To know me is to know that I love to read and always have.
I love everything about books, the escape from reality, the entertainment and education, the way they feel and smell. I adore bookstores and libraries. And though I’ve never met a single author, I know I would love them too!
So, it’s no surprise that I seek out bookish books – books about books, books about bookstores and libraries, books about authors and their families.
And if you’re anything like me and just can’t get enough of books. Here are 13 bookish books that are sure to remind you why we are book people.
The Book Thief
Historical Fiction has been my favorite genre over the past few years. I’m slowly leaning more into Psychological Thrillers, but I still love a good WWII novel. And this is one of my all-time favorites.
In fact, it’s even included on the list of the 10 Most Memorable Books I’ve Ever Read.
The extraordinary number-one New York Times best seller that is now a major motion picture, Markus Zusak’s unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul.www.amazon.com
The novel, narrated by Death, tells the story of the young-book thief sharing her stolen treasures with neighbors and the Jewish man hiding in her basement. It’s a story that will stay with you for a long time.
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
I feel like this book didn’t get the hype that it deserved. I’m still completely mind-blown that there are/were real blue-skinned people in Kentucky and that they faced such harsh discrimination.
Cussy’s not only a book woman, however, she’s also the last of her kind, her skin a shade of blue unlike most anyone else. Not everyone is keen on Cussy’s family or the Library Project, and a Blue is often blamed for any whiff of trouble. If Cussy wants to bring the joy of books to the hill folks, she’s going to have to confront prejudice as old as the Appalachias and suspicion as deep as the holler.www.amazon.com
The story is also inspired by the Kentucky Pack Horse Library Service, which delivered books to some of the most rugged parts of Appalachia in the 1930s. It’s a story that I likely won’t ever forget (which is why it’s also on my list of most memorable books).
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
This was one of those rare occasions when I saw the movie before I read the book. I always love to read the book first and then hate the movie, ha!
The movie was good, but the book was better (as always)! The plot is a bit complex as the story is told in a series of letters. It was a little hard to keep up with at times, but it’s so good. The characters love books and made me love books even more. And of course historical fiction is always a favorite with me!
January 1946: As London emerges from the Second World War, writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of Guernsey, the British island once occupied by the Nazis? As Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence, she is drawn into the world of this man and his friends, all members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a book club formed to protect its members from arrest by the Germans. Through their letters, she learns about their island, their taste in books, and the powerful, transformative impact the Occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey. What she finds there will change her forever.www.amazon.com
YA novels are hit or miss for me. I’ve been burned by several that everyone hyped up, but I adore Rainbow Rowell. (I’m still a little heart broken that she has changed direction and started writing sci-fi.)
Fangirl did not disappoint. The main character loves a particular series of books….maybe a little too much.
In Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life―and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.www.amazon.com
This book about a fellow book nerd is exactly the kind of bookish books that remind you why you fell in love with reading.
The Personal Librarian
Historical fiction is always a favorite of mine, but historical fiction based on real people is my absolute FAVORITE! Especially when it’s about incredible women that history forgot.
The remarkable, little-known story of Belle da Costa Greene, J. P. Morgan’s personal librarian–who became one of the most powerful women in New York despite the dangerous secret she kept in order to make her dreams come true, from New York Times bestselling author Marie Benedict and acclaimed author Victoria Christopher Murray.www.goodreads.com
I adored this book and Belle’s love of books and her determination to ‘make it’ in a world that was against her. It’s truly an incredible story, one that I never would have known if not for this magnificent book.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
Bookstores are one of my favorite places on the entire planet, so when I find books about bookstore…you better believe I’m reading it!
This book is books meet computers, past meets future, and what does it all mean now? You’ll have to read it to find out.
A gleeful and exhilarating tale of global conspiracy, complex code-breaking, high-tech data visualization, young love, rollicking adventure, and the secret to eternal life—mostly set in a hole-in-the-wall San Francisco bookstore.www.amazon.com
The Paris Wife
It’s no secret that Hemingway perfectly fit the ‘artist’ stereotype – creative, depressed, and addicted, but also genius. I loved getting to hear Hemingway’s story as ‘told’ by someone that history so often forgets – the wife, more specifically, the first wife.
If you’ve ever been ‘the first wife’ or have been cheated on with someone that you are so desperately in love with, you cannot help but ache for Hadley. And while you want to hate Hemingway’s guts, you can’t help but pity the man whose artist’s soul witnessed the brutalities of WWI battlefields and came home with his own injuries.
A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal that captures the love affair between two unforgettable people, Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.www.amazon.com
I’ve always wanted to visit Paris, but this book takes that wanderlust to a whole new level! It also made me add Hemingway’s novel “The Sun Also Rises” to my never-ending reading list.
The Storied Life of A.J Fikry
This is such a quirky little book with quirky little characters. And it speaks to my book-loving soul.
If you love ‘real’ books, love feeling the weight of a book in your hand, the feel of unread pages, then this is the exact type of the bookish books that you need.
And there are so many good quotes! Zevin was right…. “There ain’t nobody in the world like book people.”
A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over–and see everything anew.www.amazon.com
The Bookshop on the Corner
Is anyone else crushed when you recommend a book to someone and they tell you that they didn’t like it? Just me?
For a long time, I didn’t recommend books to anyone or even really tell people what I was reading because I was so crushed when 3 people in a row didn’t like books that I raved about. Seriously, it hurt my pride. So, I can only wish that I had a gift like Nina Redmond.
Of the bookish books, this one makes you really appreciate the good book people in this world.
Nina Redmond is a librarian with a gift for finding the perfect book for her readers. But can she write her own happy-ever-after? In this valentine to readers, librarians, and book-lovers the world over, the New York Times-bestselling author of Little Beach Street Bakery returns with a funny, moving new novel for fans of Nina George’s The Little Paris Bookshop.www.amazon.com
The Bookshop of Yesterdays
The literary clues were my favorite part of this story! Clearly, authors are book people, but Amy Meyerson is showing off her love of books in this novel. And I am here for it!
Bookish books that also have a bit of mystery, count me in! This one was entertaining all the way to the end.
“Part mystery and part drama, Meyerson uses a complex family dynamic in The Bookshop of Yesterdays to spotlight the importance of truth and our need for forgiveness.” —Associated Press
A woman inherits a beloved bookstore and sets forth on a journey of self-discovery in this poignant debut about family, forgiveness and a love of reading.www.amazon.com
The Jane Austen Society
This book inspired me to finally take on the task of reading Austen’s novels. My mistake was starting with Emma (which is another post for another time).
Reading about Austen’s final home and the group determined to preserve her legacy (albeit fictional) was enough to spark my interest in this classic writer, of whom before this I had (shamefully) never read.
Even if, like me, you have never read Austen, give this book a try. It’s a great reminder about the power of the written word’s ability to bring even the most unlikely people together.
A charming and memorable debut, which reminds us of the universal language of literature and the power of books to unite and heal.” —Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Pariswww.amazon.com
Ingrid Coleman writes letters to her husband, Gil, about the truth of their marriage, but instead of giving them to him, she hides them in the thousands of books he has collected over the years. When Ingrid has written her final letter she disappears from a Dorset beach, leaving behind her beautiful but dilapidated house by the sea, her husband, and her two daughters, Flora and Nan.www.amazon.com
I wasn’t sure what I was going to get with this book. Is it a thriller like Gone Girl? Or is it more literary?
The answer – it’s little of both. I loved the mystery and the letters that Ingrid left behind in the books. It makes you realize that books are truly open to interpretation. Each reader reads a slightly different story, even when we’re all reading the same book.
However, the ending was frustrating to me. I’ll just leave it at that and not give away any spoilers.
The Madwoman Upstairs
A full-on literary treasure hunt? What more could you ask of bookish books?
I’m completely blown-away at the fact that this is a debut novel, it’s just so clever! Many of the literary references went over my head, as the only Bronte book I have read is Jane Eyre (shameful, I know, but I AM working on reading more classic literature).
Even though I hadn’t read the Bronte novels, I never felt lost or confused in this book, which I think speaks to the intelligent writing. Put it on your list if you are looking for a bookish read.
A fast-paced adventure from start to finish, The Madwoman Upstairs is a smart and original novel and a moving exploration of what happens when the greatest truth is, in fact, fiction.www.amazon.com
There’s just something about books that I can never get enough of. And bookish books are some of the best of all!
I wish I was talented and creative enough to write one of my own, but for now I’m settling for just loving them.