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Books & Authors

Books About Books

The books on this list explore the subject of books and reading from all angles -- from examining the role of reading in our lives to discussing the importance of books in the history of civilization.

1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List by James Mustich
Mustich provides brief (usually one page) introductions to works of fiction, poetry, science and science fiction, memoir, travel writing, biography, children's books, history and more. Ranging across cultures and through time, this eclectic collection of works is not a proscriptive list of the "great works," but a celebration of the glorious mosaic that is our literary heritage.

Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany by Jane Mount
In this love letter to all things bookish, Jane Mount brings literary people, places and things to life through her signature and vibrant illustrations. It includes a tour of some of the world's most beautiful bookstores, quizzes for testing one's literary knowledge, and recipes for famous fictional meals.

Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting and Living With Books by Michael Dirda
The author shares personal essays on diverse topics ranging from literary pets and cursive writing to book inscriptions and the pleasures of science fiction conventions.

By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life From the New York Times Book Review by Pamela Paul
Sixty-five of the world's leading writers open up about the books and authors that have meant the most to them.

Check These Out: One Librarian's Catalog of the 200 Coolest, Best, and Most Important Books You'll Ever Read by Gina Sheridan
A collection of must-read books as recommended by a librarian. After each suggestion, Sheridan offers a hilariously clever summary as well as surprising details about the book or author.

Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks: A Librarian's Love Letters and Break Up Notes to the Books in Her Life by Annie Spence
The author presents a collection of love letters and break-up notes addressed to the books she's encountered throughout her career as a librarian.

How to Be a Heroine, Or, What I've Learned From Reading Too Much by Samantha Ellis
Samantha Ellis embarks on a retrospective look at the literary ladies -- the characters and the writers -- whom she has loved since childhood. From early obsessions with the March sisters to her later idolization of Sylvia Plath, Ellis evaluates how her heroines stack up today. She also shares a frank, often humorous account of her own life growing up in a tight-knit Iraqi Jewish community in London. Here a life-long reader explores how heroines shape all our lives.

I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life by Anne Bogel
For so many people, reading isn't just a hobby or a way to pass the time -- it's a lifestyle. Our books shape us, define us, enchant us, and even sometimes infuriate us. Our books are a part of who we are as people, and we can't imagine life without them. "I'd Rather Be Reading" is the perfect literary companion for everyone who feels that way.

Remarkable Books: A Celebration of the World's Most Beautiful and Historic Works by Father Michael Collins
This work delves into the stories behind the most incredible tomes ever produced, offering an insight into their wider social and cultural contexts. Spotlighting ancient and modern masterpieces, it is chronologically ordered to demonstrate the correlations between the growth in human knowledge and advancements in the bookmaking process.

Ten Years in the Tub: A Decade Soaking in Great Books by Nick Hornby
Culling the best of his monthly column "Stuff I've Been Reading" in The Believer magazine, the bestselling author presents hilarious observations on a vast array of topics, and provides a wide-ranging reader list that serves as a reminder as to why we read.

The Art of Reading by Damon Young
As young children, we are taught to read, but soon go on to forget just how miraculous a process it is, this turning of scratches and dots into understanding, unease and inspiration. Perhaps we need to stop and remember, stop and learn again how to read better. Damon Young shows us how to do exactly this, walking alongside some of the greatest readers who light a path for us.

The Book of Books by Jessica Allen
"The Book of Books" celebrates America's 100 best-loved novels -- the books whose ideas, characters, and themes have shaped our country and reflect it back to us. This companion volume to PBS's series The Great American Read profiles the books, their authors, and their impact on our culture, as well as the little-known stories about how they came to be.

The Book: A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time by Keith Houston
Reveals how books, and the materials that make them, reflect the history of human civilization, tracing the development of writing, printing, illustrating and binding to demonstrate the transition from cuneiform tablets and papyrus scrolls to the mass-distributed books of today.

The Books That Changed My Life: Reflections by 100 Authors, Actors, Musicians, and Other Remarkable People by Bethanne Patrick
One hundred of today's most prominent literary and cultural icons talk about the books that hold a special place in their hearts and made them who they are today.

The History of the Book in 100 Books by Roderick Cave and Sara Ayad
Each of the 100 books chosen has played a critical role in the development of books in all their forms and with all that they bring: literacy, numeracy, technological progress and the expansion of scientific knowledge, religion, political theory, entertainment, and more.

The Year of Reading Dangerously: How Fifty Great Books - and Two Not-So-Great Ones - Saved My Life by Andy Miller
An editor and writer's vivaciously entertaining, and often moving, chronicle of his year-long adventure with 50 great books (and two not-so-great ones) -- a true story about reading that reminds us why we should all make time in our lives for books.

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch
When Nina Sankovitch's sister died at the age of 46, Nina turned to books for comfort, escape and introspection. In her beloved purple chair, she rediscovered the magic of such writers as Toni Morrison, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ian McEwan, Edith Wharton, and, of course, Leo Tolstoy. Through the connections Nina made with books, authors and other readers, her life changed in unexpected ways.

What to Read and Why by Francine Prose
Celebrates the pleasures of reading and pays homage to the works and writers the author admires above all others, from Jane Austen to Charles Dickens to Jennifer Egan.

 

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