The Piano Shop on the Left Bank was reccommended to me by my first piano teacher, who said it was a must-read for any piano student or enthusiast.
Piano Shop is an autobiographical-type book, which tells the story of Thad Carhart, an American living in Paris. As a child, Thad had a deep love of pianos, but had some bad experiences with teachers. Unfortunately, other things going on in his life have caused him to all but forget his love of the piano.
All this changes, though, when Thad notices a small atelier near his apartment, which acts as a gateway to the secretive world of devout piano-lovers.
The book not only follows Thad's story, but also explains a good deal of the mechanics of how the piano works, some of its history and evolution, and some of the differences between the many brand names.
As a beginning piano student, The Piano Shop on the Left Bank has shown me that, just as there is more to playing a piece than simply reading the notes, there is more to pianos than just the strings and keyboard.