The book jacket of Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald makes it sound like a mystery story - a man is trying to find out his real identity. Which it is, but it is a lot more based in history and European life than the book jacket makes it sound. It is a sad, melancholy, complex book. Quite a bit of time is spent on descriptions of various train stations and public spaces in Europe. Don't get me wrong, I totally understand why it is on the list and I am glad to have read it, but it wasn't really what I expected either. Maybe I'm not sure what I expected.
Also, I have been telling my daughter that there aren't usually pictures in Mama's books - so much that she says, "No pictures Mama's book" when she sees one. This book made a liar out of me.
Marissa, I think you'll be interested to read the descriptions of libraries in this book.