Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your NaNoWriMo is going well. Just a few more days to go...keep those keyboards/pencils/pens/crayons/glitter markers going!
I think it’s safe to say that I love books. I work at the library after all. Books are my happy place. So it goes without saying that I enjoy reading books about books. If you’re like me, sometimes we get in a rut with what we are reading, so it’s good to get a little meta and read some books about new books that we might enjoy.
This one was so good! I didn’t really know what to expect, but since I love books about books, I was intrigued. A reading list is floating around London and it brings unexpected people together. I have not read all of the books on the list, but since reading this one, I have finished The Kite Runner, which was magical, if moving, and I’ve started A Suitable Boy, which is long, but good so far. This is a fun read; it reminded me a lot of The Authenticity Project that I’d recommended back in March, but with books.
I think I expected this one to just be a list of books about books. The good news is that it turned out to be a very inspiring read. The author managed to reach the best balance between sharing personal stories and discussing the books that moved her. The bad news is that I now have a whole page of books to explore and read going forward. Do I want to read everything she suggested? No. Her books were pretty heavily skewed to British literature and authors – which is not bad, but is not always my favorite. However, I am excited to explore some new finds. If you are looking to break out of your reading rut, check this one out and go to town.
This one is the most academic of the list. There were some hidden gems, such as, “Reading is insidious. It happens where no one else can see. Those who love it and those who wish to regulate it are reacting to the same principle.” I’ll be honest, overall I had a little trouble connecting with this author. However, if you are a fan of David Foster Wallace, Susanna Clarke, or lots of poetry in general (like the author), you should definitely check this one out. It wasn’t the most promiscuous book I’ve ever read, but there it did contain some solid food for thought.
I don’t really read literary fiction. I’m more of a genre girl. So I thought this book might be boring because I didn’t really know many of the authors interviewed. Ok – I knew who they were but I hadn’t read any of their books. Instead of being a slog, this book opened up a new potential world of reading for me. Let me just say that authors Nancy and Jeff are S.M.A.R.T. I read a lot, but these two had me beat hands down. Every book the writers mentioned, either Nancy, Jeff, or both had read it and had an opinion. Friends, that is impressive. Am I going to read every book mentioned here? Um...no. I don’t think that’s physically possible because they talked about a TON of books. However, I did find a handful that I think I will explore and broaden my reading horizons:
A Visit from the Goon Squad - Jennifer Egan
A Gentleman in Moscow - Amor Towles
The House of Mirth - Edith Wharton
Jesus’ Son - Denis Johnson (because most of the writers mentioned this one at some point)
A Passage to India - E. M. Forster
I really believe that everyone can find a book they love if they look hard enough (or get enough help from their friendly librarians). If you haven’t found it yet, maybe these books about books will guide you to your pièce de résistance.