For Literature Lovers: Books About Books

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I’m a bit obsessed with Carlos Ruiz Zafón. His book The Shadow of the Wind is my all-time favorite and it was the first book that impacted me so greatly. I recently reviewed his newest book, The Prisoner of Heaven, which certainly lived up to the expectations.

Besides being an amazing storyteller, Zafón’s books are unique because they express the immense passion a reader can have for literature. Most notably, his Cemetery of Forgotten Books, which appears in three of his books now, features an old hidden library containing forgotten books. When a reader takes a book from the library, they are forever entrusted with its care.

Zafón clearly loves literature and knows what makes a good book. When I was researching him a few days ago, I stumbled across a Goodreads article in which Carlos Ruiz Zafón listed his own favorite “books about books.” Of course, his own books The Shadow of the Wind, The Angel’s Game, and The Prisoner of Heaven should top the list.

Here is Zafón’s list: Continue reading

Please Don’t Drool On The Books When You See This

Today while browsing the “books” tag of blogs, I came across a post on Two Muffins In An Oven about bookshelf porn.  I kid you not.

While there are no nudes or risque *ahem* activities, book lovers will definitely get a lot of pleasure from this website.

Bookshelf Porn is a collection of amazing photos of bookshelves, libraries, bookstores, and other bookshelf-related things from across the world.  It’s impossible to count how many pictures there are, but you can keep scrolling down the page for a while without running out of pictures or getting bored.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Continue reading

Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s Latest Novel

Carlos Ruiz Zafon once again brings us back to The Cemetery of Forgotten Books and the Sempere & Sons bookshop in his latest novel “The Prisoner of Heaven”.  El Prisionero Del Cielo was published in Spain two days ago.  I’m really wishing my Spanish skills were a bit better right now since I’m pretty sure the few years I spent studying Spanish in high school won’t get me through this.  I do want to get a copy of The Shadow of the Wind and his other books in their original language at some point though.

The Prisoner of Heaven will be translated into English and available in the UK on July 21, 2012.  I’m not sure of the U.S. release date yet.

Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s official website states:

The Prisoner of Heaven returns to the world of The Cemetery of Forgotten Books and the Sempere & Sons bookshop. It begins one year after the close of The Shadow of the Wind when a mysterious stranger enters the shop, looking for a copy of The Count of Monte Cristo.”

This joins Zafon’s other books The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel’s Game which both revolve around the Sempere & Sons bookshop in Barcelona, Spain as well.  The Shadow of the Wind is my ultimate favorite book so I’m really excited to read the latest in this series.

Do Happy Endings Exist?

Or happy books for that matter? After recommending The Shadow of the Wind to someone, they loved it of course, they asked me for more suggestions.  I immediately had a few book titles ready to shout out until I heard the dreaded words…“I think I want to read a happier book now.”  Woah.

Let’s see what books I’ve enjoyed most recently:
1)  Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – a young boy’s grief after his father dies in 9/11
2)  The Book Thief – Germany during WWII, Germans die from bombings and Jews die in concentration camps
3)  The Bridge to Terabithia – contains a main character death (I won’t say the character’s name for the risk of spoiling it for others)

Then a realization hit me.  I can’t think of a single good book I’ve read and really enjoyed recently that could be called a “happy book”.

Are the only books that appeal to me ones filled with tortured, struggling characters and tales of misery?  It’s quite possible.

Since I’ve hit a depressing dead-end of happy book possibilities, I’m appealing to my blogging buddies for advice.  What are some good happy books? Also, do you find you tend to read books of a similar mood or am I alone in loving the depressing ones?

Get the most out of your reading experience

You’re totally wrapped up in a book and completely identify with the main character, but you keep coming across things – songs, books, movies, places, names – that you don’t recognize.  You could look up every single one, but when it gets to the fifth song your favorite character mentions loving this gets a bit tiring.  So what do you do? You go to SmallDemons.

SmallDemons is a new website devoted to sharing connections between books.  Right now the site is still in beta, but you can request an invite to get access.  I got my invite a couple days ago – about 2-3 days after requesting it.  Already the site features a variety of books.  On each book’s page it shows people, places, music, movies, tv shows, books, vehicles, gadgets, clothing, weapons, and many other things mentioned in the book.  You can scroll through these lists and click on any person, place, song, etc.  This will then bring you to a page showing the other books that have mentioned these examples.

Furthermore, the site will feature recommendations based on books you like – as a sort of Pandora station for books.  There will also be ways to upload your bookshelves, keep track of your favorite books, and create music playlists.  Since the site is still growing they’re working on a bunch of really cool features.  Best of all, if you get an invite to access the site through beta you can be part of this development process by submitting your own ideas.

There are a lot of awesome ideas that I can’t explain in such a short post, but check the site out at SmallDemons. Here is a short video describing the unique experience:

I originally found out about this website through this blog post.

Book Blogger Hop

2011’s Book Blogger Hop has started and I’m participating this year! I’m really excited because it is a great way to connect with the hundreds of other book-bloggers out there 🙂 I can’t wait to read some other book blogs.  I’m going to try to visit a few new ones every week at least. If you love books or are a book-blogger yourself then check it out.  Jen at Crazy For Books is the one who started this awesome Book Blogger Hop which you can find here.

If you want to add your blog, it is really simple to do.  You just have to post something about the hop on your blog first and insert the link.  Then, answer this week’s hop question.

This week’s question is “What is your favorite type of candy?”  My answer is Skittles or Reeses, depending on my mood.

Then, you get to add your blog link to the list!

I’m really excited about this opportunity to meet other quality bloggers with similar interests and get some awesome new reading material.  I hope you’ll participate too! There are already 104 blogs listed – wow!

EDIT: For some reason the links in this post aren’t working.  It seems that the blog I’m trying to link to is giving errors being linked…not really sure. Anyway, sorry to do this the annoying way, but if you copy and paste these URL’s they should work.  The blog the Book Blogger Hop is posted on is http://www.crazy-for-books.com and the page with the Book Blogger Hop list is http://www.crazy-for-books.com/tag/book-blogger-hop.  Sorry this is so annoying everyone!