Books about Books

As the semester draws to a close, I begin to fantasize about reading purely for pleasure — no student papers, no textbooks, no emails — and looking longingly at the stack of books on my nightstand.  I’ll tell myself that I have to get through this last stack of papers before I’ll let myself dive into the Real Simple that came in the mail and  book on my nightstand (The House at the End of Hope Street).

Now that summer reading time is finally here, but in the meantime I thought I would share with you some of my favorite books, which, not surprisingly, happen to be about books:

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

Hannah Heath, a rare book conservator, is invited to study and report on an ancient Haggadah recently rediscovered.  The book moves forward, following Hannah and her research, and backwards, tracing the book’s fascinating history.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Such a fun read!  Clay Jannon, an out-of-work web designer, ends up working in a quirky old school bookstore with curious customers. Quirky and nerdy fun.

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

Memoir of a literature teacher who hosts a reading group in her living room.  As they read books banned in Tehran, they find a sense freedom and glimpses of themselves.  Beautiful and heart wrenching at times.

The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe

I avoided this book for a while because the title sounds so sad, but I found it to be really hopeful.  It’s a memoir of the author and his mother’s book club as she faces her diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and hear last months.  As the two read and discuss books together, they encounter conversations that they might never have had.   Mary Anne has lived a good full life, and she is aware of that, which takes a lot of the edge off the sadness of the book.

The Fabulous Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore  by William Joyce

A children’s book that inspired the Academy Award winning short film.  Mr. Lessmore finds companionship and his own story through books.  Absolutely lovely.

Are there any books about books that you love?  What’s on your summer reading list?

I absolutely love when I get to read about what others are reading, so, throughout the summer, I’m planning on sharing some more of my favorite books as well as what I’m reading in the moment.



One response to “Books about Books

  • katieleigh

    I loved Mr. Penumbra (thanks to you!), Reading Lolita and People of the Book. And The End of Your Life Book Club is waiting for me at the library. Excited!

    Right now I’m working through Zadie Smith’s essay collection Changing My Mind, and reading Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman.

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