Here's one way to start off the new year right: Run out to the store and buy Geraldine Brooks' People of the Book, which hits shelves Jan. 1. Remember I told you I heard early good reviews of it? They were all justified: The book is terrific, and it should be an excellent book club choice even if your group wants to wait until it's in paperback.
I love movies about movies, and so I suppose it follows that I'm also a fan of books about books. The novel follows the efforts of Australian Hanna Heath, a rare book expert, to analyze a gorgeously illustrated Hebrew manuscript that survived the shelling of Sarajevo thanks to the courage of a Muslim librarian. The story also winds back through the book's history, which stretches from Bosnia to Vienna to Venice to Tarragona to Seville. It's inspired by the true story of the Sarajevo haggadah.
Brooks, also author of March, Year of Wonders and the nonfiction works Nine Parts Desire and Foreign Correspondence, was a Wall Street Journal correspondent in the Mideast, Bosnia and Somalia.