Upon learning of the death of Catalan author Carlos Ruiz Zafón on June 19, 2020, I began to reread his “Cemetery of Forgotten Books” series. Set in Barcelona, Spain, amid Francisco Franco’s terrifying regime and the echoes of the Spanish Civil War, it’s part gothic family saga, part poetic travelogue, part romance, part police procedural and (big) part mystery. And somehow the plots and characters all intertwine—with enough wry humor to lighten dark moments.
But it’s also an homage to books, reading and libraries. When Daniel Sempere’s father takes him to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books—a secret library where books and their stories are faithfully protected—to choose a book to guard, Daniel thinks: “Perhaps the bewitching atmosphere of the place had got the better of me, but I felt sure that that book had been waiting for me there for years, probably before I was born.”
Though checking out a book from Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh probably (hopefully!) won’t lead to murder and intrigue, it can certainly offer the experience of finding a book that feels like it was written just for you. Maybe this series will fit the bill.
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In the prequel to “The Shadow of the Wind,” pulp fiction author David Martín agrees to write a life-changing book in exchange for a fortune and discovers eerie connections between his book and the haunting history of his old mansion home. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby or as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby.
When a stranger enters Sempere and Son bookstore requesting a rare volume, Daniel Sempere investigates his motives and discovers that everyone he knows—from his family to his friend Fermin, a prisoner of the Spanish Civil War—is caught in a web of secrets. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby, as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby, as eBook on Hoopla or as eAudio on Hoopla.