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12 Must-Read Books About Books: From Historical Fiction to Romance and More!

Calling all book lovers!

Whether it’s the smell of a book, the feel of a fresh paperback, the endless possibility dwelling inside a library or bookstore, a teetering pile of TBR books…bibliophiles deeply appreciate all aspects of books. If we’re not reading books, we’re usually talking about books, writing down book recommendations, buying books or even color-coding our shelves. So it’s no surprise there is such an abundance of books about books. These types of stories are dreams come true for book lovers and they show up across a wide variety of genres from historical fiction to romance and beyond. Want to read about a traveling library based on a true story or live vicariously through an audiobook narrator or an aspiring novelist? The following recommendations have all that and more. Here, we rounded up 12 captivating stories that are centered around, or about, books! Happy reading!

(To quickly access all our book recommendations, click here.)

The Giver Of Stars by Jojo Moyes

The Giver Of Stars by Jojo Moyes (Books about books)
Pamela Dorman Books

Jojo Moyes, bestselling author of the beloved novel Me Before You, dazzled millions of readers with this heartfelt tale set in Depression-era America. Alice Wright marries American Bennett Van Cleve to escape her life in England, but she soon discovers Kentucky isn’t much better. So when an opportunity arises, she joins Eleanor Roosevelt’s traveling library to deliver books by horseback. Based on a true story, this is a tale of the power of books, friendship and love.

What readers are saying: “I loved the characters, the concept, the historical information that I had never been aware of. This book covered so many bases. The relationships between the women. The way they grew from the important work that they did regardless of the weather or other threats. I highly recommend this book. One of my all-time favorites.”

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (Books about books)

Charming characters, original storylines and magically uplifting moments abound in this novel by bestselling author Matt Haig. Nora Seed finds herself in a library that contains an infinite number of books, each telling the story of her life as it could have been if she’d just made different decisions — and the librarian tells her she can go back and live in any one of them. Will she stick with the life she’s built or make different decisions?

What readers are saying: “A wonderful story with a spiritual twist. I found it uplifting and providing hope that any of us can live a good life with positive impacts on those who touch our lives. It gives everyone something profound to think about!”

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (Books about books)
Chiltern Publishing

Set during the Civil War, this classic and beloved tale by Louisa May Alcott follows the March sisters. While their father is away at war, their mother supports the family. Sisters Beth, Jo, Meg and Amy rely on one another through ups and downs. Jo even pitches in to help financially by selling her short stories, but her real dream is to write her own novel someday. Then, the girls meet the rich and charming Theodore “Laurie” Lawrence and their tight-knit circle opens up a little bit more. What follows is a sweeping coming-of-age journey filled with heartbreaking and heartwarming moments.

What readers are saying: “I decided to re-read Little Women after watching the newest film and I am so glad that I did! I enjoyed this book when I first read it as a girl, but truly loved it this time. It’s a book lover’s dream! The growth and progression of the sisters is wonderful and the moral lessons infused in Alcott’s writing make it a must-read classic.”

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Book Lovers by Emily Henry (books about books)

Brimming with swoon-worthy moments, hilarious banter and lovable characters, this sweet rom-com stars literary agent Nora Stephens. Nora’s entire life is work and books, but when her sister, Libby, begs her for a girls’ trip, Nora agrees. While on their small-town getaway, Nora meets a book editor, Charlie Lastra. The duo start running into each other time and time again and soon find themselves living out a story…just like the ones they’ve always read.

What readers are saying: “This book was written for those who love books, love romance and love a good story. Nora and Charlie, Nora’s sister, the small town charm, all of it works together to create a story that feels real — it’s like I could go visit this town on any given day or run into Charlie or Nora on the street. Highly recommend this one!”

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Books about books)
Knopf Books for Young Readers

In this entrancing, heartwrenching, award-winning WWII story, foster child Liesel Meminger finds solace from the horrors of Nazi Germany by stealing books and sharing them with others — including her neighbors and the Jewish refugee being hidden under the stairs by her adoptive parents. This novel is an ode to books and how they can act as a beacon of light even during the darkest times.

What readers are saying: ” I can honestly say that The Book Thief is a literary gem that deserves a place on every bookshelf. It’s a story that lingers in your thoughts long after you’ve turned the final page. If you’re looking for a book that will touch your heart and leave a lasting impact, read this.”

Summer Book Club by Susan Mallery

Summer Book Club by Susan Mallery (Books about books)
Canary Street Press

Bestselling author Susan Mallery has penned more than 175 heartfelt novels — and her latest story about friendship and second chances follows suit. Laurel, Paris and Cassie start a book club and vow to only choose uplifting books to help them escape the realities of getting divorced, falling for the wrong men and juggling daily chaos. Soon, they are inspired by heroines in their books and find courage to take new chances.

What readers are saying: “There are books that keep you turning the pages because you have to know what happens to the characters. But at the same time, you want to read slowly because you don’t want it to end. The Summer Book Club is one of these books. Susan Mallery doesn’t disappoint.”

The Lost Book Of Bonn by Brianna Labuskes

The Lost Book Of Bonn by Brianna Labuskes (books about books)
William Morrow Paperbacks

In this WWII epic, American librarian Emmy Clarke is sent to Germany to help catalogue the books the Nazis seized during the war. But on her first day of work, Emmy finds a poetry collection by Rainer Maria Rilke and is determined to discover who wrote the heartfelt dedication inside. What transpires next is a battle of strength and heart.

What readers are saying: “I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction, especially revolving around WWII. Brianna Labuskes knocked this one out of the park.”

The Secret Book of Flora Lea by Patti Callahan Henry

The Secret Book of Flora Lea by Patti Callahan Henry (Books about books)
Atria Books

This lush, enthralling novel transports readers back to 1939 London. Hazel and Flora must evacuate their village during WWII. To distract themselves from reality, the young girls create a fairy tale about a secret, magical land. Then one day, Flora disappears. Twenty years later, Hazel finds a book in a rare bookstore written about their secret land. A beautiful tale of healing past hurts.

What readers are saying: “The characters in this novel steal your heart early on. The author writes like a beautiful painting with vivid details that draw you in and make you long for quintessential England. A truly wonderful story that doesn’t disappoint.”

Thank you for Listening by Julia Whelan

Thank you for Listening by Julia Whelan (books about books)

This fun, romantic novel follows Sewanee Chester, who once dreamed of being an actress yet now spends her days as a successful audiobook narrator. When she arrives in Las Vegas for a book convention, Sewanee ends up spending a whirlwind night with a handsome stranger. Later, she receives news that a famous romance novelist wants her to perform her last book — alongside Brock McNight, the industry’s sexiest and most secretive voice. What follows is a romp filled with mistaken identities, smart banter and steamy chemistry.

What readers are saying: “It is fun to read a novel where the author uses every romance novel trope she can weave into the story without it falling apart. And her author’s note at the end illuminates her thought process and it’s very interesting. Congratulations on a successful sophomore novel! I’m looking forward to more.”

The London Bookshop Affair by Louise Fein

The London Bookshop Affair by Louise Fein (books about books)
William Morrow

Bestselling author Louise Fein’s new novel The London Bookshop Affair is inspired by true events and figures of the Cold War. In 1962 London, Celia Duchesne dreams of a career, but with no means, she spends her days working at the bookshop and worrying about the Cold War. One day, a handsome American walks into the shop. Just as romance sparks, a secret draws her into the world of espionage that forces her to learn about Anya Moreau. In 1942 France, Anya was captured during the war for sending messages home to London via a transmitter. As Celia learns more about Anya, she realizes that life isn’t always what it seems, but through love, all things are possible.

What readers are saying: “My favorite way to unwind is to curl up with my dog and escape into a historical fiction novel, and this one kept me enthralled from the start. It was such an engrossing story filled with secrets, love and rich, illuminating history.”

The Library Thief by Kuchenga Shenjé (On sale: May 7, 2024)

The Library Thief by Kuchenga Shenjé (books about books)
Hanover Square Press

An intriguing premise, an old library and long-kept secrets…this arresting saga has it all. In 1896, Florence was brought from Jamaica to Manchester as a baby by her father, who is a bookbinder. Now a young woman, she sets out to restore the collection of rare books in Lord Francis Belfield’s library at Rose Hall. Then the library is broken into and Florence finds a diary burned in the fireplace. A tale of secrets and self-discovery.

What readers are saying: “An extraordinary debut which is captivating, vivid, ethereal and full of secrets, The Library Thief is sure to be your next big obsession.”

Yellowface by R. F. Kuang

Yellowface by R. F. Kuang (Books about books)
‎ William Morrow

This New York Times best-selling book by R.F. Kuang grips readers from the start and doesn’t let go. Authors June Hayward and Athena Liu were supposed to rise to fame together. But before long, Athena is a literary darling…and June is not. So when June witnesses Athena’s death in a freak accident, she does something unthinkable: She steals Athena’s just-finished manuscript — a novel about the contributions of Chinese laborers during WWI. She even comes up with a pen name, Juniper Song, complete with an ambiguous author photo — because June is not Asian American. As the success and fame pour in, June still can’t seem to escape Athena, and as evidence comes to light in Athena’s death, all her carefully constructed lies might be revealed. A sharp, original and chilling page-turner.

What readers are saying: “Yellowface is a gripping tale of deceit, ambition and identity. R.F. Kuang crafts a chilling and darkly humorous story, delving deep into the complexities of cultural appropriation, the search for authenticity and the repercussions of living under a stolen identity. An essential read for our times. Highly recommended!”

For more book recommendations, click through the links below!

11 Heartfelt Books Perfect For Mother’s Day: From Historical Fiction to Humor & More!

12 Sweet and Swoon-Worthy Books to Read if You Love Hallmark Movies

11 Time Travel Books Guaranteed to Provide a Magical Escape

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