The Ultimate List of Books About Books

If you are a lover of books, then you probably share our joy of books about books. There is just something about reading about books while reading a book that makes the heart sing.

Below you will find dozens of books featuring book clubs, libraries, librarians, bookstores, or just books where a story or novel plays a central role in the plot.

We’ve read dozens of these kinds of books, so we’ve tried to separate them by category and even linked some to further lists with more options on them. You’ll find every kind of book your book-loving heart desires.

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Books about Famous Writers

Stories about famous writers let us learn about what makes some of our favorite writers tick, what inspires them, and how much of their real lives are in their novels.

We’ve selected our favorites below, but for more books about famous writers, check out this post.

The Bookseller’s Secret by Michelle Gable

I had to make a reel for this book because Nancy Mitford is such eye candy!

This dual-timeline historical fiction novel is set in both WWII London, where we see a floundering Nancy Mitford as a bookseller, getting inspired to write The Pursuit of Happiness, and the present day, where another floundering writer is looking to Mitford for inspiration.

Nancy is the character that shines in this book and I love that she’s such a dynamic force.

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

I had this book on my TBR for so long and I am so happy that I finally had a chance to read it. This is the story of Shakespeare’s life, family, and extraordinary wife during the time of the plague. Shakespeare himself is never actually mentioned by name in this extraordinary and heartbreaking book that was so hard to put down. I know why it made so many lists of top books for 2020.

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict

⁣Marie Benedict is the master of bringing women back to life in her historical fiction novels. The Mystery of Mrs. Christie is my favorite to date and I found it hard to put down. ⁣

In December 1926, Agatha Christie went missing for 11 days. She re-emerged as mysteriously as she disappeared and more questions than answers persist.

Benedict does a wonderful job of building the mystery and using her brilliant imagination and bringing us into the world of Agatha Christie. It is the perfect blend of fiction and mystery.⁣

Bronte’s Mistress by Finola Austin

I’m a sucker for the classics, but I don’t know much about the authors of the classics I love. Of course, I knew of the Bronte sisters, but I had no idea that they had a brother or that he was a naughty one 😉.⁣

This story was fascinating to me because while I don’t condone modern-day infidelity, I understand how women back in the day had limited options. I loved Lydia and her (selfish) views of the world around her and I felt how hard it must be to be a woman in historic times.⁣

Her antics were utterly entertaining as were the antics of her children. I was rooting for her the entire time, even when I wanted to slap her and tell her to come to her senses.⁣

Caroline: The Little House Revisited by Sarah Miller

I read Little House on the Praire for the first time earlier this year mostly because I wanted the background for this exact book. The entire I was reading the original series, I found myself wondering about the choices the parents were making.

I wanted to know why certain things were being done and I finally got my answers in Sarah Miller’s retelling of the story. I didn’t love Little House, but I ADORED Caroline.

Books about Fictional Writers

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

The latest Reese’s Book Club pick was quite a unique read. It was billed as a romance but that doesn’t do this novel justice.

Yes there are some steamy scenes, but it also deals with childhood trauma, drug addiction, racial issues, and single motherhood.

It was much heavier than I expected and had I been more in the mood for such a book, I think I would have rated it higher.

Hell of a Book by Jason Mott

There are so many layers to this book that is a book about a fictional author and his book “Hell of a Book”.  I can see why Jenna chose this book as her July 2021 pick.

The novel tells the story of Soot- a young black boy in a rural town. As we hear the story of Soot we also have the author talking to “The Kid”, a young black boy who may of may not be invisible.

The description of the book does not do it justice. It is a powerful and poignant commentary on family, children, and the lengths that parents will go to in order to protect their black children. This book is haunting

Beach Read by Emily Henry

This is the best romance I have read in a long time.  What could be better than a romance about writers?  January is a romance writer who no longer believes in love.  Until she was 28, she led an idyllic life filled with the ideas of perfect love.  Augustus Everett is a literary fiction writer who has never believed in love.  They could not be more different.  When they find themselves living next door to each other they decide to help each other overcome their writer’s block by challenging each other to a writer’s duel. 

Less by Andrew Greer

More about a writer than a book, specifically, this Pulitzer Prize-winning story is full of heart. When Andrew Less gets an invitation to his ex-boyfriend’s wedding and his publisher drops his next book option, he decides to accept every literary event invitation for a year.

As he travels around the world, we are left rooting for him to sort out his life and begin again.

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal

Looking for a laugh-out-loud book? This novel about an Indian woman trying to marry her modern English identity with her parents’ conservative Indian values.

She takes up teaching a writing course for widows in her community and she learns so much about herself and them in the process. Between each chapter are hysterical and sometimes raunchy tales written by the widows in her class. I dare you not to smile while reading this story.

Books about Libraries

Libraries are the Mecca for book lovers, that’s why we all love books about libraries. We’ve selected our favorites below, but you can see the full list here.

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

WWII fiction felt a little been-there, done-that to me recently but this book has me back to loving the sub-genre. What makes this story different is the setting – The American Library in Paris.⁣ I loved hearing about the librarians and how they tried to help their Jewish subscribers. ⁣The story sucked me and had me thinking about the war in a new light. I need to add it to our best books about WW2 list for sure.

A Kind of Paradise by Amy Rebecca Tan

This is a best children’s book of 2019 for a reason. I read this as a read-aloud with both of my children (boys 6-8) even though it’s technically a middle grade.

The story revolves around Jaime, who is being punished with community service hours at the library for the summer after she did something wrong in school. Jaime is reluctant to volunteer at first but quickly grows to love the staff and regulars at the library. I adored this charming tale and so did my kids. 

Ban This Book by Alan Gratz

This is technically a  middle-grade read. The heroine of this story is a girl whose favorite book was just banned from her school library. She starts her own locker library filled with more banned books from the school’s library.

As she stands up for her right to read, she challenges adults in her community and learns about the power of books to bring everyone together.

Books about Librarians

Sometimes the librarians behind the desk are the best part of the library. That’s why we chose our favorite books about librarians below and rounded up a few more in this post.

The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murphy

This fictionalized version of Belle de Costa Greene was wonderful, I’m so glad it was a GMA pick!

Greene was J.P. Morgan’s personal librarian and later the librarian for his heir. She was also a black woman passing as white. She had to keep her roots hidden in order to hold her job, but I’m glad her real truth is being told now.

For more books set in libraries, check out this list.

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

The good sister is a psychological thriller that will keep you on your toes until the very end. Fern and Rose are twins who have always had each other. Rose is the responsible one who has always looked out for Fern.

Fern has trouble reading social situations, doesn’t like loud noises and makes dangerous mistakes all the time.

Rose’s most important job was protecting Fern from their crazy mother. When Fern decides to have a baby for Rose, secrets start to come out. This one will keep you guessing until the end and even then, you’ll be thinking about this book.

Thank you for my copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Books about Traveling Libraries and Bookstores

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

The Bookshop on the Corner #1

This book was the first book that I read by Jenny Colgan and is different from her others.  It is not centered around food but rather, books. 

When Nina, a librarian, finds herself without a job, she decides to embark on a journey with a mobile bookshop.  There is nothing not to love in this sweet book.

Aria’s Travelling Book Shop by Rebecca Raisin

This is the second book that I read by Rebecca Raisin and I adored Rosie’s Traveling Tea Shop.

This is a cute book centered around Aria who has a romance book shop. Aria began van life when her husband became sick and continued after he had passed away. This is the story of Aria’s search for her happy ending. I enjoyed this quick and easy read.

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

I’m not usually a Jojo Moyes reader, but this story about a mobile library was one that caught my eye. I’m so glad I ended up reading it because it was wonderful!

I had no idea that women used to travel by horseback to deliver books in the Appalachian mountains. These librarians were utterly badass as they thumbed their noses at societal norms for the betterment of their community.

Each woman’s story was woven together in a tapestry of love, friendship, and sisterhood. I couldn’t put it down.

Fantasy Books about Books

The Librarian by Christy Sloat

This is the perfect book for fans of Outlander! When Emme’s grandmother dies, she agrees to take over Gram’s library despite plans to head to college abroad.

When she opens a book from Gra’s special collection, she finds herself face to face with Jack Ridgewell in  1892 England.  Emme is part of an elite group of women who can travel to the past through books.  This brings a whole new meaning to book boyfriend.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

I loved Matt Haig’s Last Book and was so excited to read this one.  I loved it even more- it is definitely one of my favorite books of the year.   

This is a library that has books filled with the infinite possibilities of the lives not lived.  Have you ever wondered about a choice, or a path not taken? When Nora finds herself in the library she is forced to face the choices that she made in her life- relationships, education, profession…This is a magical book and I loved every minute of it

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

To say that I was excited about Erin Morgenstern‘s new book might be the understatement of the year.  How to describe this book that is an ode to storytelling…’s a love story to books, a fantasy within a love story within a fairy tale.

The writing is beautiful- Erin’s signature style of vivid imagery left me completely captivated. I listened with and I read it as well. I truly loved every minute of this book. It was pointless to predict the story. So, I let it take me away with the lyrical prose. I adored it and recommend it for anyone that loved The Night Circus.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix. E Harrow

I’ve never read a book quite like this and I have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised. The writing is subtle, the plot is driven by character and intrigue rather than action-packed suspense.  It has a feel of historical fiction about it that lovers of this genre may love this book as well. 

When January is seven years old, she stumbles upon a door that leads her to a different place.  When she is reprimanded for lying about the door, she eventually forgets about it until she finds the book “The Ten Thousand Doors of January” years later.  January becomes intrigued and the real story begins. 

The story alternates between the story of January and the book.  The concept is such a fun way to narrate the plot. At times, the plot moved a little bit slowly as one storyline stopped and another began in the alternating chapters.  This is such a unique and wonderful book.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Bradbury’s dystopian classic is one of the most well-known pieces of modern literature but I hadn’t read it! I don’t usually gravitate to books like this, but I’d heard so many people speak about the relevancy of this novel today.

It’s so true. This book offers a grim look at our future if our society continues down the road of this technology obsession we seem to have. If you liked 1984 or The Circle, you will devour this book.

Books about Book Stores

The Last Bookshop in London: A Novel of World War II by Madeline Martin

Wow, did I love this book. Grace has always wanted to live in London and finds herself working at a bookshop as WWII looms on the horizon.

Grace’s newfound love of books, the store, and the friends who have become family, become the glue that holds her together during air-raids, blitzes, and nights spent in darkness.

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

This is probably one of our favorite books to recommend to people. The story features a floating book apothecary whose owner can meet you and give you a story meant for your soul.

When he needs to help his own soul, he sets his boat adrift to see where it will take him. I loved every minute of it.

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

This lovely story about a bookstore and its owner will capture your heart. A.J. Fikry is like a bookstore version of Ove in all the right ways except A.J. is only in his thirties.

The recent death of his wife, bad book sales, and the recent robbery of a rare book is wreaking havoc on his life. But this tale of redemption and unexpected chances has serious soul.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore: A Novel by Robin Sloane

While this story was not what I was expecting, it was so fun and quirky that I loved it.  Clay gets a job in a bookstore that has strange clientele coming at very strange hours. 

What is even weirder are the books that they check out rather than buy.  I loved the mysterious parts of the book and the character development.

The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson

Miranda’s uncle dies leaving her a failing bookstore and a scavenger hunt of clues to decipher.  What she learns over the course of her summer tracking down clues and trying to save the bookstore will turn her whole world on it’s head.

I guessed the ending fairly early on, but this book is all about the journey. You can see our interview with Amy here.

Books About Book Clubs

Blush by Jamie Brenner

This newest book from Jamie Brenner is a departure from her previous books that have all been set in coastal towns. This story takes place on a vineyard and features a multi-generational book club!

Three generations of women must come together to save the family home and livelihood by having the failing vineyard. This would not be an easy task on any day but, they are also fighting against sexism and the belief that a women’s role is elsewhere.

Vivian, Leah, and Sadie must each confront their pasts and their own demons in order to come together.

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

This book was the perfect break I needed into a world of romance. The idea of a bunch of men getting together to read romance novels to try and improve their relationships is amazing.

Although now that I think of it, maybe this book is a fantasy. This book is a perfect light read that I finished in a day.

Lucy’s Little Village Book Club by Emma Davies

This cute story in a one sitting read. The story revolves around the six members of a local library book club. Strangers become friends, lovers, and family — and everyone gets a happy ending! This book is a great palate cleanser.

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffner and Annie Barrows

This story about the island of Guernsey’s occupation during WWII features a book club started to deceive the German soldiers. The members of the book club quickly become friends.

When a young novelist finds out about their society, she beings a correspondence and eventually visits them to learn more. The story is told entirely in letters and was recently turned into a Netflix movie!

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

This book (and the movie it inspired) is just plain fun! 5 women and one man get together for 6 months to discuss Jane Austen’s works.

In the process, they find friendships, heartbreak, and love. If you are a fan of Jane Austen, you must read this!

Books about Books

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz

What a ride! Jean Hanff Korelitz’s thriller is quite something. It’s one I just adored even if I did figure the big twist out early on. It’s the journey with this book.

Jacob is a formerly successful writer who is struggling to write his next great novel. His student Evan dies without having published his own incredible story, so Jacob decides to write it himself to great critical acclaim.

But then someone starts threatening to expose him for the theft of the story, launching him into the truth behind the tale he wrote about.

Thanks to Celadon Books for my review copy. All opinions are my own.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

It is so strange that I have read four paranormal fictions this month! Maggie Holt spend three weeks in a house that became the subject of a best selling novel written by her father.

During the three weeks in the house, the family was haunter by ghosts before there were eventually forced to flee. 25 years later, Maggie is shocked to learn that her father had still owned the house when he died and the house is now hers.

As Maggie returns to the house to find out what really happened, she might be in for more than she bargained for.

Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson

This is one of the best mystery thrillers that I have read in a long time.  I loved this book from beginning to end.  Years ago, Malcolm, a bookseller, wrote a blog post that included books with the most unsolvable murders. 

One day, an FBI agent comes to his store to ask him about that post.  She believes that someone is using it as a recipe for committing murders. The book has twists and turns and is so well-written!!! 

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker

This book was heavily hyped when it first came out but having just had a baby I was not interested in reading this whopper of a book. Then in 2018, Patrick Dempsey started in a TV mini-series based on the novel. I finally decided to pick it up. The story of Marcus Goldman and his quest to learn what really happened between his mentor Harry Quebert and 15-year-old Nola Kellergan.

Did Harry commit the murder he is now being accused of? Will Marcus write the great American novel? Well, you’ll just have to read it to find out! 

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

I adore this gothic story when I read it on vacation a few years back. A young biographer is called to help a reclusive author of 12 books tell the story of her life.

In the process, she learns there is a thirteenth tale after all.

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

When a long-lost book reappears, it impacts the lives of an old man and young woman trying to help her mother. Leo wrote the book 60 years before, Alma was named after a character in the same book unaware of the writer’s identity.

The story is poignant and moving. I remember crying at the end.

The Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

There is a murder mystery within a murder mystery in this well-written and thoughtful book. 

In this book you are uncovering the murder of a mystery author while also reading his book. Are they interconnected?The idea is truly unique and so well executed.  I just loved it.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

This is a book that is narrated by Death. He tells the story of Liesel, a young girl in Nazi Germany in 1939. Liesel is living with her foster parents an learning to read from stolen books.

She also shares these books with the Jewish man who is hiding in her basement. This book is brilliant, powerful, poignant, and unforgettable. while technically a YA book, this book is literary fiction at its finest.

Books about Book Publishing

Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams

I have to say that I never had any idea how the dictionary was made and how “abridged” my version actually is (think 20 volumes and 4ft of shelf space).

This historical fiction was brilliantly researched and detailed. The heart of this book is the importance of words and women finding their power in small ways in a male centered world.

At times I thought the book moved a little slowly but it is well written and enjoyable.

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Wow. I’m still processing this genre-defying novel. It’s a social commentary and a thriller all in one. It makes me want to sit down and discuss it with everyone.

Nella is the only black girl at her publishing house until Hazel is hired. Thinking she’s found an ally, instead she begins to wonder if Hazel might be an enemy instead.

As Hazel’s career soars, Nella is left questioning her identity, her ideals, and what it means to be a black woman in the business world, while trying to uncover who is behind the scary notes she keeps receiving.

Literary Wonderland by Laura Miller

This reference book takes us on a journey of some of the most imaginative lands ever created in fiction.

Classics locations like Oz, Neverland, and Wonderland and discussed alongside Westeros, Narnia, and Harry Potter’s fictional realm.

More Books about Books

Do you have little ones?  Then you might want to check out these Kids Books about Books.

The post The Ultimate List of Books About Books appeared first on Beyond the Bookends.

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