Today, I’m joining in the fun of A Month of Favorites with the topic, “Five Favorite Books by Theme.” For us bookaholics, what’s even better than a great book? A great book about books, stories, or reading! Here are five of my personal favorites.
Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie
While he was in hiding from those who would have murdered him for writing The Satanic Verses, Rushdie produced this rollicking, pop-culture-sprinkled comic fantasy. Centered around a quest to save the very source of storytelling itself, it is a moving tribute to the life-giving power of words and language.
Possession by A.S. Byatt
An astonishing feat of literary ventriloquism, as well as an absorbing historical mystery and a double love story, this book concerns two Victorian poets and the modern scholars who are trying to discover the truth about them.
The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
If you’ve only seen the movies (especially the horrible later ones), please read the real thing! When a lonely child escapes his troubles by means of a magical book, he must learn the true meaning of heroism before he can save the world within its pages — as well as his own.
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
Another historical mystery, this time set in a medieval monastery, where secrets, lies, and old manuscripts are turning deadly. If you find Eco’s esoterica too baffling, there’s a little booklet called “The Key to The Name of the Rose” that is very helpful in navigating this huge and complex novel.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
When his home planet is destroyed, hapless Englishman Arthur Dent must take to outer space with only the eponymous guidebook to help him, encountering the craziest denizens of the universe along the way.
Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
The recent read that got me thinking about this theme — not quite up there with my faves, but worth a mention nevertheless. The fate of an unnamed Persian Gulf state hangs in the balance when a hacker comes into possession of an ancient, mysterious book of stories that may hold the key to the ultimate computer code. Will it lead him to freedom — or destruction?
Do you have any further variations on the theme? I’d love to hear about them!