Book Lit: Five Looks at Reading | Wyatt’s World

Reading about reading is the best kind of busman’s holiday. These five titles convey the power and solace of literature and the intrigue of favorite characters made new. Plenty of backlist titles are also available, making this topic a reliable display idea.

  • The Futilitarians: Our Year of Thinking, Drinking, Grieving, and Reading by Anne Gisleson (Little, Brown).
    In the wake of great loss and the reverberations of Hurricane Katrina, a group of friends in New Orleans forge a book club to cope. Gisleson details their selections and how their monthly conversations changed the tenor of their lives.
  • Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook by Christina Henry (Berkley).
    This dark fantasy reimagines the story of Peter Pan, portraying the iconic lost boy as the villain and detailing the origins of Captain Hook, who goes from palling around with Pan to seeing him for what he is. Set in Neverland, Henry’s tale sweeps readers back into this beloved legend with great panache.
  • How To Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry (Pamela Dorman: Dutton).
    In this August LibrayReads pick, Emilia Nightingale is trying to keep her father’s bookstore open after his death, but she is not sure she can manage. Its loss would be a blow to her devoted customers, whose stories intertwine with her own in this sweet story of love, community, and connection.
  • Morningstar: Growing Up with Books by Ann Hood (Norton).
    This bookish memoir by novelist Hood, also an August LibraryReads selection, recounts the author’s upbringing and how specific titles shaped her intellectual and emotional development. From Charles Dickens to Boris Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago, and much in between, she explores the expansive and intimate role of reading in our lives.
  • Reading with Patrick: A Teacher, a Student, and a Life-Changing Friendship by Michelle Kuo (Random).
    While on assignment for Teach for America, Kuo came into contact with Patrick Browning, a student who, years later, would be charged with murder. In her first book, the author details their joint education and coming of age, and their life-changing friendship set against a backdrop of race and poverty in America.
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Neal Wyatt About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt compiles LJ's online feature Wyatt's World and is the author of The Readers' Advisory Guide to Nonfiction (ALA Editions, 2007). She is a collection development and readers' advisory librarian from Virginia. Those interested in contributing to The Reader's Shelf should contact her directly at

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