As an avid book lover, one of my favorite type of books is the kind that focus on books or stories themselves. I love books about books and stories within stories, and seeing multiple strands or layers come together in interesting ways. Anything set in a library or bookstore will pique my interest, as well as stories about authors or readers.
After recently having read several of these kinds of books, I thought it was the perfect time to put together a list of books about books and stories that I particularly enjoyed. Although these all have books at their core, they are from a range of genres, so hopefully there’s something you can find from this list that you’ll enjoy!
Ready to see my picks?
A gothic and atmospheric story within a story, The Thirteenth Tale is about reclusive author Vida Winter, who has kept her true life history a secret for decades and now ready to share the truth, she hires biographer Margaret to write her story. There are multiple layers within this book, with several stories within the story. And the main characters are also book lovers! Fans of gothic dramas and mysteries should check this one out.
Ink and Bone is set in an alternate history in which the Great Library of Alexandria has not only stood the test of time, but it now manages the circulation of ALL books and the world’s knowledge. And although Jess believes in the value of the Library, most of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his book smuggling family. When he begins training to enter the Library’s service, he finds his loyalties tested and has to decide for himself what is important in life. A plot driven young adult, this is a fast paced fun read – and the first in a four book series!
The Bookshop on the Corner follows Nina, a librarian who dreams of spending her days connecting readers to the books they will love but suddenly loses her job. Determined to make a new life, she moves to a sleepy village, buys a van, and transforms it into a mobile bookshop that she drives from one neighborhood to another, changing several lives with the power of storytelling. A lighthearted and fun read with a solid message, this would make a great beach read for fans of feel-good women’s fiction.
In Lies She Told, Liza is an author attempting to write the thriller that she needs to put her back on the bestseller list while struggling to start a family with her husband. This alternates her perspective with that of Beth, the heroine in Liza’s novel, who suspects her husband of cheating on her while she’s home caring for their newborn baby. Over time, the lines between the two narratives blur until it becomes difficult to separate truth from fiction. Fans of mystery thrillers will find this to their taste.
The Ghostwriter is the story of a best-selling author Helena who has one more story to tell. But she has just received news that she has terminal cancer and only a few months to live. As her illness won’t allow her to write her own book, she hires a ghostwriter to help her. And her story is slowly revealed as the book is written bit by bit and everything ultimately comes to light. This is both suspenseful and heartbreaking with a powerful ending.
A Murder for the Books is a cozy mystery with some depth, revolving around librarian Amy Webber, her family and friends, and the small town she lives in with her aunt. With clear, concise writing and clever plotting, all the necessary clues are planted throughout the story for the reader to figure out the mystery alongside Amy. Fans of cozy mysteries won’t go wrong with this one!
Once Upon a River combines historical fiction with fantasy and folklore centered around the Thames river. Much like the river itself, it’s a bit meandering, taking its time to build up the world and the characters before weaving them together. A story about stories, each story stands on its own while also intersecting with the others, with one central mystery pulling them all together. This has plenty of suspense and tension but is largely character driven and therefore a slower read to be savored and not skimmed.
The Printed Letter Bookshop is a contemporary story wrapped around the lives of three different women, Madeline, Janet, and Claire, and the bookshop that pulls them together. Madeline has inherited the bookshop from her aunt and intends to sell the shop quickly, but the other employees have different ideas. Told through each of their perspectives in turn, their stories come together for a charming read in the bookshop setting. Recommended for fans of contemporary women’s fiction.
Set in the publishing world of the 1980’s between New York City and Cape Cod, The Last Book Party follows Eve as she attends the party of an acclaimed writer and is introduced to a new world she wasn’t previously privy to. An aspiring writer struggling to figure out her identity and path in life, becoming accepted in this new world gives her a sense of purpose that she hasn’t felt in a while. This coming of age story is light and smart and feels both timeless and nostalgic.
The combination of a small town setting, quirky characters, and a slightly magical quality come together nicely in The Book Charmer. Its two main characters are Sarah, the town librarian to whom books speak, and Grace, who moves to Dove Pond with her ailing foster mother and niece. These two characters foil each other as they get to know each other and their relationship grows. This is probably not a book for everyone but readers who enjoy some magical realism might want to give it a chance. (Expected publication date July 30, 2019)
There you have ten enchanting books about books and stories! I’d love to hear from you if any of these books are on your TBR or if you’ve already read them. Do you like books about books and stories? What’s your favorite?