Week 2: Book Pairing #nonficnov

This week’s host for Nonfiction November 2017 is Sarah over at Sarah’s Book Shelves. This week all of the participants are to “pair up a nonfiction book with a fiction title”. As best as I can tell this is not limited to just books we’ve read in 2017.

So. . . we’re going to dig deep into the blacklists, blow the dust off some covers and recommend two reads that I think most any bibliophile would enjoy reading.

First up is my fiction pick with John Dunning’s BookedTo Die. This book hit store shelves in 1992 (so you can find a cheap paperback these days) and is a mystery read through-and-through. But it’s all about books and first editions and libraries. It’s hard to beat a good bibliomystery and Dunning’s book is a good one. It’s the first in his Cliff Janeway series. Janeway is a Book Scout and spends his days going through book stalls, stores, thrift stores, yard sales, and trash bins trying to find books he buy for a quarter and sell for $200. His eyes are always peeled for that “lost” first edition treasure while he’s appraising people’s private book collections. Lots of fun and solid (real world) facts about book collecting. So if you like Raymond Chandler-ish reads with a twist, you might want to check this one out.

A nice follow up to a bibliomystery about rare first editions is Nabokov’s Butterfly by Rick Gekoski. Gekoski is a real life bookman and makes his living in the world of rare manuscripts and antiquarian books. At under 250 pages, his book is an easy read. It shares some amazing stories about rare editions, publishing lore and backstories on a few famous authors. Many book collector’s and sales folks have written of their journeys, but where Gekoski’s excels is that he focuses more on the books and less on his career. Which is nice. So where Janeway is trying to track down old books, Gekoski has probably bought them, held them and sold them again. It’s a fun peek into a world many of us book lovers don’t get to participate in.

So that’s my pairing, one fiction and nonfiction read for folks who love to read about books.

I’m anxious to click around the blogs and see what other pairings people are putting out there this week.

  • That is a really cool pairing. 😀 I don’t think I’ve read any bibliomystery type of books but you’ve made me want to seek them out now.

  • I love the cover on Nabolov’s Butterfly! That sounds like an interesting read even if I didn’t pair it up with the mystery!

  • JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing

    I’m a huge fan of books about books… both appeal to me. Nice pairing!

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  • I really enjoyed that one and I agree with you, the cover is fun! It’s a Tom McKeveny cover, I bet you’d recognize some of his other covers as well: http://www.tommckeveny.com/PageOne.html

  • Thank you. It’s always fun to meet a like minded reader. I am always surprised how many people don’t consider books about books as an option when looking for their next read. We’ll have to start a movement!

  • So glad you stopped by & can see the merit of those choices. There are some really good bibliomysteries out there. In fact, there’s a new collection out that’s been edited by Otto Penzler himself http://bit.ly/2ztXD2c I have not read it yet, but I have high hopes!

  • This is a great topic. I love reading about rare books.