Are you drawn to books about books? I’m a complete sucker for them, and hope this (incomplete) list gives you some reading ideas for the holidays.

The Journal of Dora Damage, Belinda Starling

It’s rare to find a book about bookbinding (I love Peter Greenaway’s Pillow Book because it includes a section of Japanese stab binding…) and this novel delivers the detail, stitched into a fantastic bodice-ripper.

Read a review and get your hands on this book if you haven’t already.

Inkheart, Cornelia Funke

In Inkheart characters come to life, blurring reality and fiction. A fantastical bookish adventure – read the synopsis here…and let me know what the film is like.


People of the Book, Geraldine Brooks

How often do you wish a book was not fiction at all? I was desperate for this story to be absolutely true. A whole history, spanning continents and decades, is told by a rare book expert. Scintillating details and epic scope. Find a critique here, and make your own mind up.

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, Katarina Bivald

Dark humour bound up in a charming plot, makes this story of community and compassion a winner for any book lover. I adored the whole thing.

The Floating Book, Michele Lovric

Locating historical fiction in Venice’s unique surroundings is a very fine thing, in my opinion. When that’s combined with the telling of how the printing press came to be there…Well that makes for a superlative tale.

And one more for luck:

Salamander, Thomas Wharton

A fantastical adventure in magical realism – a quest for the perfect book – which is worth being caught in the children’s section for…. Find a review here.

The wonderful library, pictured at the top of the article, is at Lumb Bank – one of the Arvon Foundation centres, where you can go and write your own books…and this is the view from the very same room. (Get on their mailing list for news of upcoming courses, including one with me!)

Please leave a comment with your favourite bookish books – i’m sure there’s room on the shelf for more….

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