Books about Books

Reading Lolita in Tehran

By Azar Nafisi

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Nafisi details her experiences in Iran from 1979 to 1997, when she taught English literature in Tehran universities and hosted a private seminar on Western literature for female university students. Born and raised in Iran, the author offers readers a personal account of events in the postrevolutionary period that are often generalized by other writers.

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Sex, Murder, and a Double Latte

By Kyra Davis

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When a mystery writer cries bloody murder, everyone blames her overactive imagination . . .

"Thriller scribe Sophie Katz is as hard-boiled as a woman who drinks Grande Caramel Brownie Frappuccinos can be -- maybe it's from a lifetime of fielding dumb comments about her half-black, half-Jewish ethnicity. ('My sister married a Polynesian! I just love your culture!') So Sophie knows it's not paranoia, or post-divorce, living-alone-again jitters, when she becomes convinced that a crazed reader is sneaking into her apartment to reenact scenes from her books. The police, however, can't tell a good plot from an unmarked grave.

"When a filmmaker friend is brutally murdered in the manner of a death scene in one of his movies, Sophie becomes convinced that a copycat killer is on the loose -- and that she's the next target. If she doesn't solve the mystery, her own bestseller will spell out her doom. Cursing her imagination (why, oh, why did she have to pick the axe?), Sophie engages in some real-life gumshoe tactics. The man who swoops in to save her in dark alleys at night is mysterious new love interest Anatoly Darinsky. Of course, if this were fiction, Anatoly would be her prime suspect . . . "

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Shelf Life: Romance, Mystery, Drama, and Other Page-Turning Adventures from a Year in a Bookstore

By Suzanne Strempek Shea

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The light, funny memoir of a novelist who worked for a year in an independent bookstore.

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The Eyre Affair

By Jasper Fforde

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"Great Britain circa 1985: time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. Baconians are trying to convince the world that Francis Bacon really wrote Shakespeare, there are riots between the Surrealists and Impressionists, and thousands of men are named John Milton, an homage to the real Milton and a very confusing situation for the police.

"Amidst all this, Acheron Hades, Third Most Wanted Man In the World, steals the original manuscript of Martin Chuzzlewit and kills a minor character, who then disappears from every volume of the novel ever printed! But that's just a prelude . . . Hades' real target is the beloved Jane Eyre, and it's not long before he plucks her from the pages of Bronte's novel. Enter Thursday Next. She's the Special Operative's renowned literary detective, and she drives a Porsche. With the help of her uncle Mycroft's Prose Portal, Thursday enters the novel to rescue Jane Eyre from this heinous act of literary homicide."

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The Reading Group

By Elizabeth Noble

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What starts out as a lark of an idea, born from a glass of wine and a need to socialize, turns into a forum for five very different women who walk complicated paths--but soon discover the power and importance of friendship.

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The Shadow of the Wind

By Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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"Barcelona, 1945--just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his eleventh birthday to find that he can no longer remember his mother's face. To console his only child, Daniel's widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona's guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again. Daniel's father coaxes him to choose a volume from the spiraling labyrinth of shelves, one that, it is said, will have a special meaning for him. And Daniel so loves the novel he selects, The Shadow of the Wind by one Julian Carax, that he sets out to find the rest of Carax's work.

"To his shock, he discovers that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book this author has written. In fact, he may have the last one in existence. Before Daniel knows it his seemingly innocent quest has opened a door into one of Barcelona's darkest secrets, an epic story of murder, magic, madness and doomed love."

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The Thirteenth Tale

By Diane Setterfield

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Margaret Lea, a London bookseller's daughter and biographer of obscure writers, is contacted by a world-famous author who wishes to tell her long-hidden life story. Margaret travels to Yorkshire to interview the dying writer, walk the ruins of a burned-out mansion, and verify a tale involving abandoned babies, a governess, and a story collection whose thirteenth tale is missing.

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What Would Dewey Do? An Unshelved Collection

By Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum

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Dewey and his library colleagues deal with computer crashes, psychic fairs, identity theft, poetry slams, the FBI, and each other in the second year of the online comic strip "Unshelved." Special bonus comics are included.
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