What's New? Books on Books

Posted Apr 22, 2014

Books about books - reading, writing, loving, selling them - are perennially popular. Probably because readers like books (duh) and so we like to read about characters who also like, or write, or read, or sell books. Here are a few brand new books that feature books - reading, writing, re-writing (and even stealing!) them - as a central theme.

The Other Story by Tatiana de Rosnay

From the author that brought you Sarah's Key, this is a book possibly inspired by de Rosnay's own sudden rise to literary fame. Bestselling author Nicholas Duhamel goes to a resort in Tuscany hoping to escape both his newfound fame (and all the burdens that come with it), and the ghosts of his past. He also hopes to find enough inspiration to write his next novel which his publisher bought sight-unseen. But his back-story - that he dredged up in the process of writing his runaway hit of a debut novel - has him questioning everything, including himself.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Title character bookstore owner A.J. Fikry is one of those perfectly grumpy characters who manages to carry your heart away. When, after a series of unfortunate events, his prized possession - a rare book, of course - is stolen, A.J. Fikry's just about had it all. Then someone leaves a baby in his store. His heart grows three sizes in short order and suddenly the bookstore, and A.J. sees a remarkable transformation. Fascinating characters (for who else populates bookstores?), books galore, and a sweetly deep story about death and rebirth make this a winner. BONUS: Zevin will be at Boswell Book Company's fifth anniversary celebration on Monday, April 28th, making more layers of authors at bookstores for books on bookstores and books than we can really keep track of. 

Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid

A book retelling a classic book (of the same name) about a bookish young lady: sound like a dream? McDermid is well-known for her crime stories, and this book updates the Jane Austen classic (bringing it from 1817 to 2014) with a decided lack of crime. Bookish Cat Morland lives more in fantasy than reality so when she gets a chance to go to Edinburgh it's a bit of a big-city wake-up call for her. She soon makes new friends and even falls in love with well-to-do lawyer Henry Tilney. Henry whisks Cat away to his family home, Northanger Abbey, where her fiction-loving mind invents stories and draws conclusions about the Tinley family that may hurt them both. 

By Its Cover by Donna Leon

Leon is the reigning queen of mysteries-set-abroad with her Commissario Guido Brunetti series. This latest installment is all about library books, so how could we resist talking about it? Commissario Brunetti gets a call that someone has stolen pages out of a rare tome at a Venetian library. Though the suspect initially seems clear as day, complications inevitably arise. Soon Brunetti finds himself dredging up the past when it comes to light that a murder at the library years ago may be related to the theft. This sounds like the best rainy day read ever: Italy, a library, a mystery.

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