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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

Listed: You’ve Got Mail

Ah, the epistolary edition of Listed.

I have decided that I have a love/hate with books told in letter format. Most of the time I hate them, but if they are done really well, then I LOOOOOVE them. Unfortunately, it’s hard to know whether I’m going to love or hate them until after I’ve read them, so I find there are a lot more that I don’t enough (or give up on) than ones that I love. Booo to that. Anyway, here are ten books told in letter format.

  1. Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery. Originally Published 1936. LT
  2. Sorcery and Cecelia by Caroline Stevermer and Patricia C. Wrede. Originally Published 1988. LT
  3. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Originally Published 2008. LT
  4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Originally Published 1999. LT
  5. Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster. Originally Published 1912. LT
  6. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. Originally Published 1942. LT
  7. Punkzilla by Adam Rapp. Originally Published 2009. LT
  8. Dangerous Liaisons by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. Originally Published 1782. LT
  9. The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty. Originally Published 2003. LT
  10. Griffin and Sabine: An Extraordinary Corispondence by Nick Bantock. Originally Published 1991. LT

There were a lot of books that I debated putting on this list, especially as a lot of the books told in letter format also tell some of their stuff in diary format, but ended up sticking with ones that were more letter-related than others.

What about you? Do you like books told through letters? What ones do you like the best?
Do you like this feature? You should also check out Librarian’s Book Reviews’ Listless Monday and A Bookshelf Monstrosity’s Books By A Theme.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 7:26 am September 13, 2010.
Category: Listed

  • Anastasia

    I do! I really liked Freedom and Necessity, which is, I think, all letters and maybe one or two newspaper clips. Also The Year of Secret Assignments!

  • Allison

    Have you read 84 Charing Cross Road? I absolutely loved that book, and the Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society’s similarity to it is what interested me in the newer book in first place. :)

  • rachel

    it’s not even funny how desperately you need to read Daddy Long-Legs by Jean Webster

  • rachel

    also, I second the Charing Cross Road vote. Also, a great film with Anthony Hopkins~

  • raidergirl3

    I love epistolary novels!
    Loved so many on your list; I’ve read 1,3,4,5,9.

    Clara Callen is a lot of letters, but also some diary, and I’ve just read Moriarty’s first book, Feeling Sorry for Celia which has mostly letters. I realize that you mostly try to pick one from each author. I concur on 84 Charing Cross Road, it’s excellent!
    The Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger is another great book.

  • Memory

    I tend to enjoy epistolary novels, but I do agree that they’re easy to muck up. Nick Bantock’s Griffin & Sabine books are probably my favourites.