If on a Winter's Night a Traveler
by Italo Calvino
read: circa 1997
Lost in the Funhouse reminded me of a novel I read years ago that explored the nature of writing, reading, and fiction: Italo Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler. If on a Winter's Night is light-hearted, a fun exploration of the joy of reading, particularly the joy of discovering new books. The book alternates first chapters of fake novels in various styles with chapters following a reader's quest - in second-person! - to find the rest of the books. Ultimately he (you?) fails but achieves a deeper understanding, or something, I don't really remember. It's kind of a tease but it's well done.