Books About Books and #TheReadingList [Book Review] #WhatsOnYourBookshelfChallenge

January 21, 2022

Do you love Books About Books?

Favorite Books About Books (white text alongside a tall stack of hardback books on a blue painted wood table)

Today for the #WhatsOnYourBookshelfChallenge I’m focusing on “Books About Books.”

Do you have a favorite Book About Books?

I fall hard for Books About Books and it’s one of my favorite and most read categories! Following today’s review, find a list of a few of my favorite “Books About Books” titles.


For today’s review, I’m highlighting my most recent “books about books” read:

The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams

The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams (cover) white text overe a graphic image of scattered open books

Genre/Categories/Settings: Contemporary Fiction, Books About Books, Ode to Books and Libraries, Multi-Generational Friendship, London (suburb)

My Summary:

The Reading List is a memorable debut novel about a list of library books, the magic of reading, and unlikely friendships. A widower, Mukesh longs to connect with Priya his bookworm granddaughter. He ventures into the local library and meets Aleisha, a lonely and sometimes surly teenager who is a volunteer at the library for the summer. Aleisha has discovered a reading list in the back of one of the books she was shelving and decided she would read the books on the list. When Mukesh asks her for a reading recommendation, she remembers the list and recommends the first book on the list. Mukesh and Aleisha strike up an unlikely friendship and connection through discussing the books on the list as they read them (she reads one book ahead of him).

My Thoughts:

Debut: The Reading List is a beautifully written and all around wonderful debut novel. Sara Nisha Adams is definitely on my “new authors to watch” list!

Main Characters: Mukesh and Aleisha are both lonely and start out as nonreaders. Aleisha begins to read books on the “found” list out of curiosity and boredom while Mukesh thinks he “should” read because his late wife was a reader and now his granddaughter is a bookworm. He hopes that reading will help him keep alive the close connection he had with his wife and make new connections with his granddaughter, Pirya. Mukesh and Aleisha form a bookclub of sorts as they look forward to sharing their thoughts about the recent book that Aleisha has recommended for him (from the list). Their conversations are sweet, a friendship forms, and reading becomes a lifeline for both of them.

Other Characters: The story includes other colorful and interesting characters from the library and the community. However, when the author devotes an entire chapter to a random character, I found it to be a distraction that took me out of the story and away from the main characters. Each one is an interesting character and the sections of random characters exhibit the same quality of writing, but I’m not sure of the purpose except to establish the sense of a broader reading community.

The Reading Life: The author captures so much of the magic, satisfaction, and enjoyment of the reading life! Books have the ability to create strong connections between people….even strangers! How many times have you been in a public place and found yourself trying to read the title of the book the person next to you or across from you is reading? Or when you notice a person reading a book you loved, do you feel compelled to start a conversation? Do you ever feel that a book is recommending a person? I.E. if this person is reading that book, they must be a great person! Book people really are the best people, and I think this a universally recognized fact!

Favorite Quote:

“Priya was reading a book he knew all about. He knew the world Priya was in right now. There was something magical in that…in sharing a world you have loved; allowing someone to see it through the same pair of spectacles you saw it through yourself.”

A Mystery: There is a bit of intrigue in the story, also. Where did the list come from? Who created it? For what purpose was it created? Is there a reason that certain books were selected?

Structure: The story is loosely structured around the actual reading list as Mukesh and Aleisha work their way through. Each book is discussed to varying degrees and your reading enjoyment will be enhanced if you’ve read some or all of the books (but it’s not necessary to have read any of them). However, there’s more to this story than a simple reading list. It’s a story of found family, community, grief, connection, and moving forward.

The Books: Mukesh’s reading experience starts with The Time Traveler’s Wife (a book Mukesh found while cleaning after his wife died). He wants to read the book she had last read before he returns it to the library. This in turn leads him to meeting Aleisha and receiving his first recommendation.

(if you’re curious!) The Reading List:

To Kill a Mockingbird
Rebecca
The Life of Pi
The Kite Runner
Pride and Prejudice
Little Women
A Suitable Boy
Beloved

Themes: the joys of reading, connecting with others through books, the book life, friendship, support, loneliness, sibling relationships, mental health, grief, complicated family dynamics, connection, and community.

***contains spoilers***
Content Considerations: mental health, suicide, cancer

Highly Recommended: I’m enthusiastically recommending The Reading List for fans of books about books and the reading life, for those who appreciate an uplifting story (except for hard hitting issues as mentioned above), for readers who may have read any or all of the books on “the list,” and for book clubs.

Your Book List: If YOU were to curate a reading list to leave in random places for other readers or non-readers to find, what books would you put on your list and why? Wouldn’t it be fun to start finding book lists lying around?! Hummmm….perhaps this will be a future blog post!

My Rating: 4 Stars

twinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-star

The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams (cover) white text overe a graphic image of scattered open books

The Reading List Information Here

Meet the Author, Sara Nisha Adams

Author Sara Nisha AdamsSara Nisha Adams is a writer and editor. She lives in London and was born in Hertfordshire to Indian and English parents. Her debut novel The Reading List is partly inspired by her grandfather, who lived in Wembley and immediately found a connection with his granddaughter through books.



A Few of My Favorite Books About Books/Bookshops/Libraries

(the first section are my most favorite and most highly recommended)

The Printed Letter Bookshop
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
How to Find Love in a Bookshop
The Last Bookshop in London
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
The Librarian of Auschwitz
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
The Reading List

* * *
The Last Chance Library
The Paris Library
The Lost and Found Bookshop
The Jane Austen Society
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
The Library of Lost and Found
The Night of Many Endings
Cloud Cuckoo Land
The Personal Librarian
84, Charing Cross Road



 I’m linking up with Deb @ Deb’s World and SueDonna, and Jo for the January installment of #WhatsOnYourBookShelfChallenge.

Whats On Your Bookshelf Challenge



QOTD:

Do you love Books About Books?
Do you have a favorite?
Is The Reading List on your TBR or have you read it?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com

The Printed Letter Bookshop [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

January 20,  2022

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay
#throwbackthursday

The Printed Letter Bookshop (cover) by Katherine Reay

Genre/Categories/Setting: Contemporary Fiction, Books About Books, Women’s Fiction, Small Town, Bookshop

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing an engaging story of friendship, faith, and forgiveness, The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay. This is on my lifetime favorites list!

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“Madeleine’s happiest childhood memory is spending time at her Aunt Maddie’s house and her beloved bookshop. Suddenly, the families become estranged and Madeleine hasn’t seen her aunt in twenty years. After her aunt dies, Madeleine discovers she has inherited everything: the bookshop, the house, the car, and all the debt. At the same time, Madeleine’s career plans are in jeopardy and she begins to seriously investigate what saving the bookshop, moving, and a new plan for her life might involve.”

friendship…forgiveness…second chances…new beginnings ….

Continue here for my full review of The Printed Letter Bookshop…



QOTD:

Have you read The Printed Letter Bookshop or is it on your TBR?

 

The Last Chance Library [Book Review]

August 30, 2021

The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson

The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson (cover) Image: white block text on a blue background.....text forms 3 shelves which hold graphic images of books and library scenes

Genre/Categories/Settings: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Books About Books, Librarians, Library, English Village

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkleyWritesStrongWomen #BerkleyBuddyReads for a complimentary eARC upon my request. All opinions are my own.

A shy, lonely, and quirky librarian, June Jones, and a colorful cast of characters band together to fight against the closure of their local public library. Can June find courage for the fight and forge true friendships?

My Thoughts:

(more…)

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

August 5, 2021

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
#throwbackthursday

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson (covere) Image: tight focus on a woman wearing a simple white dress and brown high top boots holding a book bumdle tied with string on her lap

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Southern Fiction, Book About Books, Racism, Prejudice, Poverty

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing an historical fiction that’s on my lifetime favorites list, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“In the 1930s, nineteen-year-old Cussy Carter and her father live in the isolated woods of Troublesome Creek, Kentucky. They are the last of the “blue people” of Kentucky and endure racism and prejudice because of the blue hue of their skin. They are considered “colored.” Dad risks his life and health working long hours in the coal mines and Cussy takes a government job with the historical Pack Horse Library Project. As a “librarian,” she travels across treacherous mountains and dangerous creeks on her mule, Junia, to deliver books and other reading materials to the mountain folk who have few resources. She does what she can to meet their most dire needs. Incidentally, she doesn’t cuss! (She’s named after a town in France.)

“Cussy (or Bluet as she is called by some) is everything I love in a fictional character! Determined. Compassionate. Smart. Brave. Resourceful. Fierce. A difference-maker. Merciful. Passionate about her work. A librarian. And most memorably, an Angel in disguise.”

Continue here for my full review of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek



QOTD:

Have you read The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek or is it on your TBR?

National Independent Bookstore Day

April 23, 2021

National Independent Bookstore Day

Independent Book Store Day (April 24, 2021) Image: a young woman stands before a wall of bookshelves choosing one to buy

Image Source: Canva

Are you looking for a book about books?

Do you have a favorite Indie Bookstore?

The last Saturday in April is Independent Bookstore Day in the United States, and indie book stores around the country are planning special events (either virtually or in person). Have you checked out your local indie book store?

To observe this day, I’ve collected a few stories set in bookstores. I’ve read them all and my top favorites (and highly recommended) are How to Find Love in a Bookshop, The Last Bookshop in London, The Printed Letter Bookshop, and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. I could reread these over and over again! Titles are links to my reviews or Amazon affiliate links.

 *This post contains Amazon affiliate links.


How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry

How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry (cover)


The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin

The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin (cover) Image: a young woman stands near shelf lined books next to a window holding an open book


The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs

The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs (cover) Image: text plus 4 hardcover books


The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

etterThe Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay (cover)

(more…)

The Last Bookshop in London [Book Review] #BlogTour

April 7, 2021

The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin

The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin (cover) Image: a young woman stands beside a wall of bbookshelves near a window through which Big Ben and three WW11 planes are visible

Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, WW11, London, Books About Books, “might also be a love story”

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thank you for my invitation to participate in the 2021 Historical Fiction Blog Tour for The Last Bookshop in London. Thanks, #NetGalley @HarlequinBooks for my complimentary e ARC of #TheLastBookshopInLondon by @MadelineMMartin upon my request. All opinions are my own.

Historical Fiction Blog Tour (4 covers)

The Last Bookshop in London is a book about bookstores and a book about books set during the London Blitz during WW11. Grace Bennett has always wanted to move to the city, but the life she finds is not nearly what she expected as she hunts for a job, endures air raid shelters, and puts up black-out curtains. The only job she can find is at Primrose Hill, a dusty, old bookstore with a curmudgeonly owner. Grace, not sure she even loves reading that much, organizes and cleans the bookshop, gradually develops a love for books, enjoys a friendly relationship with a handsome and well-read customer named George, finds ways she can contribute to the war effort and the book community, and discovers the power of storytelling during the most difficult times.

The magic of reading in George’s words:

“Reading is going somewhere without ever taking a train or ship, an unveiling of new incredible worlds. It’s living a life you weren’t born into and a chance to see something colored by someone else’s perspective. It’s learning without having to face consequences of failures, and how best to succeed.”

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (cover)

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

My Thoughts:

(more…)

The Paris Library [Book Review]

February 8, 2021

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles (cover) Imaged: a woman sits with her back to the camera on a wall overlooking Paris and the Eiffel Tower in the background

Genre/Categories: WW11, Historical Fiction, Paris, Books About Books

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Resistance in a silent and unlikely place…the importance of books…

Thank you, #NetGalley @AtriaBooks for a complimentary e ARC of #TheParisLibrary upon my request in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

The Paris Library is a dual timeline story of family, friendship, resistance, romance, betrayal, heroism, bravery, and books. In 1939, idealistic, courageous, and ambitious Odile Souchet works at the American Library in Paris when the Nazis arrive. Odile and the other librarians negotiate to keep the library open so they can protect the books and also make secret deliveries to their Jewish patrons. In 1983, Lily, a lonely teenager living in Montana, befriends a mysterious and reclusive, elderly, French neighbor woman and discovers they have a great deal in common.

black and white picture of the American Library in Paris

American Library in Paris Image Source: Wikipedia

My Thoughts:

(more…)

The Lost and Found Bookshop [Book Review]

October 28, 2020

The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs

the Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs (cover) Image: text plus four hardcover books

Genre/Categories: Women’s Contemporary Fiction/Chick Lit (with a side of slow-burn romance), Book About Books (and bookshops)

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Natalie is in a job that doesn’t bring her joy and in a less-than-satisfactory relationship when sudden tragedy strikes her life. Quickly, she finds herself managing her mother’s financially struggling quaint bookshop in San Francisco and caring for her dear ailing grandfather. Should she sell the shop? Should she place her grandfather in an assisted living facility? Should she walk away from the shop and her childhood memories and return to her job? Should she maintain the shop that she loves and has also been her family home? As she wrestles with grief and these life-changing questions, “Peach” Gallager and his young daughter, Dorothy, enters her life.

My Thoughts:

(more…)

The Librarian of Auschwitz [Book Review] #throwbackthursday

October 22, 2020

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

#throwbackthursday

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe (cover) Image: a young girl stands on top of a giant stack of books

Genre/Categories: YA Historical Fiction, Fictionalized Biography, Jewish, WW11, Holocaust

This year as part of Blog Audit Challenge 2020 I’m going back to update older review posts. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads, and today I’m sharing my review of The Librarian of Auschwitz, brave…inspirational…courageous…feisty…determined….daring…

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary of The Librarian of Auschwitz

“During the darkest hours of the Holocaust in an Auschwitz concentration camp, a young girl, Dita Kraus, risks her life to keep the magic of books alive. Imprisoned along with her mother and father, Dita finds meaning and purpose as the Librarian of a secret library within a secret school in the “family camp” section of Auschwitz, caring for eight precious volumes that have been smuggled in past the guards.

Be sure to read the author’s Afterward as he speaks of his interview with the real Dita Kraus about her incredible life, courage, and survival.”

 Continue here for my review of The Librarian of Auschwitz

QOTD: Have you read The Librarian of Auschwitz or is it on your TBR?

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry [Book Review] #flashbackfriday #fridayfavorite

August 14, 2020

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (cover) Image: right shot of a bookstore's painted red door and window display

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

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Love Story, Found Family, Family Life

Welcome to Friday Favorite! Today in lieu of reviewing a new release, I  am choosing to revisit an old favorite which I read years before starting this blog. (thanks for the inspiration Sandy’s Book a Day blog!)

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

A.J. Fikry lives on a fictional island (Alice Island) off the coast of Massachusetts. The isolated island reflects Fikry’s own mental state as he lives with consuming grief over the loss of his wife to a tragic accident. He’s lonely, drinks to excess, is grumpy and opinionated, and struggles with low book sales in the bookstore that he and his wife bought when they moved to the island. Complicating this already dire situation, Fikry’s most prized and valuable book is stolen, he is rude to a book publisher’s representative, and a baby is abandoned in his bookshop. How will Fikry pull his life together?

My Thoughts:

(more…)