Guest Post: ‘The Ten Best Books About Libraries’ by Deborah Harkness, author of The Book of Life, The All Souls Trilogy

Posted July 22, 2014 by Charlotte in Blog Tour, Guest Post / 0 Comments

author of The Book of Life, The All Souls Trilogy

DHarkness-1238b--® 2014 Scarlett FreundToday I am delighted to be part of the Blog Tour for The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness with a post about the Ten Best Books about Libraries.

Deborah is an author I discovered this year, and it is thanks to book blogging that I was able to read her books – A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night and the epic conclusion in the trilogy The Book of Life. The All Souls Trilogy has become one of my favourite trilogy – it appeals to my love of the historical and reminds me why I love libraries so much.

Below, Deborah share her thoughts on the Ten Best Books about Libraries.

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In each of these novels, a library plays a starring role. Some are places of wonder and delight. Others provide a venue for solving problems, or are the scene of a crime. And in a few cases the libraries in question are far from ordinary.

Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader. A delightful tale about what might happen if the Queen turned to her library for solace and inspiration.

A. S. Byatt, Possession. Academic theft and rivalry pepper this story, which charts the parallel stories of two scholars in search of information about the relationship between two Victorian poets.

Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose. A missing work by Aristotle and the monastery library where it is hidden both play a starring role in this elegantly told murder mystery.

Jasper Fforde, The Well of Lost Plots. Set in a fantastic future England, this third book in the wonderful Thursday Next series has our heroine vacationing inside a never-published detective story and battling literary villains. Fans of The Eyre Affair and Lost in a Good Book will be delighted.

Robert Hellenga, The Sixteen Pleasures. This beautifully crafted story about an American woman working in Florence as a book conservator after the 1966 flood pivots on a lost collection of erotic sonnets by Aretino but is really about love—physical, emotional, and yes, a love of books, too.

Elizabeth McCracken, The Giant’s House. The poignant story of a librarian on Cape Cod and a young, overly-tall boy whose differences make him an outsider.

Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler’s Wife. Chicago’s Newberry Library occupies an important place in this love story between a librarian with an unstable time-traveling gene and his artist wife. Niffenegger’s handling of time travel is original and she handles tricky characters and emotions with a deft touch.

Dorothy Sayers, Gaudy Night. Harriet Vane goes undercover as a researcher in her former college library in Oxford to expose a criminal.

Veronica Stallwood, Oxford Exit. Precious books are disappearing from the Bodleian Library (sound familiar?) and when a librarian is found murdered, fictional novelist Kate Ivory steps in to solve the case and save the day.

Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind. Like Byatt’s Possession, this is a story within a story about a boy’s mission to protect a mysterious volume from the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and the strange tale of that same volume’s author, Julián Carax.

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