Sometimes it is really fun, as a book lover, to read about other characters that love books as much as you do. That’s why I thought it would be nice to suggest some of my favorite reads that have a main premise that centers around books and storytelling. So here they are; I hope you enjoy!
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
My Goodreads Rating: 3.5 stars
This story is about about a curmudgeonly old man named A.J. Fikry who runs a bookshop on Alice Island after his wife dies. When A.J.’s rare collection of Poe poems is stolen and a mysterious package arrives in its place, he has to figure out what to do. This story follows A.J. as he tries to make his life happy again even if it isn’t how he thought it would turn out.
I really enjoyed this story for how heartfelt and lovely it was. This story might not be for everyone because of how slowly it seemed to move and how character driven it was, but for the people who do end up enjoying it, I think it packs a big punch. I was one of the readers who did really enjoy it because I like books that have well developed characters who experience personal growth (basically what this story was). A lot of the relationships that form from the characters in this book are so sweet and genuine. It was very easy to relate to A.J. through his love of books even if I didn’t agree with every choice he made or his attitude at times. This book is the perfect book for a book lover that wants to read a heartwarming story about good characters who care for each other.
- “You know everything you need to know about a person from the answer to the question, What is your favorite book?”
- “Sometimes books don’t find us until the right time”
- “We are not quite novels. We are not quite short stories. In the end, we are collected works.”
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
My Goodreads Rating: 5 stars
This a world war 2 historical fiction about a young girl who learns to love books and words. I kind of wish I had included this book in my post, “World War 2 Historical Fiction Recommendations“, however if I make a part 2, then this will definitely be featured. I know that this book is pretty well known, but that is definitely for good reason.
The main character is a girl named Liesel who is a foster child outside of Munich. She lives with an accordion playing father, an outspoken mother, and a Jewish man that they hide in their basement. As Liesel learns to read from a book she stole, she realizes how much she loves words and continues to steal books and learn as much as she can. As things in her life become more and more difficult, she learns to rely on words to get her through things.
I have read this book many times (ever since I was in elementary school) and it truly is a timeless story. I think the most interesting part of this story is that it is narrated by death and this gives it a more encompassing view over every situation than if it were to be narrated from just Liesel’s perspective. It is very well written and the way that Liesel loves books will make you love them even more. I love the fact that almost any aged person (3rd grade and up) can read this, enjoy it, and feel its emotional impact. This book is one that will stay with me forever. I just love Liesel, Rudy, Hans, Max, and even Rosa. There is a movie out that was based on the book, but please read the book before watching the film! I thought the movie was very good, but I still enjoyed the book much better.
- “I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”
- “A snowball in the face is surely the perfect beginning to a lasting friendship.”
- “A small but noteworthy note. I have seen so many young men over the years who think they’re running at other young men. They are not. They are running at me.”
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
My Goodreads Rating: 5 stars
This book takes place in Barcelona in 1945 and is about a boy named Daniel whose father takes him to a secret place called the Cemetery of Forgotten Books when he is a kid. Daniel picks out a book called the Shadow of the Wind and is tasked with keeping it safe from harm. He falls in love with the story and seeks to find out more about the author, Julian Carax. However, on his journey of investigation, he discovers that a mysterious person is attempting to burn all of Carax’s books. As Daniel’s life begins to resemble The Shadow of the Wind, he realizes that everything is more mysterious than he first thought and he has to decide who to trust.
This story is hands down one of my favorite books ever. I first read it very recently, but I was so excited about how good it was and now I can’t stop thinking about it. The writing is so beautiful (great bookish quotes), the plot is intricate, and the characters have so much depth. Not to mention the fact that this whole story gives you goosebumps and would be the perfect Halloween read. However, I won’t go into too much detail about it because I have already written a full length review on it. If you want to check it out, here is the link- Book Review: The Shadow of the Wind
- “Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have in you.”
- “Fools talk, cowards are silent, wise men listen.”
- “The moment you stop to think about whether you love someone, you’ve already stopped loving them forever.”
The Inkheart Trilogy by Cornelia Funke
My Goodreads Rating: 3 stars
The first book in this trilogy, Inkheart, is about a girl named Meggie who finds out that her father, Mo, can read book characters out of their books. When Meggie was three, Mo read from a book called Inkheart and accidentally made Meggie’s mother go into the book while characters from the book came into the real world. Mo and Meggie are determined to rescue Meggie’s mom and find that in order to do this, they must face the Inkheart villain, Capricorn and many other characters that came out of the story.
I have to be honest, I haven’t read the third book in this trilogy called Inkdeath, but I have read Inkheart and the second book, Inkspell. When I was little, I was obsessed with Inkheart and the copy that I owned was very well loved. I wanted to be Meggie so badly and I thought it would be the coolest thing in the world if characters from a book could come into the real world (I still do). I also loved Dustfinger, his ferret, and his fiery talent. Inkheart is such an imaginative and fun story that is perfect to help a child fall in love with books. I haven’t read this series in a long time, but I remember that I really really loved it as a kid. I definitely want to read it again soon. I think the series is suited well for younger children (maybe 10+), but any age can still read and enjoy how creative and wonderful it is. Also, there was a movie made off of it that I thought was pretty good. Once again though, I would recommend reading the book before you watch the movie because it is nice to create your own imagery in your head before watching it on a screen.
- “Books have to be heavy because the whole world’s inside them.”
- “It’s a good idea to have your own books with you in a strange place.”
- “Books loved anyone who opened them, they gave you security and friendship and didn’t ask for anything in return; they never went away, never, not even when you treated them badly.”