Books About Books: Background information when reading The Book That Matters Most

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The Book That Matters Most

A Novel

by Ann Hood

The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood X
The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2016, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2017, 368 pages

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In The Book That Matters Most, literature turns out to be an important lifeline to Ava as she joins a book club to offer her some soul sustenance through trying times. Here a few other recommendations for books about other books, whose theme is the joy of the written word.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry The cantankerous owner of a small independent New England bookstore is widowed and sales are lagging but he gets a new lease on life when an exciting package arrives at his doorstep. Voted a BookBrowse favorite, this memorable novel packs in a whole host of literary references and other nods to book lovers while wrapping its story around themes of redemption and second chances.



The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe

The End of Your Life Book Club If there was ever any doubt that books can speak to many of life's splendors, this moving memoir will erase them all. As Schwalbe's mother hovers close to death, mother and son decide to form a book club and share musings about their latest pick. Through the diverse selections touching on everything from fantasy to spirituality, they forge deeper connections and learn that books have the power to bring people together in unexpected and profound ways.



The Bookman's Tale by Charlie Lovett

The Bookman's Tale Imagine your spouse is dead and you're still in mourning when you come across a stunning look-alike portrait of your dearly departed tucked into the pages of an old book. Such is the case for Peter Byerly who has moved to the English countryside when a discovery in a small bookshop in Hay-on-Wye leads him on an obsessive trail to discover the origins of the painting. The quaint Welsh village of Hay-on-Wye is a mecca for book lovers everywhere and its prominent place in the narrative, sprinkled with generous references to the Bard of Avon make this novel a delight.



The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society An author finds an unexpected pen pal in Guernsey, a small island struggling to shake off the long shadow of World War II. As she learns more about her new friends, she finds there's much to know about the island's inhabitants, many of whom share one additional love in common: a passion for books. "I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers," the narrator asks. This wonder, written in epistolary form, deserves to direct its homing instinct to your book club.



People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

People of the Book A rare manuscript is a found treasure. Indeed, when Hanna Heath chances upon a volume of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, a Jewish bounty, she knows she has more than the marvel of the written word in her hands. Through artifacts tucked into the book and by tracing the provenance of the manuscript itself, Hanna is able to tease out the spooling of major historical events as they are mirrored within the pages of one very important work of art.



Soldier's Heart: Reading Literature Through Peace and War at West Point by Elizabeth Samet

Soldier's Heart How do students who are directed to unquestioningly follow orders critically debate literature? That's exactly what Samet's students at West Point do as they share the books, stories and poems that have shaped them in indelible ways. Particularly useful to book clubs will be the way in which the author chooses the books to share and discuss, always keeping her audience in mind.



The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief Liesel Meminger loves books so much, she will do anything — including stealing — to get her hands on them. The Reich is in absolute power, the people yearn for inspiration from the written word, and the one bond Liesel shares with the Jew hiding in the basement is a love of books. A frequent addition to book club lists, this moving ode to literature was voted a BookBrowse favorite.



Muse by Jonathan Galassi

Muse Two literary giants have one common obsession: poet Ida Perkins, whose work mesmerizes them both. Paul Dukach and Homer Stern, navigating the trenches of the publishing industry, try to win Ida's good graces while discovering how art can intersect with life in many joyous ways. Book clubbers will appreciate the many peeks into the high jinks of the publishing world.



Gutenberg's Apprentice by Alix Christie

Gutenberg's Apprentice Imagine the excitement surrounding the discovery of the ultimate gift for readers: the printing press. One of the first uses for this world-changing device was the printing of the Bible, yet the Catholic Church opposed its spread. Why? This exciting debut touches on intrigue and betrayal in the race to one of mankind's most radical inventions all while keeping the power of literature front and center.



This "beyond the book article" relates to The Book That Matters Most. It originally ran in August 2016 and has been updated for the August 2017 paperback edition.

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