13 Books About Books for Big Book Nerds

September 13 2016

Few people love books as much as we do. Authors might be the exception to that rule. It’s no wonder, then, that so many have included books as crucial plot points in their novels, often crafting brilliant stories within stories. For a meta reading experience, here are thirteen great novels in which books play a prominent role—usually instigating the plot.

First Impressions
by Charlie Lovett

A Jane Austen superfan takes a job in a London antiquarian bookshop when two different customers request the same obscure book. What should be a simple inquiry turns into a gripping mystery about the true authorship of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Bibliophiles will love this compelling novel celebrating the love of books.

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First Impressions
Charlie Lovett

13 Books About Books for Big Book Nerds

Few people love books as much as we do. Authors might be the exception to that rule. It’s no wonder, then, that so many have included books as crucial plot points in their novels, often crafting brilliant stories within stories. For a meta reading experience, here are 13 great novels in which books play a prominent role—usually instigating the plot.

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Close
A Discovery of Witches
by Deborah Harkness

A mysterious, enchanted alchemical manuscript appears in a library at Oxford. When a young student (and a descendant of witches) discovers it, she finds that it has summoned a magical underworld. This passionate, fantastical tale is reminiscent of the writing of Anne Rice and Diana Gabaldon.

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A Discovery of Witches
Deborah Harkness

Diana Bishop, a young scholar and a descendent of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript deep in Oxford’s Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld that kicks off this riveting and magical trilogy.

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Close
Disclaimer
by Renée Knight

In this riveting psychological thriller, a filmmaker wakes up to a strange novel on her nightstand that just happens to re-create, in eerie detail, a dark secret she holds deep inside her. Will she confront the past before her life falls apart around her?

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Disclaimer
Renée Knight

In this riveting psychological thriller, a filmmaker wakes up to a strange novel on her nightstand that just happens to re-create, in eerie detail, a dark secret she holds deep inside her. Will she confront the past before her life falls apart around her?

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

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Close
The Book of Speculation
by Erika Swyler

After a strange, waterlogged book arrives on his doorstep, a young librarian believes that a curse is killing all the women in his family. Fearful that his sister is the next victim, he embarks on a journey to solve the mystery in this tale of family and magic.

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The Book of Speculation
Erika Swyler

After a strange, waterlogged book arrives on his doorstep, a young librarian believes that a curse is killing all the women in his family. Fearful that his sister is the next victim, he embarks on a journey to solve the mystery in this tale of family and magic.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

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Close
A Burnable Book
by Bruce Holsinger

In Geoffrey Chaucer’s London, rumors swirl about an ancient book that prophesizes about the end of the British monarchy and the assassination of King Richard II. Determined to find the text and save the king, Chaucer and poet John Gower begin a search and find themselves in a dangerous, widespread conspiracy that threatens the stability of the country.

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A Burnable Book
Bruce Holsinger

In Geoffrey Chaucer’s London, rumors swirl about an ancient book that prophesizes about the end of the British monarchy and the assassination of King Richard II. Determined to find the text and save the king, Chaucer and poet John Gower begin a search and find themselves in a dangerous, widespread conspiracy that threatens the stability of the country.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

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Close
The Shadow of the Wind
by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

A book dealer’s son loses himself in a strange book called “The Shadow of the Wind” by Julián Carax. But upon discovering that someone has been destroying every existing copy of Carax’s books, his innocent curiosity turns into an epic investigation into Barcelona’s darkest secrets—full of murder, madness, and hopeless love.

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The Shadow of the Wind
Carlos Ruiz Zafón

As Barcelona slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son, finds solace in what he finds in the “Cemetery of Forgotten Books”: a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, his seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets—an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.

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Close
If on a Winter's Night a Traveler
by Italo Calvino

Book-ception! Italo Calvino’s masterpiece is a tale of two readers attempting to read the same book, entitled “If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler.” With missing chapters, an elusive author, interrupting storylines, multiple narratives, and international conspiracies, this is a literary labyrinth of the postmodern age.

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If on a Winter's Night a Traveler
Italo Calvino

“You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino’s new novel, If on a winter’s night a traveler.”

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Close
People of the Book
by Geraldine Brooks

Inspired by a true story, PEOPLE OF THE BOOK follows a rare books expert who undertakes the intimidating job of conserving the famous and priceless Sarajevo Haggadah. During the project, she discovers a series of enigmatic artifacts within the text that unlocks mysteries and changes her life forever.

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People of the Book
Geraldine Brooks

This ambitious, electrifying work traces the harrowing journey of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, a beautifully illuminated Hebrew manuscript, from fifteenth-century Spain to war-torn Bosnia. It falls to a renowned book conservator and a young librarian who risked his live to save it to discover its secrets and piece together the mystery of its miraculous survival.

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The Club Dumas
by Arturo Pérez-Reverte

A book detective is on the case to determine if a manuscript for Alexandre Dumas’s THE THREE MUSKETEERS is authentic. What should be an ordinary research project quickly turns into a spellbinding and twisting mystery filled with danger, the occult, and swashbuckling heroes.

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The Club Dumas
Arturo Pérez-Reverte

A book detective is on the case to determine if a manuscript for Alexandre Dumas’s THE THREE MUSKETEERS is authentic. What should be an ordinary research project quickly turns into a spellbinding and twisting mystery filled with danger, the occult, and swashbuckling heroes.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

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Close
The Book of Lost Things
by John Connolly

Reality and fantasy collide in this evocative coming-of-age tale about a 12-year-old boy mourning the death of his mother. Taking refuge in his books, he escapes to a magical land of heroes and monsters, where a king guards a mysterious and powerful book: “The Book of Lost Things.”

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The Book of Lost Things
John Connolly

High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother. He is angry and alone, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness, and as he takes refuge in his imagination, he finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a land that is a strange reflection of his own world, populated by heroes and monsters, and ruled over by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book... The Book of Lost Things.

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MENTIONED IN:

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Close
The Resurrectionist
by E. B. Hudspeth

THE RESURRECTIONIST gives readers a look at the dark side of folklore through two extraordinary books in one. First is the biography of a controversial nineteenth-century doctor who believes that mythical creatures—such as mermaids and dragons—once walked the earth. Second is the doctor’s own opus, a bestiary of these creatures with full descriptions and detailed illustrations.

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The Resurrectionist
E. B. Hudspeth

THE RESURRECTIONIST gives readers a look at the dark side of folklore through two extraordinary books in one. First is the biography of a controversial nineteenth-century doctor who believes that mythical creatures—such as mermaids and dragons—once walked the earth. Second is the doctor’s own opus, a bestiary of these creatures with full descriptions and detailed illustrations.

Amazon logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Renew Your Sense of Purpose with This No-Nonsense Advice Book

By Elizabeth Breeden | January 15, 2021

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Close
The Thirteenth Tale
by Diane Setterfield

Biographer Margaret Lea is approached by a well-loved but gravely ill author with a surprising request: she wants Margaret to capture her life story before it’s too late. Although Margaret’s never read the author’s work, she’s intrigued, and soon gets immersed in her strange and troubling history.

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The Thirteenth Tale
Diane Setterfield

Read a Book About Books

In this novel, biographer Margaret Lea is approached by a well-loved but gravely ill author with a surprising request: she wants Margaret to capture her life story before it’s too late. Although Margaret has never read the author’s work, she’s intrigued, and soon gets immersed in her strange and troubling history. Now both women will have to confront their pasts—and grapple with the ghosts that still haunt them.

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Close
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
by Katarina Bivald

A woman from Sweden arrives in small-town Iowa to meet her book-loving pen pal. No one expects her to stay, let alone open a bookstore—but can this tourist breathe new life into this dying town? An uplifting tale of the way a love for books can change our lives for the better and connect us to one another like nothing else.

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The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
Katarina Bivald

For your friend who loves books about books

When a woman from Sweden arrives in a small town in Iowa to meet her book-loving pen pal, no one expects her to stay—let alone open a bookstore. This uplifting novel shows how a love for books can change our lives for the better and connect us to one another like nothing else.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Renew Your Sense of Purpose with This No-Nonsense Advice Book

By Elizabeth Breeden | January 15, 2021

MLK Day Reads: Inspiring Fictional Characters Who Changed Their Worlds

By Sabrina Sánchez | January 14, 2021

Glennon Doyle Recommends: 6 Inspiring Reads for the New Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 13, 2021

January eBook Deals: 10 Fantastic Books to Add to Your Digital Library

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 12, 2021

10 Compelling Reads New in Paperback This January

By Alice Martin | January 11, 2021

6 Horror Reads That Will Haunt You Even More Than the Year 2020

By Sara Roncero-Menendez | January 8, 2021

Close

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