book review

It is perhaps inevitable that our quarterly roundup of books about books is heavy on heavy books, i.e. oversized, coffee-table tomes, the kind you might give or wish to receive as a holiday gift. Nevertheless, all are useful and beautiful additions to a book lover’s shelves.

It’s September, that time of year that tends to bring us all back to the books, so to speak. The ‘books about books’ market is no different, but there seems to be a more-than-usual amount to share with you—a baker’s dozen in all, unevenly split with eight non-fiction titles, three fiction, and one adorable gift book. Let’s dive in! (Part II will appear on Thursday.)

First up is

For many people summer brings at least a short break from the workaday world, time to be spent chipping away at personal projects and hobbies or simply reading a great (bookish) novel. Five recently published books about books speak to these priorities. So if you’re seeking a stack of summer reads, look no further!

Few names bestir the hearts of book collectors and die-hard bibliophiles as much as Shakespeare and Gutenberg. Two new non-fiction books adroitly capitalize on that fact, adding the element of suspense to their narratives. Both are riveting reads, but let's peel back the covers just a bit.

With all the news about book theft of late (in Pittsburgh; and

Lost books, medieval manuscripts, and secret archives are favorite topics for novelists, and we bibliophiles can't seem to get enough of them. I've read three varieties of bibliofiction recently, all entertaining, and each quite different from the others.  

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Collectors of any stripe will recognize themselves within the pages of James Barron's absorbing book, The One-Cent Magenta: Inside the Quest to Own the Most Valuable Stamp in the World ($23.95), published earlier this year. ? la The Red Violin, Barron traces the episodic history of the penny postage issued in