84, Charing Cross Road
Hanff, Helene, author
This charming classic, first published in 1970, brings together twenty years of correspondence between Helene Hanff, at the time, a freelance writer living in New York City, and a used-book dealer in London. Through the years, though never meeting and separated both geographically and culturally, they share a winsome, sentimental friendship based on their common love for books. Their relationship, captured so acutely in these letters, is one that will grab your heart and not let go.
The book thief
Zusak, Markus, author
Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel--a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.
Erotic stories for Punjabi widows
Jaswal, Balli Kaur, author
Nikki has spent most of her life distancing herself from the traditional Sikh community. After her father's death she takes a job teaching a creative writing course in the heart of the Punjabi community. When one of the women students brings a book of erotica to class, Nicki use it as the basis for helping these modest women unleash creativity by telling their own stories.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Shaffer, Mary Ann, author
As London is emerging from the shadow of World War II, writer Juliet Ashton discovers her next subject in a book club on Guernsey--a club born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi after its members are discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island.
Hell of a book : or, the altogether factual, wholly bona fide story of a big dreams, hard luck, American-Made mad kid
Mott, Jason, author
An African-American author sets out on a cross-country book tour to promote his bestselling novel. This novel also tells the story of Soot, a young Black boy living in a rural town in the recent past, and The Kid, a possibly imaginary child who appears to the author on his tour. This heartbreaking and magical book is about family, love of parents and children, art, and money - and the tragic story of a police shooting playing over and over on the news.
I'd rather be reading : the delights and dilemmas of the reading life
Bogel, Anne, 1978- author
The librarianist : a novel
deWitt, Patrick, 1975- author
Hoping to fill the void he's known since retiring, retired librarian Bob Comet begins volunteering at the senior centre. Behind Bob Comet's straight man façade is the story of an unhappy child's runaway adventure during the last days of the Second World War, of true love won and stolen away, of the purpose and pride found in the librarian's vocation, and the pleasures of a life lived to the side of the masses. Comet's experiences are imbued with melancholy but also a bright, sustained comedy.
The man who loved books too much : the true story of a thief, a detective, and a world of literary obsession
Bartlett, Allison Hoover
Unrepentant book thief John Charles Gilkey has stolen a fortune in rare books from around the county. Yet unlike most thieves, who steal for profit, Gilkey steals for the love of the books. Perhaps equally obsessive, though, is Ken Sanders, the self-appointed "bibliodick" driven to catch him. Sanders, a lifelong rare book collector and dealer turned amateur detective, will stop at nothing to catch the thief plaguing his trade.
No one round here reads Tolstoy : memoirs of a working-class reader
Mark Hodkinson grew up among dark satanic mills in a house with just one book: Folklore, Myths and Legends of Britain. His dad kept it on top of a wardrobe with other items of great worth - wedding photographs and Mark's National Cycling Proficiency certificate. If Mark wanted to read it, he was warned not to crease the pages or slam shut the covers. Fast forward to today, and Mark still lives in Rochdale snugly ensconced (or is that buried?) in a 'book cave' surrounded by 3,500 titles - at the last count. He is an author, journalist and publisher. So this is his story of growing up a working-class lad during the 1970s and 1980s. It's about schools (bad), music (good) and the people (some mad, a few sane), and pre-eminently and profoundly the books and authors (some bad, mostly good) that led the way, shaped a life. If only coincidentally, it relates how writing and reading has changed, as the Manor House novel gave way to the kitchen sink drama and working-class writers found the spotlight (if only briefly). Mark also writes movingly about his troubled grandad who, much the same as books, taught him to wander, and wonder.
The Paris library : a novel
Skeslien Charles, Janet, author
Paris, 1939. When World War II breaks out, Odile Souchet stands to lose everything she holds dear - including her beloved library. But by war's end, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal. Montana, 1983. Odile's solitary existence in gossipy small-town Montana is unexpectedly interrupted by her neighbour Lily, a lonely teenager craving adventure. Odile helps Lily navigate the troubled waters of adolescence, never suspecting that Lily will be the one to help her reckon with her own terrible secret. Based on the true story of the American Library in Paris.
Korelitz, Jean Hanff, 1961- author
Jacob Finch Bonner was once a promising young novelist with a respectably published first book. Today, he's teaching in a third-rate MFA program and struggling to maintain what's left of his self-respect. When Evan Parker, his most arrogant student, announces he doesn't need Jake's help because the plot of his book in progress is a sure thing, Jake is prepared to dismiss the boast as typical amateur narcissism. But then . . . he hears the plot. When he discovers that his former student has died, presumably without ever completing his book, Jake does what any self-respecting writer would do with a story like that-a story that absolutely needs to be told. In a few short years, all of Evan Parker's predictions have come true, but Jake is the author enjoying the wave. But at the height of his glorious new life, an e-mail arrives, the first salvo in a terrifying, anonymous campaign: You are a thief, it says.
The former lover of a German attorney refuses to defend herself when she is accused of a hideous crime. The attorney gradually realizes that the woman may be guarding a secret she considers more shameful than murder.
The reading list : a novel
Adams, Sara Nisha, author
Widower Mukesh lives a quiet life after losing his beloved wife. Working at the local library for the summer, Aleisha discovers a list of novels that she's never heard of before. Intrigued, she impulsively decides to read every book on the list. When Mukesh arrives at the library, desperate to forge a connection with his bookworm granddaughter, Aleisha passes along the reading list hoping that it will be a lifeline for him too. Slowly, the shared books create a connection between two lonely souls, as fiction helps them escape their grief and everyday troubles and find joy again.
Seven days in June : a novel
Williams, Tia, 1975- author
Eva Mercy is a single mom and bestselling erotica writer, who is feeling pressed from all sides. Shane Hall is a reclusive, enigmatic, award-winning literary author who, to everyone's surprise, shows up in New York. When Shane and Eva meet unexpectedly at a literary event, sparks fly, raising not only their past buried traumas, but the eyebrows of New York's Black literati. What no one knows is that twenty years earlier, teenage Eva and Shane spent one crazy, torrid week madly in love. Over the next seven days in the middle of a steamy Brooklyn summer, Eva and Shane reconnect, but Eva's not sure how she can trust the man who broke her heart, and she needs to get him out of New York so that her life can return to normal.
The storied life of A.J. Fikry : a novel
Zevin, Gabrielle, author
When his most prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, is stolen, bookstore owner A. J. Fikry begins isolating himself from his friends, family and associates before receiving a mysterious package that compels him to remake his life.
The ten thousand doors of January
Harrow, Alix E., author
In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place. Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure, and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world, and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.
The thirteenth tale
Margaret, a reclusive biographer is asked to write the biography of an equally reclusive famous author, Vida Winter. Margaret is captivated by the power of Vida's storytelling. But when she goes to check up on Vida's story she experiences a journey of truth that is both chilling and transforming. A wonderfully atmospheric and haunting debut reminiscent of "Wuthering Heights".