Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish but was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
This week’s topic is a freebie so I get to come up with my own Top Ten List! And I am choosing my Top Ten Books About Books!
July 30th: Books About Books
1)The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
What can I say that hasn’t already been said about this brilliant book! It’s got everything I could ever dream of in a book; a library that keeps forgotten books, an amazing setting, interesting characters, adventure, mystery, intrigue, love… cramming all those things into a book shouldn’t work but work it does! Definitely high on my list of recommended reads.
BLURB: Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets–an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.
2)The Binding by Bridget Collins
I read this earlier this year and it has fast-tracked it’s way to my list of all time favourite books. It’s a story about forbidden love and could probably be best described as an historical fiction mixed with fantasy and folklore AND I LOVED IT!!!
BLURB: Young Emmett Farmer begins an apprenticeship as a Bookbinder. For as long as he can recall, Emmett has been drawn to books, even though they are strictly forbidden. Bookbinding is a sacred calling, Seredith informs her new apprentice, and he is a binder born. Under the old woman’s watchful eye, Emmett learns to hand-craft the elegant leather-bound volumes. Within each one they will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, a binder can help. If there’s something you need to erase, they can assist. Within the pages of the books they create, secrets are concealed and the past is locked away.
But while Seredith is an artisan, there are others of their kind, avaricious and amoral tradesman who use their talents for dark ends—and just as Emmett begins to settle into his new circumstances, he makes an astonishing discovery. Soon, everything he thought he understood will be dramatically rewritten.
3)Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
This is a YA novel that is set in a bookstore and it is simply gorgeous. It’s a story about growing up, falling in love, lost love and grief and it moved me to tears with how honestly heartfelt it is.
BLURB: Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favourite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came.
Now Rachel has returned to the city – and to the bookshop – to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore.
As Henry and Rachel work side by side – surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages – they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.
4)In the Night Wood by Dale Bailey
This is a really spooky book, perfect for dark winter nights that has a very gothic, fairytale-like feel to it.
BLURB: American Charles Hayden came to England to forget the past. Failed father, failed husband, and failed scholar, Charles hopes to put his life back together with a biography of Caedmon Hollow, the long-dead author of a legendary Victorian children’s book, In the Night Wood. But soon after settling into Hollow’s remote Yorkshire home, Charles learns that the past isn’t dead.
In the neighbouring village, Charles meets a woman he might have loved, a child who could have been his own lost daughter, and the ghost of a self he thought he’d put behind him. And in the primeval forest surrounding Caedmon Hollow’s ancestral home, an ancient power is stirring. The horned figure of a long-forgotten king haunts Charles Hayden’s dreams. And every morning the fringe of darkling trees presses closer.
Soon enough, Charles will venture into the night wood.
Soon enough, he’ll learn that the darkness under the trees is but a shadow of the darkness that waits inside us all.
5)The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Honestly am clueless as to how to describe this book. It is the type of book to curl up with on a squishy armchair, a mug of cocoa in hand with the wind howling and rain pelting outside. It’s everything I love in a book. Gothic sensibilities. Quirky characters. Sleights of hand. A plot that consistently held my attention. Perfect pacing. I loved it. It made me feel like I was a little kid again in the way that I got utterly lost in its pages.
BLURB: Angelfield House stands abandoned and forgotten. It was once the imposing home of the March family–fascinating, manipulative Isabelle, Charlie her brutal and dangerous brother, and the wild, untamed twins, Emmeline and Adeline. But Angelfield House conceals a chilling secret whose impact still resonates…
Now Margaret Lea is investigating Angelfield’s past–and the mystery of the March family starts to unravel. What has Angelfield been hiding? What is its connection with the enigmatic author Vida Winter? And what is it in Margaret’s own troubled past that causes her to fall so powerfully under Angelfilds spell?
6)The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
This book is only publishing this Autumn but I had the good fortune to read an eARC copy from NetGalley a few weeks ago. Look out for my review of it in September. It has a book within a book type storyline that connects the MC to the book she is reading and it is simply magnificent.
BLURB: Every story opens a door.
In a sprawling mansion filled with exotic treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.
But her quiet existence is shattered when she stumbles across a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. As each page reveals more impossible truths about the world, January discovers a story that might just be the key to unlocking the secrets of her past.
7)A Discovery of Witches (All Souls #1) by Deborah Harkness
I am in love with this whole series of books. It’s basically junk food in book format! It’s an incredibly intoxicating read that mixes historical fiction with contemporary times and creates an entire mythology of vampires, witches and demons who are all after one particular book… I just love it! Plus the TV show is fabulous too!
BLURB: Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.
8)Bookworm: A Memoir of Childhood Reading by Lucy Mangan
This is a non-fiction but I would recommend it to all book lovers out there as it is simply an ode to the books of our childhoods and perfectly encapsulates all that reading can mean to us as children and then as our adult selves.
BLURB: When Lucy Mangan was little, stories were everything. They opened up new worlds and cast light on all the complexities she encountered in this one.
She was whisked away to Narnia – and Kirrin Island – and Wonderland. She ventured down rabbit holes and womble burrows into midnight gardens and chocolate factories. She wandered the countryside with Milly-Molly-Mandy, and played by the tracks with the Railway Children. With Charlotte’s Web she discovered Death and with Judy Blume it was Boys. No wonder she only left the house for her weekly trip to the library or to spend her pocket money on amassing her own at home.
In Bookworm, Lucy revisits her childhood reading with wit, love and gratitude. She relives our best-beloved books, their extraordinary creators, and looks at the thousand subtle ways they shape our lives. She also disinters a few forgotten treasures to inspire the next generation of bookworms and set them on their way.
9)The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
This book takes all the fairytales we know and love from our childhood and beautifully weaves this story about grief and acceptance, about dreams and nightmares, about the transition from child- to adulthood and ultimately what it means to be human. There is much left deliberately ambiguous for the reader to interpret for themselves as this book is somehow deeply personal. It connects to that core of your soul that knows all your innermost hopes and fears and pours them out into these pages for you to discover your own ‘once upon a time’.
BLURB: High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness. Angry and alone, he takes refuge in his imagination and soon finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a world that is a strange reflection of his own — populated by heroes and monsters and ruled by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book, The Book of Lost Things.
10)Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira
This is a super cute YA read that really captures that feeling that all lovers of YA books have about reading. Definitely a book that will put a smile on your face.
BLURB: In a perfect world, sixteen-year-old Phoebe Martins’ life would be a book. Preferably a YA novel with magic and a hot paranormal love interest. Unfortunately, her life probably wouldn’t even qualify for a quiet contemporary.
But when Phoebe finds out that Dev, the hottest guy in the clarinet section, might actually have a crush on her, she turns to her favourite books for advice. Phoebe overhauls her personality to become as awesome as her favourite heroines and win Dev’s heart. But if her plan fails, can she go back to her happy world of fictional boys after falling for the real thing?
And that’s my top ten list of books about books! Have you read any of these? Let’s chat if you have. Also please let me know in the comments below if you know of any other great books about books that you think I should read. And don’t forget to link to your TTT in the comments below so I can check out what you have posted this week.