Thursday, May 13, 2010

Top 5 books about books

List by Lorraine

Give me a man or woman who has read a thousand books and you give me an interesting companion...
- Anne Rice

Lorraine has very kindly submitted her Top 5 lists of books...about books!



The uncommon reader / Alan Bennett
What would happen if the Queen became a reader of taste and discernment rather than of Dick Francis? The answer is a perfect story... The Uncommon Reader is none other than HM the Queen who drifts accidentally into reading when her corgis stray into a mobile library parked at Buckingham Palace. She reads widely (JR Ackerley, Jean Genet, Ivy Compton Burnett, and the classics) and intelligently. Her reading naturally changes her world view and her relationship with people like the oleaginous prime minister and his repellent advisers. She comes to question the prescribed order of the world, and loses patience with much that she has to do. In short, her reading is subversive. The consequence is, of course, surprising, mildly shocking and very funny.

People of the book: a novel / Geraldine Brooks
In 1996, Hanna Heath, a young Australian book conservator is called to analyse the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, a priceless six-hundred-year-old Jewish prayer book that has been salvaged from a destroyed Bosnian library. When Hanna discovers a series of artifacts in the centuries' old binding, she unwittingly exposes an international cover up.

The shadow of the wind / Carlos Ruiz Zafón
A boy named Daniel selects a novel from a library of rare books, enjoying it so much that he searches for the rest of the author's works, only to discover that someone is destroying every book the author has ever written.

Mister Pip / Lloyd Jones
Mister Pip is a love story, a story about the meaning of names and the power of words. It is about growing up, survival and the search for clues to make sense of life. Thirteen year old Matilda lives with her mother on the Pacific island of Bougainville, which suddenly becomes a violent place: Rebels want the copper mine, which is poisoning their island, to close. They are trying to drive the redskin army, enemies from neighbouring Papua New Guinea, into the sea. The abandoned schoolhouse is overgrown with jungle. In this troubled world, Mr Watts decides he will open the school once more, and read 'Great Expectations' by Charles Dickens aloud to his students, a chapter a day. Stories flourish on the island. While the lives of Pip and Magwitch and other characters from 'Great Expectations' are transformed in their new tropical setting, the locals come to the schoolhouse to tell their own tales, about the meaning of the colour blue, about broken dreams, black birds, devil women and a dozen other subjects. In Matilda's eyes, Pip is as real as any living person. He has become her friend. She writes his name in the sand and decorates it with shells. That's where the redskin soldiers see it, and decide they must track this stranger down. Who is this Mr Pip? The search to find him will have devastating consequences for Matilda, Mr Watts and the entire village. Matilda may never stop looking for him.

The book of lost things / John Connolly
'Once upon a time, there was a boy who lost his mother !' As twelve-year-old David takes refuge from his grief in the myths and fairytales so beloved of his dead mother, he finds the real world and the fantasy world begin to blend. That is when bad things start to happen. That is when the Crooked Man comes. And David is violently propelled into a land populated by heroes, wolves and monsters in his quest to find the legendary Book of Lost Things.

2 comments:

Danielle said...

Cool list! Have just put a hold on 'Book of lost things', sounds intriguing. One of my favourite books about books is Jonathan Carroll's 'Land of laughs' (http://www.jonathancarroll.com/books/thelandoflaughs.html). Also read and loved 'Inkheart' of late.

frida cascade said...

I read The Book of Lost Things last year (after seeing it on Next Reads) and it was good :)
The Crooked Man is creeepy!