Top 5: Books about books

books about books

As a book lover, books that revolve around the subject of books hold a special kind of fascination for me, so this week I’ve pulled together a list of some of my favourite books about books. These are all totally different, but although each one is unique, they all share one things – books in some form are a central part of the story. They’re all great reads and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend any and all of them! I’ve also linked back to my reviews of these books on this blog where I can.

  1. Magpie Murders, Anthony Horowitz

Summary: When editor Susan Ryeland is given the tattered manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has little idea it will change her life. She’s worked with the revered crime writer for years, and his detective, Atticus Pund, is renowned for solving crimes in the sleepy English villages of the 1950s. As Susan knows only too well, vintage crime sells handsomely. It’s just a shame that it means dealing with an author like Alan Conway….

But Conway’s latest tale of murder at Pye Hall is not quite what it seems. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but hidden in the pages of the manuscript there lies another story: a tale written between the very words on the page, telling of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition and murder.

Read my review here.

  1. The Invisible Library, Genevieve Cogman

Summary: Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she’s posted to an alternative London. Their mission – to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it’s already been stolen. London’s underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.

Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested – the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene’s new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own. Soon, she’s up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret societies. Yet failure is not an option – the nature of reality itself is at stake. Continue reading

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John Connolly’s ‘The Book of Lost Things’

It’s this middle of World War II, and confined to a country house with his new stepmother and even newer younger brother, David is full of hurt, anger and jealousy. In his attic room, he seeks comfort in a collection of old books. As he becomes consumed with the world between their pages, David starts to feel a strange affinity to the boy who lived in his room before.

the-book-of-lost-thingsWhen the events of one fateful day conspire, David finds himself in a place where nothing is as it seems, struggling to find a way to get home in a strange, threatening kingdom of twisted fairytales. His path is peppered with obstacles, and he is forced to face his innermost fears, overcome death and battle his nightmares before he can finally come face to face with an aging king who seems destined to lead the kingdom into ruin.

The Book of Lost Things is essentially a fairytale – but it’s certainly not a fairytale you’d want to read to small children at night. Bringing in elements of a whole host of different stories, Connolly twists and manipulates narratives for his own purposes, spinning motives and intentions and traditional plotlines into an intricate web of characters and incidents.

In fact, the author builds a whole new world with such rich detail and flair that I almost started to believe in its existence myself. The Crooked Man really was scary, a truly brilliant villain with wicked intentions. The truth, when it was finally revealed, was as terrifying as any nightmare come to life in the darkness. This is not a book where everyone has a happy ending. All of the characters we come across, from the Woodcutter to Snow White, have been given their own jaded and fractured back-stories that have been woven perfectly into the fabric of the narrative.

Ultimately, it’s the perfect book for anyone looking for a dose of escapism or pure fantasy with a twist. It’s spooky and mesmerising, and it takes a completely different direction to anything else out there.