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You Had Me at the Word "Library"

Library books

I love a bookish story, with book loving characters and books at the centre of the settings. Publishing houses, book stores, and of course, libraries. Here are a few reviews of books with library in the title which you might enjoy. Click on the titles for links to the library catalogue.

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles
“In the darkness of war, the light of books.”
This is truly a book lover’s tale. Young Odile, in Paris just before the Second World War, begins working at the American Library. There is a lovely community of staff, volunteers, and regular patrons at the library, and together they face the trials and heartbreak of the Nazi Occupation. Another timeline weaves into this, in 1980s Montana, where Odile has immigrated. She forms a friendship with her young neighbour, Lily. Slowly the story of Odile’s past unfolds, through the chapters in wartime Paris and the things she shares with Lily.
Books and libraries, friendship and love, joy and heartbreak, darkness and light, this book has a lot to offer.

The Library of the Dead by T.L. Huchu
(Edinburgh Nights #1)
In Edinburgh, in a dystopian future, Ropa is a ghostalker. She speaks to the dead, carrying messages between them and their living loved ones. This pretty much goes as you would expect, until a search for a missing child sends Ropa into much darker territory.

It took me a while to get used to the writing style and Ropa’s voice, but once I did I loved it. Ropa is witty and sarcastic, and the supporting characters are excellent. Ropa’s gran, and little sister Izwi, are her motivation. She left school early to support them. Her friends, Priya and Jomo, are always along for the wild ride. And let’s not forget River, Ropa’s very cool fox companion.

Book #2, Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments, delves deeper into the magic and the characters, with a whole new dark adventure occurring.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Nora finds herself in a library between life and death, filled with books each holding a different version of her life, and a sort of index “book of regrets.” If you made a different decision, whether it was small or large, how different could your life have turned out? I am sure we have all had some “what if” thoughts at some point so most should find this relatable even if you don’t face the mental health struggle which Nora does in the book. I really liked some of the alternate lives Nora ends up in. Overall this was an enjoyable take on the alternate universe concept, tied together by the fantastical midnight library.

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
“She just wanted – had always wanted – a good book to read.”
I’m sure we can all relate to that! Put a book about a mysterious secret library in front of me and you can bet I am going to pick that book up and read it. Such a premise is irresistible to many readers I’m sure. If you love a bit of fantasy and adventure this series is for you. There are alternate worlds, dragons, fae, and a special language which librarians can use to manipulate things!

Irene is a junior librarian. Her job mainly consists of missions to alternate worlds to retrieve books, which are then stored in the Library to create links which help to keep the worlds in balance. After a quick jaunt escaping a world with her target book, Irene is posted in an alternate London with a new apprentice, Kai - who’s kind of hot, btw, but Irene is much too professional to concern herself with that. She is his mentor after all! This London has Victorian kind of vibes, with added zeppelins and magic. They meet many challenges including fae interference, a giant mechanical centipede, and werewolves. They also meet Vale, London’s best detective. I’m very fond of Vale as a character, he’s a bit Sherlock-ish.

There are eight books in this series so plenty of library magic to keep you busy. They are fast paced, fantasy / mystery, and filled with a love of books.

Maybe one of these “library” books grabbed your attention and you are already checking the catalogue for their availability, or maybe one of the many other bookish books we have on offer is more your style?

A list of other books with library in the title:
Mobile Library by David Whitehouse
The Last Library / The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson
The Littlest Library by Poppy Alexander
The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
The Swimming-pool Library by Alan Hollinghurst
The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith
The Telephone Box Library by Rachael Lucas
The Little Wartime Library by Kate Thompson
The Lending Library by Aliza Fogelson
Murder in the Oval Library by Colleen Gleason
The Herring in the Library by L.C. Tyler
Public Library and other stories by Ali Smith
The Library of Unfinished Business by Patricia Bell
The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill
The Library of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey
The Mobile Library : the Case of the Missing Books by Ian Sansom
The Library at the Edge of the World by Felicity Hayes-McCoy

 Posted by Lara

27 March 2023

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