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so ask already!!! > books like "people of the book" by geraldine brooks

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message 1: by Matt (new)

Matt Lawson (matthewlawson) | 1 comments I haven't read People of The Book, however, it does sound as though it resembles The Da Vinci Code.


message 2: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
sorry! i didn't see this post in the excitement of the group read!!! i will think on this tonight, i promise!!!


message 3: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
WE ARE HAVING A LIVELY DISCUSSION!

so - you are looking for a book in which an ancient text is found and its provenance needs to be traced? is a book in which an ancient book is trying to be located close enough?? we are coming up with some things that are close, but we have yet to find a cigar.


message 4: by Darcy (new)

Darcy (drokka) Though this doesn't quite match what you are looking for; the Medieval Murderers, The follow an object from as far back as pre-history to the present, focusing on different Medieval periods. Each chapter is written by a different author, who are using characters from their own popular series.

Mostly, the other books I could think of are more suspense-type than they are like The People of the Book; such as The Rule of Four and The Historian.


message 5: by Meredith (new)

Meredith Holley (meredithholley) | 194 comments I was going to say The Historian, too, but I wasn't sure if the earnest vampire element would make it too different.

Maybe Elizabeth is a good source for this one, karen?


message 6: by Cassie (new)

Cassie Buckel (cassiejo) karen wrote: "WE ARE HAVING A LIVELY DISCUSSION!

so - you are looking for a book in which an ancient text is found and its provenance needs to be traced? is a book in which an ancient book is trying to be locat..."


Yes, that's close enough! :)Thank you so much for thinking about this. :D


message 7: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
so, i mean there is If on a winter's night a traveler, which is sort of a spin on this idea: trying to locate the "original" book while all the time coming upon other books that displace the original.

tom fuller mentioned The Last Dickens, but none of us have actually read it. i read The Dante Club; it was fine.

i know greg has at least three for you, but i will wait until he puts them up himself.

i feel like this should be really easy - i have a shelf for "books about books about books" but they always seem to be somewhat off from what you are looking for. they are all about curating books or writing books or editing books etc...

the best book about books, in my opinion, is Salamander, but it is probably more fantastic than what you are looking for. but i am still thinking.


message 8: by karen, future RA queen (new)


message 9: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
but aren't there a million books like this? why am i stumped?? i feel like this is something i have read a million books about!!

oh wait - there is The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane! i have not read that! i am told it is bad! but it could just be by outliers - i don't know for sure.


message 10: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
see i was going to suggest that (i am going to be reading it when i go to california)because it talks about how it is a mystery on the cover etc etc, but greg said that was a lie. this was part of our lively discussion. i wonder when he will come and post his suggestions.


message 11: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
that was one of greg's. you snooze, you lose, stahl...


message 12: by Greg (new)

Greg | 117 comments The Shadow of the Wind is a mystery about an obscure author who is only known from some old copies of his books in a used bookstore, that is a terrible description. My brain is awful at remembering details. This is the book I first thought of when I read the question, it's got lots of old books, weird editions of books and most of the plot is propelled through the physicality of the books.

Karen says no, but the second book I thought of was The Grand Complication: A Novel. The quest or item being discovered isn't a book, but it is embarked on by a bibliophile and a NYPL librarian and has a lot of book related discoveries going on in the uncovering of the mystery.

John Dunning has written a short series of book / antiquarian related mystery novels. They are chock full of weird little book facts and information about rare books and first editions and whatnot, the second book in the series The Bookman's Wake, is about copies of Poe's Tamarlane and uses a lot of clues about the physical aspects of the book itself in the story. It's fairly formulaic in the mystery genre, but from a book perspective his books are quite fun.

I also thought of 2666, but I wouldn't recommend reading it just for the book or literary detective work in it, there is too much else in the book and this part of the book makes up mainly only the first part of the novel, but it does have a fairly interesting subplot about a group of academics trying to track down a Pynchon-esque author, it's more about an author hiding himself though than the books themselves.


message 13: by Greg (new)

Greg | 117 comments And, this is non-fiction, but quite a few of the stories in Nicholas Basbanes's books are true life stories about some literary detective work. I'd recommend A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books.


message 14: by Meredith (new)

Meredith Holley (meredithholley) | 194 comments Oh, The History of Love has the element of the book that is a key to the story, but it does not really have the detective element.


message 15: by Janet (new)

Janet (janet_lockhart) | 27 comments I second the recommendations for Club Dumas, Bookman's Wake, Possession, and Ex-Libris. I've read them all, Club Dumas and Possession were my personal faves.

Others books I haven't read (anyone who has please chime in) but have heard good things about and think may tickle your fancy:

Genizah at the House of Shepher, about the Shepher codex, a valuable, mysterious Torah manuscript caught in a family feud.

Harvard Yard by William Martin A bookseller hunts for a lost Shakespeare play. In addition to the bard you also learn about Harvard, Boston Brahmins, and Puritans.

Lord Byron's Novel Did Bryon leave behind an undiscovered novel?

Secret of Lost Things by Sheridan Hay Tasmanian girl moves to New York, get a job in a bookstore chock full of wacky employees and joins search for a long lost Melville manuscript.

Sixteen Pleasures by Robert Hellenga Read this, but a long time ago. Book conservator goes to Florence to help save books after disastrous flood in 1966. Before you know it, she's caught up in shenanigans involving a Renaissance manuscript of erotica discovered by nuns!


message 16: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
hahaahah i was just coming here to suggest secret of lost things... moving on...


message 17: by Cassie (new)

Cassie Buckel (cassiejo) I somehow just deleted my first comment - no clue how that happened. Anyhow, thanks so much for all the suggestions - this is more than I hoped for! :)


message 18: by Greg (new)

Greg | 117 comments Cassie wrote: "I'm looking for books with a plot similar to People of The Book: a literary artifact is discovered and investigated to understand its origins. (If you've read POTB, you know it's about the Sarajevo Haggadah, and the discovery of its history through tiny artifacts found in the binding and on the pages.) When I read this book, I really enjoyed the element of literary "detective work," and the look at specific characters in the book's past. Thanks! "

I happened to have the tab opened with your question still. I hope you don't mind that I put it back so that it's still here.


message 19: by Cassie (new)

Cassie Buckel (cassiejo) Thank you!!


message 20: by Janet (new)

Janet (janet_lockhart) | 27 comments Elizabeth wrote: "Janet wrote: "Lord Byron's Novel Did Bryon leave behind an undiscovered novel? ..."

Janet, did you like this one? I've heard mixed reviews."


I haven't read it, gave it as a possibility based on plot and what other readers have told me. Also, when released it got starred reviews from Library Journal, Publishers Weekly AND Kirkus Reviews. That does not happen often.

Would love to hear from someone who has read the book!


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