Libraries are places built upon the desire to solve the mysteries of existence, to understand the cosmos, and to probe the secrets of the human heart. Find your favorite authors, discover new ones, and spend time with stories that can take you anywhere. These books set in libraries all explore what we find in the stacks.
Zachary Ezra Rawlins is enrolled in graduate school in Vermont. At the library one day, he finds a book full of fantastical stories, but he is astounded to read a story from his own childhood. He sets off to discover how his story made it into this strange book, which leads him through a series of encounters that bring him to the door of a mysterious underground library. There, he discovers a realm of protectors who sacrifice much to preserve the stories, and in investigating their stories, learns what really matters.
One year after the death of his beloved musician father, thirteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house — a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. At first, Benny tries to ignore them, but soon the voices follow him outside the house, driving him to seek refuge in the silence of a large public library, where objects are well-behaved and know to speak in whispers. There, Benny discovers a strange new world. he Book of Form and Emptiness is classic Ruth Ozeki — bold, wise, poignant, playful, humane, and heartbreaking.
Margot Harrington joins archivists and book restorers from around the world who converge in Florence in 1966 after the devastating floods. While at work in a convent library, she discovers a book of obscene drawings (The Sixteen Pleasures) and racy poems that had scandalized Renaissance Italy. All the copies were supposed to have been destroyed, so who hid them among the nuns’ books? Hellenga’s sexy romp of a novel puts libido back in the library.
In her twenties, Belle da Costa Greene is hired by J. P. Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for his newly built Pierpont Morgan Library. Belle becomes a fixture in New York City society and one of the most powerful people in the art and book world. But Belle has a secret, one she must protect at all costs. She was born not Belle da Costa Greene but Belle Marion Greener. She is the daughter of Richard Greener, the first Black graduate of Harvard and a well-known advocate for equality. The Personal Librarian tells the story of an extraordinary woman and shares the lengths she must go to preserve her carefully crafted white identity in the racist world in which she lives.
Opening the flaps on this unique little book, readers will find themselves immersed in the strange world of best-selling Haruki Murakami’s wild imagination. The story of a lonely boy, a mysterious girl, and a tormented sheep man plotting their escape from a nightmarish library, the book is like nothing else Murakami has written. Designed by Chip Kidd and fully illustrated, in full color, throughout, this small format, 96 page volume is a treat for book lovers of all ages.
It’s 1913, and when Laura Lyons takes a leap of faith and applies to the Columbia Journalism School, her world is cracked wide open. Soon, Laura finds herself questioning her traditional role as a wife and mother. Eighty years later, in 1993, Sadie Donovan struggles with the legacy of her grandmother, especially after she’s wrangled her dream job as a curator at the New York Public Library. But the job quickly becomes a nightmare when rare manuscripts, notes, and books begin disappearing. Things unexpectedly become personal when the investigation leads Sadie to some unwelcome truths about her own family heritage — truths that shed new light on the biggest tragedy in the library’s history.
Barcelona is a dark place in 1945. Franco’s fascists continue to exact revenge for Barcelona’s role in the Spanish Civil War. Daniel is grieves the loss of his mother and worries about his antiquarian bookseller father. Daniel explores the “cemetery of lost books,” and finds a copy of The Shadow of the Wind by Julián Carax. But as Daniel looks for other works by its author, he becomes aware that someone is destroying all traces of Carax and his work. Daniel sets out on a quest to find out why.
Children’s librarian Lucy Hull is surprised when Ian Drake asks for her help in reading books his bigoted mother has forbidden him. His parents force him to attend “anti-gay” classes and Ian is desperately unhappy. But when Lucy finds him camped out at the library after hours, she makes the decision to help him run away from home. The two set out on a road trip and Lucy is forced to question her own motivations — and culpability — in spiriting him away from his parents.
If you could change your fate by finding a hidden library, would you? When Princess Amrita’s people are threatened, she agrees to a marriage to save her peaceful kingdom. But as her bargain comes to nothing, and war threatens, Amrita forms an alliance with Thala, an oracle who had been enslaved but who has escaped. Drawing from Indian folklore, Aditi Khorana gives readers a luscious tale in which the contents of the library hold the key to the future.
Carolyn is locked away in an infinite library where her boss thinks he’s god. In this black comedy, Scott Hawkins introduces readers to an average guy named “Steve,” whose life is ordinary until Carolyn shows up in his life. When she offers him a pair of red galoshes and $327,000, he is drawn into battles between those who want to control the library. As the war rages, Steve and Carolyn become aware that the stakes are higher than either one of them could have imagined.
William of Baskerville arrives at a monastery just as the body of a young monk is discovered. The monk worked in the library and William investigates whether his murder was work-related. Soon, more monks die. But William’s methods of deductive reasoning arouse the suspicions of those who suspect he is a secret heretic. When one of the church’s most notorious inquisitors arrives at the monastery, William must solve the crimes while also defending his own life.
In The Invisible Library, Irene works as a spy for the Library, an organization that lives in the shadows. Its mission is to retrieve and collect fiction from all different realities. But when Irene goes to collect a dangerous book in London, she and her assistant, Kai, discover that the book has been stolen. In their quest to get the book back, they are taken into an underground London where rival factions are prepared to kill each other over the missing book.
Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe, there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, and realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.