Books about Books

Helene Hanff and Frank Doel

Helen Hanff, a New York writer with a passion for literature, writes to a London bookstore in search of rare English classics. Frank Doel, a reserved English bookseller, answers her request. Thus begins an extraordinary relationship that spans two continents and two decades.

Lindsey Davis
In A.D. 77, Marcus Didius Falco, agent to the Emperor Vespasian, investigates the mysterious death of the head librarian of the world-famous library of Alexandria, bringing him into immediate conflict with the darker side of academic life.
Lorna Landvik

Gathering at the Minneapolis hospital where one of them is a patient, five women remember the endless winter thirty years earlier, when they started the Freesia Court Book Club and became friends for life. Like life itself, the book has both funny and sad moments. It follows the women and their families through the personal and societal changes of the late twentieth century.

Estelle Ellis, Caroline Seebohm, Christopher Simon Sykes

Color photographs and lively conversation welcome the reader into impressive home libraries and a charming British "book town." Though full of practical advice on categorizing, displaying, and caring for a home library, this book is also about passionate readers and the books they love.

"I've been reading in the tub since I was nine. I've dropped books in the water, wrecked many, and may even drown someday reading in the tub. What a wonderful way to go." --Clothing designer Joan Vass, quoted on p. 117

Sharyn McCrumb

For one fateful weekend, the annual science fiction and fantasy convention, Rubicon, has all but taken over a usually ordinary hotel. Now the halls are alive with Trekkies, tech nerds, and fantasy gamers in their Viking finery, all of them eager to hail their hero, bestselling fantasy author Appin Dungannon: a diminutive despot whose towering ego more than compensates for his 5' 1" height . . . and whose gleeful disdain for his fawning fans is legendary.

Hurling insults and furniture with equal abandon, the terrible, tiny author proceeds to alienate ersatz aliens and make-believe warriors at warp speed. But somewhere between the costume contest and the exhibition Dungeons & Dragons game, Dungannon gets done in. While die-hard fans of Dungannon's seemingly endless sword-and-sorcery series wonder how they'll go on and hucksters wonder how much they can get for the dead man's autograph, a hapless cop wonders, Who would want to kill Appin Dungannon? But the real question, as the harried convention organizers know, is, who wouldn't?

Also available on audio.

John Dunning
Homicide detective Cliff Janeway, a rare book collector, quits the police force while under suspension. He opens his own bookstore and continues to investigate a case for which the police have no leads: the murder of a local book scout.
Michael Cart, editor

This collection contains stories by nineteen writers including Ray Bradbury, Ursula Le Guin, John Cheever, and Jorge Luis Borges. From serious to mysterious, from humorous to romantic, here is a variety of stories for a variety of readers.

Kasey Michaels
In this comic mystery Maggie, a mystery writer, finds herself up to her neck in trouble. She discovers that the "fictional" character that made her a bestselling author is hanging out at her apartment, and meantime a couple of her colleagues meet very untimely deaths.
Carolyn G. Hart

Mystery bookstore owner and amateur sleuth Annie Darling serves as author liaison for the Dixie Book Festival on Hilton Head. Problems arise when a self-serving, small-time publisher promises to write a scandalous roman a clef featuring Annie's five charges--all quite famous.

Elizabeth Peters

She may be a bestselling author, but ex-librarian Jacqueline Kirby's views on the publishing biz aren't fit to print. In fact, she's thinking of trading celebrity for serenity and a house far away from fiendish editors and demented fans when her agent whispers the only words that could ever make her stay: Naked in the Ice.

Seven years ago, this blockbuster skyrocketed Kathleen Darcy to instant fame. Now the author's heirs are looking for a writer to pen the sequel. It's an opportunity no novelist in her right mind would pass up, and there's no doubting Jacqueline's sanity...until she starts digging through the missing woman's papers and her past. Until she gets mixed up with Kathleen enigmatic lover. Until a series of nasty accidents convince her much too late that someone wants to bring Jacqueline's story--and her life--to a premature end.

Azar Nafisi

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.

Kyra Davis

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 . . . "

Suzanne Strempek Shea

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

Jasper Fforde

"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."

Elizabeth Noble

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.

Carlos Ruiz Zafon

"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."

Diane Setterfield

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.

Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
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.