Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
Not being much of a romance reader I always struggle to come up with a meaningful response to these Valentine’s Day prompts. This year I’m going for a lovey subject close to my heart: books about the love of books or, alternatively, books for booklovers. Here are some of my favourites:
1. The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett. A short novelette, if you will, in which the Queen discovers the joys of library membership and has her eyes opened to a whole new world. Short and sweet and so typically Bennett. Review here.
2. The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak. This was one of those books that made the rest of my life – all those moments when I didn’t have time to read – feel like an enormous inconvenience. Narrated by death itself, this is the story of a young girl in Nazi Germany and her love for reading.
3. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. A gripping tale involving a young man’s introduction to the Cemetery of Lost Books and his discovery that a devilish figure is intent on burning all the surviving copies of his favourite novel. I got completely hooked on this.
4. Matilda by Roald Dahl. Surely the best known bookworm in literature? And yet more proof that booklovers are the very best sort of people.
5. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. A moving memoir of one woman’s experiences teaching classic literature in the years after the Iranian revolution. Review here.
6. Possession by A S Byatt. Two modern-day academics join forces to research a secret love affair between two famous Victorian poets; the title can refer to lots of things but I love the way Byatt describes the curious feeling that certain books and authors belong to you alone.
7. 84 Charing Cross Road by Helen Hanff. Epistolary stories are the best and this is one of my favourites. This is the story of the unusual friendship between Hanf, an American writer, and a London bookseller with a shared love of used books. Review here.
8. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. Suffice it to say that there’s a parallel world (or two), a detective specialising in literary crimes, a missing copy of Martin Chuzzlewit, a woman trapped in a Wordsworth poem and several alternative endings to Jane Eyre. Indeed Jane Eyre gets rewritten, or rewrites itself, multiple times throughout. It’s mad but brill.
9. The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler. As much as I love her novels, a book club that reads only Jane Austen sounds pretty hellish to me. Nevertheless I remember quite liking this.
10. The Children’s Book by A S Byatt. A Byatt double whammy here. This is an epic tome (and the prettiest book on my shelves). It covers a lot of ground but focuses mainly on the children of a group of artists and writers in pre-war bohemian London.
Let me know in the comments if you think if anything I’ve missed 🙂