and a used-book dealer in London. Through the years, though never meeting and separated both geographically and culturally, they share...
The Princess Bride
AuthorWilliam Goldman
ISBN0345418263
What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be...well...a lot less than the man of her dreams?

As a boy, William Goldman claims, he loved to hear his father read the S. Morgenstern classic, The Princess Bride. But as a grown-up...
Northanger Abbey
AuthorJane Austen
ISBN1593082649
Jane Austen's first novel—published posthumously in 1818—tells the story of Catherine Morland and her dangerously sweet nature, innocence, and sometime self-delusion. Though Austen's fallible heroine is repeatedly drawn into scrapes while vacationing at Bath and during her subsequent...
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
AuthorRobin Sloan
ISBN0374214913
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 customers are...
The Phantom Tollbooth
AuthorNorton Juster
ISBN0394820371
Librarian's Note: For an alternate cover edition of the same ISBN, click here.

Hailed as “a classic. . . . humorous, full of warmth and real invention” (The New Yorker), this beloved story -first published more than fifty years ago- introduces readers to Milo and his adventures in the Lands...
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
AuthorStephen King
ISBN0743455967
"Long live the King" hailed Entertainment Weekly upon the publication of Stephen King's On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer's craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every...
Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader
AuthorAnne Fadiman
ISBN0374527229
Anne Fadiman is—by her own admission—the sort of person who learned about sex from her father's copy of Fanny Hill, whose husband buys her 19 pounds of dusty books for her birthday, and who once found herself poring over her roommate's 1974 Toyota Corolla manual because it was the only written material...
Possession
AuthorA.S. Byatt
ISBN0679735909
Possession is an exhilarating novel of wit and romance, at once an intellectual mystery and triumphant love story. It is the tale of a pair of young scholars researching the lives of two Victorian poets. As they uncover their letters, journals, and poems, and track their movements from London to Yorkshire—from...
The Book of Lost Things
AuthorJohn Connolly
ISBN0743298853
High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness. Angry and alone, he takes refuge in his imagination and soon finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While...
A Room of One's Own
AuthorVirginia Woolf
ISBN0141183535
A Room of One's Own is an extended essay by Virginia Woolf. First published on the 24th of October, 1929, the essay was based on a series of lectures she delivered at Newnham College and Girton College, two women's colleges at Cambridge University in October 1928. While this extended essay in fact employs...
The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary
AuthorSimon Winchester
ISBN0060839783
The Professor and the Madman, masterfully researched and eloquently written, is an extraordinary tale of madness, genius, and the incredible obsessions of two remarkable men that led to the making of the Oxford English Dictionary -- and literary history. The compilation of the OED, begun in 1857,...
1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die
AuthorPeter Boxall
ISBN0789313707
For discerning bibliophiles and readers who enjoy unforgettable classic literature, 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die is a trove of reviews covering a century of memorable writing. Each work of literature featured here is a seminal work key to understanding and appreciating the written word.The...
The Jane Austen Book Club
AuthorKaren Joy Fowler
ISBN0452286530
The Extraordinary New York Times Bestseller In California's central valley, five women and one man join to discuss Jane Austen's novels. Over the six months they get together, marriages are tested, affairs begin, unsuitable arrangements become suitable, and love happens. With her eye for the frailties...
The Elegance of the Hedgehog
AuthorMuriel Barbery
ISBN1933372605
A moving, funny, triumphant novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us.

We are in the center of Paris, in an elegant apartment building inhabited by bourgeois families. Renée, the concierge, is witness to the lavish but vacuous lives of her numerous employers. Outwardly...
The Blind Assassin
AuthorMargaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood takes the art of storytelling to new heights in a dazzling novel that unfolds layer by astonishing layer and concludes in a brilliant and wonderfully satisfying twist. Told in a style that magnificently captures the colloquialisms and clichés of the 1930s and 1940s, The Blind Assassin...
So Many Books, So Little Time: A Year of Passionate Reading
AuthorSara Nelson
ISBN0425198197
Sometimes subtle, sometimes striking, the interplay between our lives and our books is the subject of this unique memoir by well-known publishing correspondent and self-described "readaholic" Sara Nelson. From Solzhenitsyn to Laura Zigman, Catherine M. to Captain Underpants, the result is a...
The Dante Club
AuthorMatthew Pearl
A magnificent blend of fact and fiction, a brilliantly realized paean to Dante's continued grip on our imagination, and a captivating thriller that will surprise readers from beginning to end.

Words can bleed.

In 1865 Boston, the literary geniuses of the Dante Club—poets and...
Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings
AuthorJorge Luis Borges
ISBN0811200124
Although his work has been restricted to the short story, the essay, and poetry, Jorge Luis Borges of Argentina is recognized all over the world as one of the most original and significant figures in modern literature. In his preface, Andre Maurois writes: "Borges is a great writer who has composed only...
The End of Your Life Book Club
AuthorWill Schwalbe
ISBN0307594033
The inspiring story of a son and his dying mother, who form a "book club" that brings them together as her life comes to a close.

Mary Anne Schwalbe is waiting for her chemotherapy treatments when Will casually asks her what she's reading. The conversation they have grows into tradition: soon...
How to Read Literature Like a Professor
AuthorThomas C. Foster
What does it mean when a fictional hero takes a journey? Shares a meal? Gets drenched in a sudden rain shower? Often, there is much more going on in a novel or poem than is readily visible on the surface -- a symbol, maybe, that remains elusive, or an unexpected twist on a character -- and there's that sneaking...
The Big Over Easy
AuthorJasper Fforde
ISBN0143037234
It's Easter in Reading—a bad time for eggs—and no one can remember the last sunny day. Ovoid D-class nursery celebrity Humpty Stuyvesant Van Dumpty III, minor baronet, ex-convict, and former millionaire philanthropist, is found shattered to death beneath a wall in a shabby area of town. All the...
Invisible Cities
AuthorItalo Calvino
ISBN0156453800
"Kublai Khan does not necessarily believe everything Marco Polo says when he describes the cities visited on his expeditions, but the emperor of the Tartars does continue listening to the young Venetian with greater attention and curiosity than he shows any other messenger or explorer of his." So...
A Northern Light
AuthorJennifer Donnelly
ISBN0152053107
Sixteen-year-old Mattie Gokey has big dreams but little hope of seeing them come true. Desperate for money, she takes a job at the Glenmore, where hotel guest Grace Brown entrusts her with the task of burning a secret bundle of letters. But when Grace's drowned body is fished from the lake, Mattie discovers...
Foucault's Pendulum
AuthorUmberto Eco
Foucault's Pendulum is divided into ten segments represented by the ten Sefiroth. The novel is full of esoteric references to the Kabbalah. The title of the book refers to an actual pendulum designed by the French physicist Léon Foucault to demonstrate the rotation of the earth, which has symbolic...
Parnassus on Wheels
AuthorChristopher Morley
ISBN1414270658
This is a pilot for a new feel-good tv series:

Opening Credits:
It is a glorious morning on a deserted track somewhere in the rural Midwest. Rolling on the lane is a long gypsy-type wagon being pulled by a great big horse. On the open seat up front holding the reins is a cheery man of middle years...
AuthorNancy Pearl
ISBN1570614350
The response to Nancy Pearl's surprise bestseller Book Lust was astounding: the Seattle librarian and winner of the 2004 Women's National Book Award even became the model for the now-famous Librarian Action Figure. Readers everywhere welcomed Pearl's encyclopedic but discerning filter on books...
The World According to Garp
AuthorJohn Irving
ISBN0345915593
This is the life and times of T. S. Garp, the bastard son of Jenny Fields—a feminist leader ahead of her times. This is the life and death of a famous mother and her almost-famous son; theirs is a world of sexual extremes—even of sexual assassinations. It is a novel rich with "lunacy and sorrow"; yet...
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen
AuthorJulie Powell
With the humor of Bridget Jones and the vitality of Augusten Burroughs, Julie Powell recounts how she conquered every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking and saved her soul!

Julie Powell is 30-years-old, living in a rundown apartment in Queens and working at a soul-sucking...
The Bookseller of Kabul
AuthorÅsne Seierstad
ISBN0316159417
In spring 2002, following the fall of the Taliban, Åsne Seierstad spent four months living with a bookseller and his family in Kabul.

For more than twenty years Sultan Khan defied the authorities—be they communist or Taliban—to supply books to the people of Kabul. He was arrested, interrogated...
Pale Fire
AuthorVladimir Nabokov
ISBN0141185260
The American poet John Shade is dead. His last poem, 'Pale Fire', is put into a book, together with a preface, a lengthy commentary and notes by Shade's editor, Charles Kinbote. Known on campus as the 'Great Beaver', Kinbote is haughty, inquisitive, intolerant, but is he also mad, bad - and even dangerous?...
Comme un roman
AuthorDaniel Pennac
First line: "You can't make someone read. Just as you can't make them fall in love or dream..." First U.S. edition of an eloquent defense of (among other things) the right to dip, skip and flip reading choices---available for many years in the UK, due out on this side of the Pond in November (but there are...
Booked To Die
AuthorJohn Dunning
ISBN0743410653
Denver homicide detective Cliff Janeway may not always play by the book, but he is an avid collector of rare and first editions. After a local bookscout is killed on his turf, Janeway would like nothing better than to rearrange the suspect's spine. But the suspect, local lowlife Jackie Newton, is a master...
The Library of Babel
AuthorJorge Luis Borges
In Borges's short story, the world consists of a gigantic library which contains every possible book that can ever be written. So, somewhere, there must logically be the book, the one that reveals the Library's secret! Unfortunately, there is no filing system, and no one has any idea of how to find the...
AuthorWallace Stegner
ISBN0140169300
Wallace Stegner's Pultizer Prize-winning novel is a story of discovery—personal, historical, and geographical. Confined to a wheelchair, retired historian Lyman Ward sets out to write his grandparents' remarkable story, chronicling their days spent carving civilization into the surface...
Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading: Finding and Losing Myself in Books
AuthorMaureen Corrigan
ISBN0375709037
“It’s not that I don’t like people,” writes Maureen Corrigan in her introduction to Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading. “It’s just that there always comes a moment when I’m in the company of others—even my nearest and dearest—when I’d rather be reading a book.” In this delightful...
Out of Africa
AuthorIsak Dinesen
ISBN0679600213
Out of Africa is Isak Dinesen's memoir of her years in Africa, from 1914 to 1931, on a four-thousand-acre coffee plantation in the hills near Nairobi. She had come to Kenya from Denmark with her husband, and when they separated she stayed on to manage the farm by herself, visited frequently by her lover,...
How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading
AuthorMortimer J. Adler
How to Read a Book, originally published in 1940, has become a rare phenomenon, a living classic. It is the best and most successful guide to reading comprehension for the general reader. And now it has been completely rewritten and updated. You are told about the various levels of reading and how to achieve...
Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them
AuthorFrancine Prose
ISBN0060777052
In her entertaining and edifying New York Times bestseller, acclaimed author Francine Prose invites you to sit by her side and take a guided tour of the tools and the tricks of the masters to discover why their work has endured. Written with passion, humor, and wisdom, Reading Like a Writer will inspire...
A Pound of Paper: Confessions of a Book Addict
AuthorJohn Baxter
ISBN0312317263
In the rural Australia of the fifties where John Baxter grew up, reading books was disregarded with suspicion, owning and collecting them with utter incomprehension. Despite this, by the age of eleven Baxter had 'collected' his first book—The Poems of Rupert Brooke. He'd read the volume often,...
AuthorJohn Irving
“One night when she was four and sleeping in the bottom bunk of her bunk bed, Ruth Cole woke to the sound of lovemaking—it was coming from her parents’ bedroom.”

This sentence opens John Irving’s ninth novel, A Widow for One Year, a story of a family marked by tragedy. Ruth Cole is a complex,...
The Children's Book
AuthorA.S. Byatt
ISBN0307272095
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize


A spellbinding novel, at once sweeping and intimate, from the Booker Prize–winning author of Possession, that spans the Victorian era through the World War I years, and centers around a famous children’s book author and the passions, betrayals,...
Letters to a Young Poet
AuthorRainer Maria Rilke
ISBN0486422453
In 1903, a student at a military academy sent some of his verses to a well-known Austrian poet, requesting an assessment of their value. The older artist, Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926), replied to the novice in this series of letters — an amazing archive of remarkable insights into the ideas behind...
The Child That Books Built: A Life in Reading
AuthorFrancis Spufford
ISBN0312421842
In this extended love letter to children's books and the wonders they perform, Francis Spufford makes a confession: books were his mother, his father, his school. Reading made him who he is. To understand the thrall of fiction, Spufford goes back to his earliest encounters with books, exploring such...
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