Beneath the pages of a good book are worlds that transport us to entirely different places and into entirely different lives. When a book features a bookstore, a library, or maybe even a character as obsessed with books as we are, the result is a beautiful meta wonderland.
This is a list of stories that pay homage to the world of books; whether through the comfort and sanctuary of libraries, the careful crafting of a narrative, or the mysticism and power of books themselves, each contain different versions of the same awe and appreciation of words, stories and imagination. So, immerse yourself in these books and let these stories solidify your love for books with their own.
Shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2022
On All Souls’ Day 2019, Tookie finds that her most annoying customer Flora simply won’t leave, even after she’s died… the mystery of the haunting, along with the global chaos of 2020 fills this story with a weighted significance.
Set in a bookshop in Minneapolis, The Sentence is a rich and emotive exploration of the power of books and reading, and is filled with real-world reading recommendations. A vivid look at grief, guilt and isolation, The Sentence is a ghost story but also an incredible love letter to literature.
Shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2006
A devastating and moving tale of love, loss and identity, The History of Love follows the story of Leo Gursky, a man who fell in love at the age of ten and has been in love, ever since. In the depths of his passion he wrote a book in honour of the girl who caught his heart, before moving continents to America.
The impact of Leo’s work is unknown to him and as the story unfolds we see the effect that his writing has had on parallel lives, as author Nicole Krauss expertly weaves together stories of loneliness and isolation into something beautiful.
Longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2008
It starts with a book that no living person has read: The End of Mr. Y. When PhD student Ariel Manto uncovers it in a second-bookshop, everything changes. Are the mysteries surrounding the book true? As Ariel seeks to find out more, she is spun deeper into an adventure of time and space, reality and illusion, and a world where all consciousness is connected. Does this book hold the answers to the universe? Or is this book truly cursed…?
Winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2022
How in touch are you with the objects around you? Can you sense the emotion that lies beneath the inanimate? The Book of Form and Emptiness is like no other book, largely because it is narrated by the book itself. In this year’s Women’s Prize winning novel, Ruth Ozeki has masterfully blended material possessions with humanity and our need for connection. How much can we learn if we listen to the silence? Let the Book take you through 14 year old Benny’s journey as he navigates grief and loss, in a playful, unique and heartbreaking way.
Shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2015
Outline follows a divorced writer – or, really, it follows the people she meets – as she travels to Athens to lead a creative writing workshop. Each person she meets becomes a storyteller, revealing to her intricate, often intimate, details of their lives: failed marriages, romantic affairs, worries, hopes, dreams, desires.
Athens comes alive through these interactions, as the patterns of human nature appear gradually, but distinctly. Outline is the perfect book for people watchers – a look behind the veil of anonymity, which considers creativity and the stories we tell of those around us.
Do you have a favourite book about books? Or one featuring a magical library or an enchanting bookshop? Let us know all about it over on one of our social channels.