"We all have our time machines, don't we. Those that take us back are memories...And those that carry us forward, are dreams." H.G. Wells
Books contain our memories, both imagined and real, subjective and collective, personal and general. They can not only show us our past but let us experience it through the intimate process of reading. It is not just history books, historical fiction or classic books that have this impact, but also one's own history of reading, the books you have lived with, grown up with. Whenever I open my little cupboard full of childhood books, it's like opening up a little time capsule. Between the pages I suddenly remember things I thought long forgotten, feelings I felt at the time I read them, my dreams and hopes. Books can take us back to that and they can also take us forward. They can literally take us into the future through their exploration of science and technology or sci-fi, but they also make us dream about our lives, what we'd like them to become, and of our collective futures.
Books are our time machines.
Winter is the best time to read about ghosts, creepy haunted houses and murder mysteries!
What's the better way of celebrating book love than reading books about books? We've prepared 13 fiction and nonfiction titles which will make your connection with books even stronger. And now let's meet other bibliophiles.
Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books.
This is a superb book filled with heart, tragedy, and even a lot of moments of genuine humor. It's hard to think how a story about the Holocaust narrated by Death can work, but by golly it does.
I was writing a long, deep review, but f... it. Markus Zusak is just better at it than me. Brought to you by Death itself, a sassy little shit that made me cry in front of people.
I feel very strongly that a good review should praise a book for its strengths and critique it for its flaws. But when I love a book as much as I loved this one, it's hard for me to think of any flaws.
The hauntingly prophetic classic novel set in a not-too-distant future where books are burned by a special task force of firemen.
I loved Fahrenheit 451 because it was a book about burning books that was far more than a book about burning books. F451 is a book about the true cost of the loss of culture.
Reading it now, as an adult in a media saturated time of history, is a kick in the ass I would never have gotten as a teenager.
A gleeful and exhilarating tale of global conspiracy, complex code-breaking, high-tech data visualization, young love, rollicking adventure, and the secret to eternal life—mostly set in a hole-in-the-wall San Francisco bookstore.
The geekery is over the top and you just enjoy where this story takes you. I love that so much of this story revolves around the association of a fantasy dragon trilogy.
As someone who loves books, a book about a mysterious book store and a mystery surrounding reading sounded pretty enticing.
Is this book perfect? No. Is it my favorite book I've read this year? Yes.
The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the 'cemetery of lost books', a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print.
A novel about books is always a treat for readers, at least for those of us who have such a passion for books. I’m terribly jealous of Daniel and his father who own a bookshop because they are allowed to spend all day dealing with books.
The author writes in a lyrical prose that is exquisite and many times I found myself re-reading passages I liked just to meditate a while longer on those said passages.
Meggie loves books. So does her father, Mo, a bookbinder, although he has never read aloud to her since her mother mysteriously disappeared.
The idea for this book is amazing; it's an idea that makes you wonder why no one wrote it years ago. Every reader would love the chance to meet their favorite characters in person, wouldn't they?
The concept is a fascinating one. The ability to read characters and things out from the pages of a book. As great as that sounds, the reality of it is more of a curse than a gift as the lead characters find out.
Rare-book theft is even more widespread than fine-art theft. Most thieves, of course, steal for profit. John Charles Gilkey steals purely for the love of books.
I have some respect for those book thieves that steal because they have a love of rare books.
I liked reading this, though it's not really about a man who loves books too much, but rather is about The Man Who Couldn't or Wouldn't Stop Stealing Something.
I mean how can you love books too much?! Well apparently you can and John Gilkey was tremendously good at it.I've always wanted to collect books thanks to Beauty and the Beast, and this was right up my alley.
Sixpence House: Lost in A Town Of Books - Paul Collins
Paul Collins and his family abandoned the hills of San Francisco to move to the Welsh countryside-to move, in fact, to the village of Hay-on-Wye, the "Town of Books" that boasts fifteen hundred inhabitants-and forty bookstores.
The chapter titles are very amusing in and of themselves, and the quotes from antiquarian books and magazines remarkably applicable to modern life. A very entertaining read for a bibliophile.
As much as I am a bookaholic, I am glad I do not live in Hay-on-Wye as I believe that I would have no money left for food!
A Passion for Books is a collection of sixty classic and contemporary essays, stories, lists, poems, quotations, and cartoons on the joys of reading, appreciating, and collecting books.
Another piece I really enjoyed was Umberto Eco's examination of the large personal library, something he most definitely possesses. It's suggested reading for anyone who has ever had a non-bibliophile friend survey your overstuffed shelves and ask "Have you read all of these books?"
When Nancy Goldstone bought a vintage copy of "War and Peace" to win a birthday bet with co-author Larry, the couple began their journey into the world of book collecting, meeting a hilarious cast of eccentrics along the way.
The Goldstones are clearly a literate couple who delight in the content of the books as well as the joy of owning a first edition “first state,” unlike the people who purchase books by the yard.
For Fadiman, as for many passionate readers, the books she loves have become chapters in her own life story.
They read everything and anything. You have boxes of books on shelves and in corners that really need to be sorted and either kept or given away for someone else to read.
As enjoyable as this little read was, I have to say that I disagree with Fadiman in some ways: I don't think readers are so clear-cut in the way they love books.
Each essay has a different topic, but each touch upon her life and how books have impacted it. There are written with great humor and language.
This enthralling study on the art of living with books considers how our personal libraries reveal our true natures: far more than merely crowded shelves, they are living labyrinths of our innermost feelings.
Jacques Bonnet is a French art historian with a collection of over 40,000 books. In this brief book he discusses the unique challenges that possessing so many books creates and the passions that drive a serious bibliophile.
For me this book is a little treasure that I will proudly add to my personal library (in the non-fiction section, alphabetically under author’s name to be precise).
At one magical instant in your early childhood, the page of a book—that string of confused, alien ciphers—shivered into meaning. Words spoke to you, gave up their secrets; at that moment, whole universes opened. You became, irrevocably, a reader.
Overall though, there were plenty of interesting topics covered, from the origins of reading and writing, reading aloud, banned books and even the history of eyeglasses and rise of anti-intellectualism.
Beha’s chronicle is a smart, big-hearted, and inspirational mix of memoir and intellectual excursion—and a powerful testament to what great books can teach us about how to live our own lives.
Christopher Beha was in his early 20's, living with his parents and just entering his 5th year of remission from cancer when he decided to tackle a task he had kept in the back of his mind for some time: read through the entire Five Foot Shelf in one year and write a book about it.
We'd love to hear your bibliophilic stories :)
pic source: via
"Ella picked up the last basket of clothing, her arms strained from attempting to carry the heavy, wet mass the twelve or so feet to the drying line."
I picked this book because I wanted to read a Cinderella story. This turned out to be a very non-magical fairy-tale retelling of Cinderella. All the aspects that made the original story wonderful are missing here. There is no fairy godmother, no magical transformation, no running away at midnight and leaving behind a glass slipper for the prince to find, and no sense of awe or wonder at the discovery of the identity of the mysterious and beautiful maiden at the ball since everybody already knows who she is. There are several other problems with the plot as well.
In addition, there are also several typos and errors in the book that should have been edited out such as "He ran his fingers through his hair and rested his knees upon his elbows," or "Her faint worries were for not," or Ella asking "Anthony, were in the world are we?"
What I did like - the only thing I actually like - in this particular retelling is the character of Prince Anthony/John. So often in fairy tales we have just the princesses' POV, but one thing that's different in Jenni James' stories is that the princes are given just as much attention and a personality as the princesses. I have also read James' The Frog Prince and found it to be a much better retelling, even better than the original which I never really liked, and this is due to the inclusion of a very 'charming' prince in her version. And for that I'm going to try another of her books in her Faerie Tale Collection.
A lovely fairy tale in the vein of Sleeping Beauty, except much more funnier. In this story the princess is cursed to lose her gravity (of body and mind) by her aunt whom the King conveniently forgot to invite to the party. So the princess spends her time flying around the palace, laughing at everything and everyone, and swimming all day in her favourite lake!
A sad yet beautiful little story related to Monstrous Beauty, that can also be read as a prequel or a stand alone.
“When you give your heart to the ocean, you either drown, or spend your life wishing you had drowned.”
Read online: http://www.tor.com/stories/2012/08/men-who-wish-to-drown
Helen Grant's "Bonschariant," or the "glass demon" of the book, is based on a German legend about Count Sigebodo who had a foreign servant whose name was so difficult to pronounce that the Count called him “Bonschariant,” meaning “the good servant.”
The story follows:
The rich Count Sibodo lived in the time of the Emperor Henry I, and was but a lukewarm Christian. One day the devil appeared to him in the shape of a servant, calling himself Bonschariant. The count took him to his castle on the River Ahr, where the new servant carried out all his orders so skillfully, that eventually his master could not do without him. When the knight went out to a battle, or to a tournament, Bonschariant always had to go with him. Sibodo also took him into the Holy Land, and wherever the servant fought at the side of his master, the latter was always victorious.
When Sibodo came back from the East he was engaged in fierce battles around the Rhine. In one he had managed to beat his enemy, and to force him back across the river. One evening, weary from fighting, he fell asleep under a tree. His enemies crept up and surrounded him, and would have killed him. But Bonschariant rushed up just in time, snatched the sleeping man from their midst, and flew up into the air with him. Sibodo woke up as they were floating through the air, and cried out in alarm, "God have mercy on me." The devil was angry when he heard these words: he snarled and made a dreadful noise. From that day Sibodo regarded his strange servant with mistrust and secret anxiety.
After some years the wife of Sibodo fell very ill. The knight called in the most famous doctors from far and wide, but they could not cure the countess. At last one of the doctors said, "There remains but one way of curing the sick woman, lion's milk and dragon's blood. But who could obtain them?" "I will", said Bonschariant, and flew off through the air towards the south. Two hours later he came back from the heart of Africa with the strange medicine. The countess recovered and was in better health than ever. But when she heard how she had been cured, she begged her husband to dismiss his servant for she was a devout woman, and was sure he must be the devil himself.
It was hard for Sibodo to do without Bonschariant, but to pacify his wife he decided to build a monastery amongst the Eifel hills and to call it Steinfeld. He told his servant that the fine building was to be a hunting lodge. When the work was nearly completed, the count had a cross set up during the night on the very top of it. Early the next day the devil saw the cross as he was dragging a heavy stone along. He began to rage and fume and he cast the stone at it, but the missile was turned aside by an invisible hand and fell far away near Dieffenbach, where it still lies today. From that time on Bonschariant was never seen again.
From: Antz, August.