Fiction Books about Writers: Spectacular Reads for Literary Fans
If you love books, you are probably also enamored with famous writers! That’s why we had to have books about writers as part of this year’s reading challenge.
I’ve always been fascinated by how much of their personal lives writers pour into their books. Each of the books below approaches their lives in a different way.
From their wives, to their muses, to parents, and more. We can guarantee you’ll learn something about your favorite author AND be entertained in the process with the books about writers on the list below.
If you want more books about books, be sure to check out this post!
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Books about Writers
Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
I had this book on my TBR for so long and I am so happy that I finally had a chance to read it. This is the story of Shakespeare’s life, family, and extraordinary wife during the time of the plague. Shakespeare himself is never actually mentioned by name in this extraordinary and heartbreaking book that was so hard to put down. I know why it made so many lists of top books for 2020.
The Bookseller’s Secret by Michelle Gable
I had to make a reel for this book because Nancy Mitford is such eye candy!
This dual-timeline historical fiction novel is set in both WWII London, where we see a floundering Nancy Mitford as a bookseller, getting inspired to write The Pursuit of Happiness, and the present day, where another floundering writer is looking to Mitford for inspiration.
Nancy is the character that shines in this WWII books pick and I love that she’s such a dynamic force.
The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict
Marie Benedict is the master of bringing women back to life in her historical fiction novels. The Mystery of Mrs. Christie is my favorite to date and I found it hard to put down.
In December 1926, Agatha Christie went missing for 11 days. She re-emerged as mysteriously as she disappeared and more questions than answers persist.
Benedict does a wonderful job of building the mystery and using her brilliant imagination and bringing us into the world of Agatha Christie. It is the perfect blend of fiction and mystery.
Caroline: The Little House Revisited by Sarah Miller
I read Little House on the Praire for the first time earlier this year mostly because I wanted the background for this exact book. The entire I was reading the original series, I found myself wondering about the choices the parents were making.
I wanted to know why certain things were being done and I finally got my answers in Sarah Miller’s retelling of the story. I didn’t love Little House, but I ADORED Caroline.
Bronte’s Mistress by Finola Austin
I’m a sucker for the classics, but I don’t know much about the authors of the classics I love. Of course, I knew of the Bronte sisters, but I had no idea that they had a brother or that he was a naughty one 😉.
This story was fascinating to me because while I don’t condone modern-day infidelity, I understand how women back in the day had limited options. I loved Lydia and her (selfish) views of the world around her and I felt how hard it must be to be a woman in historic times.
Her antics were utterly entertaining as were the antics of her children. I was rooting for her the entire time, even when I wanted to slap her and tell her to come to her senses.
Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva
Charles Dickens’s latest book is a flop and he needs money. Christmas is around the corner and he’s become someone of a grump when thinking of all the expenses coming his way.
He decides to take his publishers up on their offer to finance and Christmas novel but he can’t seem to get inspired. A chance meeting with a young woman helps give him the inspiration he requires to write his classic tale.
The Royal Governess by Wendy Holden
Well this was a juicy bit of royal historical fiction!!! I had no idea that Crawfie, Queen Elizabeth II’s governess wrote a book about their time together later in her life, essentially banning her from the royal fold.
This work of historical fiction is based on the information gleaned from that book as well as Mary Crawford’s own history. It was so interesting to see the lives of the Queen and her sister through the eyes of their governess. This is perfect for royal lovers!
The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen Flynn
As part of a group of workers from the future, Liam and Rachel are sent back in time to diagnose Jane’s illness, and help her complete her next book.
I love the grittier side of this novel. It doesn’t romanticize the time period, very similar to the way Diana Gabaldon shows the harsh realities of life in the Highlands or onboard a ship at sea.
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
This historical fiction centered around Hemingway perfectly captures post-war Paris. We all know Hemingway through his brilliant writing but this story captures the side of him that caused Hadley heartbreak and pain through infidelity.
This is a book we recommend often and you will find it has a perfect place in books about Paris and books about art, but it is also a story of love and betrayal.
Z – A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler
Zelda Fitzgerald gets her moment in the sun in this fictionalized biography of her life. Zelda, often belittled by her husband, was actually the muse behind his stories.
He drew inspiration from her diary and her life for characters like Daisy in The Great Gatsby. Yet, their marriage kept Zelda from reaching her own greatest potential. A fascinating character study of the woman behind the man.
Alice, I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin
Alice Liddell Hargreaves is the child who first inspired Lewis Carroll to write one of the most well-known children’s tales of all time. Now 81, she knows that she will forever be remembered as “Alice” in association with a red queen, a white rabbit, and the fantastical tales Carroll created.
This story examines her meeting with the professor for whom she would become a muse, her life as a mother with three sons in the war, and so much more.
In The Great Green Room by Amy Gary
I picked up this non-fiction book about the life of author Margaret Wise Brown because I wanted to try a genre I don’t usually read. Biographies are usually too much info about one person for my liking and this book felt that way too.
Still, Margaret Wise Brown, author of Good Night, Moon, and other classics, did lead a fascinating and colorful life. If you like non-fiction, try this one!