Books About Books

When you really like to read, it isn’t enough to just have the books.  You need books to tell you what books to get.  I have a couple that I got recently that I am really enjoying.

The first is READ THIS! Handpicked Favorites from America’s Indie bookstores.  The editor contacted 25 independent bookstores and asked their best handseller to create a list of their 50 favorite books.  There is a bit about each book store (some of my favorites aren’t there but they are good stores) and a little additional chat about a few of the books that each seller has recommended.  It is really interesting to look at the lists – some have nothing but books I have never heard of and others have lists that I have mostly read – it’s all about taste.

The other book is Books to Die For – the world’s greatest mystery writers on the world’s greatest mystery novels.  In this case, the editors have asked current mystery writers to write an essay about one of their favorite mysteries.  The choices range from classics like The Moonstone and The Hound of the Baskervilles to books by modern writers like Margaret Maron, Donna Tartt, Reginald HIll and Laura Lippman.  The essays range from an analysis of the story to a very personal essay on what a story meant to the writer.  You can use this book to see what your favorite writer likes, to see if a writer agrees with you about a book you have already read or just to get a list of books that writers think are good enough to warrant attention.

The downside of this, of course, is that the pile of to-be-reads just keeps climbing.

3 thoughts on “Books About Books

  1. Inspired by Read This!, here is my quirky list of 12 favorite books, in no particular order:
    Shipping News by Annie Proulx; Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie; Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson; The Liars’ Club by Mary Karr; Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather; The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald; The Giver by Lois Lowry; Beloved by Toni Morrison; The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood; The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami; In My Father’s Court by Isaac Bashevis Singer; and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

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