“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” — Walt Disney
What are you reading this National Reading Month?
It’s March, which means it’s National Reading Month! But, with so much to choose from — fiction, fantasy, memoirs, biographies, etc. — what should you pick up? You could simply pick up and re-read a favorite or share it with your children by reading aloud.
But here’s what we recommend: Why not double your fun with books that offer a story within the story, or a book whose story is about books?
Enjoy these 6 books that offer you a close encounter with the meta…
1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
One of the most famous classics by Mary Shelley, Frankenstein has seen many television adaptations over the years. But nothing quite compares to the narration told through Robert Walton’s eyes about how Dr. Victor Frankenstein recounts his creation of a monstrous creature. This multi-layered story is the only book on this list to present a story within a story within a story! Don’t worry, Shelley’s prose flow so well you’ll have no problems following along.
2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Scott Fitzgerald’s most famous classic is another book that’s enjoyed a plethora of screen time. Most recently, the title character was played by Leonardo DeCaprio in Luhrmann’s 2013 film adaptation! The Great Gatsby follows narrator Nick Carraway as he recounts the meeting between him and the mysterious Jay Gatsby. Who is Jay and where did he come from?
3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief is not a story within a story, but a story about a book. This unforgettable narrative about the ability of books to feed the soul takes place in 1939 Nazi Germany where Liesel Meminger is a foster child who learns to read with the help of her foster father. She then helps her neighbors and the Jewish man hidden in her basement endure the war by sharing books she’s had to steal.
4. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale follows Margaret Lea, the daughter of a bookshop owner, who is enamored with books and their authors. A writer herself, Lea is invited to write the biography of the enigmatic and reclusive author Vida Winter. Not only does this book provide a story within a story, but also a glimpse into the mysterious world of books, their authors, and the tales that connect lives.
5. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury’s internationally acclaimed 20th-century novel introduces a world where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction. In this strange world, firemen start fires rather than put them out. As a fireman, Bradbury’s protagonist Guy Montag must burn illegal commodities — books. But, he realizes that perhaps books will become the saving grace of humanity and begins to illegally hide them in his home. What happens when he’s found out?
6. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
In this sprawling magic show, Carlos Ruiz Zafon presents the city of Barcelona in 1945 in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son, mourns his mother and finds solace in a mysterious book titled, “The Shadow of the Wind.”