I do like reading a book about books, although the books mentioned in this one won't be found on your library's shelf. Too bad. Disturber of the Peace and its followup The Pen Is Mightier...would be a delight to read. Both are the work of the fictional Miss Barbara Buncle.
If you are not familiar with D.E. Stevenson's Miss Buncle's Book, the story revolves around our heroine, who due to the dwindling of her monthly dividends, decides to write a novel featuring the folks in her small English village of Silverstream. She writes under the pseudonym of John Smith and to the horror of her neighbors her fictional characters are all too recognizable.
There are the usual village personalities: the snooty Mrs. Featherstone Hogg; the bully Mr. Bulmer; the confirmed bachelor Colonel Weatherhead; the overworked, kindly doctor; the vicar with a secret; and, the gold-digger Vivian Greensleeves.
Mr. Abbott, the London publisher of what turns out to be a bestseller, is quite taken with Miss Buncle and kindly steers her through the choppy waters of being a first-time author.
In the meantime, the villagers led by Mrs. Featherstone Hogg are on a mission to identify and 'horsewhip' John Smith never suspecting that the timid, frumpy Barbara Buncle is the woman whose words have brought on so much trouble.
As the residents read about themselves, or at least Miss Buncle's keen observations about them, changes start to happen. The bully becomes more considerate of his wife and children and the confirmed bachelor begins to notice the charms of his neighbor.
Even Miss Buncle begins to take on the assertive and more glamorous aspects of Elizabeth Wade, her alter ego and narrator of the books.
There is a second Miss Buncle book that I already have on reserve at the library. If you are a fan of such gems as Cranford and Lark Rise to Candleford, you will feel right at home with Miss Buncle and her neighbors.