LIBRARY GIRL'S TWO SIDES
Tanya Abramovitch lives in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
I love to read about bibliomaniacs as much as I enjoy being one. A public librarian by trade, I spend my working life trying to make readers out of our patrons. The following selections are by, for, and about those caught with the "fever."
THE SHADOW OF THE WIND
By Carlos Ruiz Zafon
This is an enthralling novel about books, obsession, love, and loyalty. The language is beautiful, the narrative enticing, and the characters profound. The protagonist is a young man named Daniel who is so taken with a novel acquired in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books that he tries to piece together the author's story. Simultaneously, he unravels it and becomes a part of it. (GOOD July/Aug 2004)
By Elizabeth Kostova
I read this nearly 700-page novel in one marathon sitting. It features elements of the macabre and ranges in subject from libraries to academics and travel. The Historian narrates the quest for the real Dracula by "chosen" individuals scattered around Europe. The bulk of the text is in letter form, reminiscent of Stoker's book, and the narrator is a bright, well-read girl who, as she comes of age, longs to understand both her father and her presumably dead mother. (GOOD/EXCELLENT Sept/Oct 2005)
THE HOUSE OF PAPER
By Carlos Maria Dominguez
A novella readable in an hour, it's about bibliomania in its extreme sense. The nameless narrator tries to return a cement-encrusted volume he's received in the mail to its sender since the intended recipient was killed. He learns the man's tale, which is about the slow decent into madness as a result of an inordinate love of books.
THE RULE OF FOUR
By Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason
This book is in the same family as Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, only more sophisticated. The story takes place at Princeton and narrates how one work, the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, a Renaissance coded text, becomes an all-encompassing fixation for several characters--and leads to murder. (GOOD/EXCELLENT Sept/Oct 2004)
By Ross King
The main character of this bibliomystery is a 17th-century London bookseller who has been summoned to visit a country lady. When she sends him on a mission to locate a specific monograph, he gets caught in dangerous situations resulting from her...