BOOKS ABOUT BOOKS: Novels That Celebrate the Power of Fiction

 

  • The End of your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe 

“We’re all in the end-of-your-life book-club, whether we acknowledge it or not; each book we read may well be the last, each conversation the final one.”

An inspirational memoir of a mother and son and the shared love for reading. “What are you reading?” is the question Will asks his mother, sitting in a hospital ward, days after finding out that she has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The pair engage in deeply personal and heart rending conversations over the two years that follow.

“Reading isn’t the opposite of doing, it’s the opposite of dying.”

Their mutual passion for reading and the books that they read become the heart of their dialogue. This moving and emotional novel thematically explores the powerful influence of books and the magical cure that fiction can bring in times of discomfort and uncertainty. Will and his mother talk about books that range from classics to mystery, poetry and spirituality. The End of Your Life Book Club is a profoundly  moving novel that is not necessarily depressing, despite the themes of anxiety, loss and death.


When they read, they aren’t a sick person and a well person, but a mother and a son taking a journey together. The result is a moving tale of loss that is also a joyful, and often humorous, celebration of life: Will’s love letter to his mother, and theirs to the printed page. – Book Description



“Books are the most powerful tool in the human arsenal, that reading all kinds of books, in whatever format you choose – electronic (even though that wasn’t for her) or printed, or audio – is the grandest entertainment, and also is how you take part in human conversation.”

This book is much loved among our readers and is highly recommended for fans of realistic, contemporary and literary fiction.

‘A tender, moving and honest portrayal of the precious relationship between a mother and son- an ode to that beautiful thing called love.” – Cecilia Ahern

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  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 

This life-changing literary fiction novel by #1 Bestselling author Markus Zusak is bound to remain etched in our readers’ minds long after they read it. The Book Thief explores the life of Liesel Meminger and how far she goes to steal books to quench her passion for reading. She transforms the lives around her with the books she reads and is the ideal portrayal of courage and bravery during the dreadful times of the Holocaust.

Another feature that sets this book apart is that it is narrated by Death- the omnicient narrator who tells us the story of  the life of Liesel Meminger and her new found family.

“He was the crazy one who had painted himself black and defeated the world.

She was the book thief without the words.

Trust me, though, the words were on their way, and when they arrived, Liesel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out like rain.”


 

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau. – Book Description

 

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  • The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

A delightful, bittersweet tale about the distance one man will travel for the sake of love and friendship.


 

The Little Paris Bookshop- Nina George Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can’t seem to heal through literature is himself; he’s still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.

“There are books that are suitable for a million people, others for only a hundred. There are even remedies—I mean books—that were written for one person only…A book is both medic and medicine at once. It makes a diagnosis as well as offering therapy. Putting the right novels to the appropriate ailments: that’s how I sell books.”

After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.

Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure, The Little Paris Bookshop is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people’s lives. – Book Description

 


Yet another bestselling novel on the power of books. The Little Paris Bookshop shows the therapeutic influence of reading a good book. The novel also gives us a glimpse of French culture, people and literature as never observed before.

This is an ideal read for readers of any age- the perfect book to immerse yourself in, owing to its beautifully written narrative and memorable characters.

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  • What We See When We Read By  Peter Mendelsund 

A gorgeously unique, fully illustrated exploration into the What We See When We Read By PETER MENDELSUNDphenomenology of reading—how we visualize images from reading works of literature.

What do we see when we read? Did Tolstoy really describe Anna Karenina? Did Melville ever really tell us what, exactly, Ishmael looked like? The collection of fragmented images on a page—a graceful ear there, a stray curl, a hat positioned just so—and other clues and signifiers helps us to create an image of a character. But in fact our sense that we know a character intimately has little to do with our ability to concretely picture our beloved—or reviled—literary figures. In this remarkable work of nonfiction, Knopf’s Associate Art Director Peter Mendelsund combines his profession, as an award-winning designer; his first career, as a classically trained pianist; and his first love, literature—he considers himself first and foremost as a reader—into what is sure to be one of the most provocative and unusual investigations into how we understand the act of reading. – Book Description


 

Praise:

“A deconstruction of the visual experience of reading, a heady mixture of philosophy and neuropsychology. . . . Peter Mendelsund is astonishingly good at what he does.” —The Rumpus

“Amazing. . . . Sparkling with verbal as well as visual wit and the personable exhilaration of one of the best conversations you’ve ever had, What We See When We Read opens one’s eyes to that special brand of blindness which makes the vividness of fiction possible. It reads as if the ghost of Italo Calvino audited Vladimir Nabokov’s literature class and wrote his final paper with the help of Alvin Lustig and the Radiolab guys.” —Chris Ware, author of Building Stories

“Intriguing. . . . A truly remarkable book.” —Coolhunting.com
 
“A delightful treat for the avid reader. . . . [A] topsy-turvily illustrated marvel. . . . [Mendelsund] maps the dreamscape of reading to show us how the mirage dissolves under close scrutiny but its memory still burns brilliant. What a tangible magic books are!” —Shelf Awareness


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