Books About Books and Reading

From the publisher: "Catalyzed by the loss of her sister, a mother of four spends one year savoring a great book every day, from Thomas Pynchon to Nora Ephron and beyond. In the tradition of Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project and Joan Dideon's A Year of Magical Thinking, Nina Sankovitch's soul-baring and literary-minded memoir is a chronicle of loss, hope, and redemption. Nina ultimately turns to reading as therapy and through her journey illuminates the power of books to help us reclaim our lives."
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The book provides a roadmap aka The Mother of All Reading Lists for adults who long for the classical education they never had. Bauer provides numerous suggestions for reading across 5 genres—fiction, autobiography, history, drama, and poetry—as well as numerous hows and whys. This is the grown-ups’ counterpart to The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (one of the books I read over and over again).
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This slim volume (114 pages) is well worth spending an afternoon on. Memoir readers everywhere will thank Roach for her no-nonsense rules for writing your own story: you can write about anything, but just because something happens, doesn’t make it interesting. Have no fear: Roach will help you make it interesting. Entertaining and dead-practical: if you're a writer, you'll learn to write better; readers will learn to better appreciate the genre—and know how to spot a good specimen when they see it.
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If you’re crazy (or compulsive) about reading, you’ll recognize yourself on the pages of this essay collection. Perhaps you’ve experienced the pain/pleasure of merging libraries with a new spouse (“Marrying Libraries”), or utilize questionable bookmarking strategies (“Never Do That to a Book”), or self-identify as a compulsive proofreader (“Insert a Carat”--my favorite!). Smart, interesting, and laugh-out-loud funny.
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Bronwyn first talked me into reading this one, but it got bumped up my list after I heard the author speak at FFW. The title sounds fancy and staid, but Prior had us in hysterics with her excerpt that linked Thomas Hardy with her teenage attempts to lose her virginity. A possible beach read.
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This is the true story of the twenty-year relationship between a New York writer and a gentlemanly London bookseller, as told through their correspondence. A must-read classic for bibliophiles, you'll feel compelled to discuss the heartwarming way books bring people together with all your book-loving buddies. If you're craving a gentle, warm, and witty read, this short book belongs on your nightstand.
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From the publisher: "Thomas C. Foster's classic guide—a lively and entertaining introduction to literature and literary basics, including symbols, themes, and contexts—that shows you how to make your everyday reading experience more rewarding and enjoyable. How to Read Literature Like a Professor helps us to discover those hidden truths by looking at the literary codes of the ultimate professional reader: the college professor. Thomas C. Foster provides us with a broad overview of literature and shows us how to make our reading experience more enriching, satisfying, and fun."
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Many writers have gone the memoir route to share the books that have shaped them as a writer. But Lonesome Dove author Larry McMurtry harbors a more unusual form of bibliomania—he has been a lifelong buyer, collector, and seller of antiquarian books. In these pages he traces his roots all the way from the bookless Texas home he grew up in (twenty miles from the nearest library!) to the passionate collector he is too. (That he's a passionate reader as well goes without saying.) A very interesting take on the reading life.
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When an unnamed (but not well-disguised) Queen goes for a walk, her corgis stray into a bookmobile library parked near the Palace, so she feels obligated to take a book to be polite. The Queen finds a newfound obsession with reading—so much so that she begins to neglect her duties as monarch. You can read this one in a few hours, but the power of reading to transform even the most uncommon of lives and the numerous book recommendations (from Jean Genet to Ivy Compton-Burnett to the classics) will stay with you much longer.
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From the publisher: "Early one autumn afternoon in pursuit of an elusive book on her shelves, Susan Hill encountered dozens of others that she had never read, or forgotten she owned, or wanted to read for a second time. The discovery inspired her to embark on a year-long voyage through her books, forsaking new purchases in order to get to know her own collection again. A book which is left on a shelf for a decade is a dead thing, but it is also a chrysalis, packed with the potential to burst into new life."
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