Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Book Crack: Books about Books

An aside: Should "About" be capitalized in this blog post's title. I forget the rule about About... forgive me, Friends.

Books about books are my thing. Nevermind whatever I said my thing was the last time I said something was my thing. Books about books are definitely my thing more than that other thing. Invariably, every book about a book has the back and forth in time thing. I mean, there's the "now" in whatever time period that is, where someone gets a hold of a book from somewhere. And there is also the "then:" the time of the book, which is either the time the book was written or the time period that is the setting of the story told in the book. I like the back and forth thing. I also like books that alternate perspectives. Maybe I just like "jumpy"books... anyway. The last three books about books I read:

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler 
I was waiting for this book to come out. I even had the date of release in my calendar, in case you were wondering exactly how big of a book nerd I can be. (HUGE, Rochester!). It's about a librarian (as many Books about books are) that receives an old book from a rare book dealer. Inside, the book has the name of the librarian's great grandmother, who drowned herself. Just like his own mother did. Duh duh duh! In the present, Simon is trying to figure out the pattern of his family and save his self- destructive sister. In the time of the book, we follow several people involved in a traveling side show carnival, though it wasn't really called that at the time. This book is beautifully written and leaves the reader thinking about the wonder of the universe and the ties that bind people together. 

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks 

I read this book via audio book after failing to get into it as a hardcover. In the now, we have a book conservationist who has been tasked with the mighty job of restoring a 500 year old Jewish Haggadah. For different elements of the book (a stain, a hair) she discovers, there is the story of how it happened in the time of the book. The descriptions are beautiful and it's interesting to hear about the creation of the book using the different methods over hundreds of years. Did you know that parchment is made out of animal flesh? You do now! I'm glad that I tried this book, again. I think it was smoother through the ears, probably because of the historical parts, which make my brain numb, sometimes due to my PHSSTD (Post High School Social Studies Traumatic Disorder).

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult 

She might get a bit of flack on my Twitter TL, but I love Jodi Picoult. I've read several of her novels and think they're each different and interesting. Granted, I have read them all with years in between them, which I think helps with any author. You don't get too keen to their patterns and idiosyncrasies. Anyway, in the now, Delilah is a weird nerd with few friends who is the first to be able to see that the characters in a middle grade adventure book might have minds of their own. It might be all a little predictable and a little convenient and "just how would that work exactly," but that is kind of part of the story. Ms. Picoult wrote this book with her daughter and it is, itself, for younger readers. It's enjoyable and super quick, despite it's 350 pages.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Inkheart, a favorite book within a book about books and book- lovers. The whole series is gold.