Books about books

These are always fascinating to me – why read, why write?

Widowland by C. J. Carey ***1/2 05/09/22

See the review here

The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams *** 15/08/22

The basic premise and idea of the book is a really good one. People who are lost, have suffered a bereavement or are lonely find a book list that might help them. On the list is To Kill a Mockingbird, Rebecca, The Kite Runner, Life of Pi, Pride and Prejudice, LIttle Women, Beloved and A Suitable Boy. Each section is based around one of these books and shows how the book helps the people including the librarian who finds the books for the characters. This is primarily a book about what books can do for you in your hour of need but also the place of libraries as a community for those who are lonely or bereaved – they are more than just book-lending institutions.

Only three stars because I got a little bored with the slow-moving story for each book and some elements were repeated: the focusing on the book and letting the outside world dissipate a bit, the fact that I guessed what was going to happen to Aiden fairly early on in the book and the ending had been telegraphed throughout the book. However, I did enjoy it despite its predictabilities and shed a little tear at the end.

Having read Ann Patchett’s essay on front covers of books and why they change between the hardback and paperback, it is interesting to see that with this book. The hardback, which is what I read, focuses on the book whereas the paperback has a focus on the people. I prefer the hardback cover.

Portable Magic: A history of books and their readers by Emma Smith ***** 21/07/22

An excellent book. See the review here. A love letter to books and their readers.

Public Library by Ali Smith ** 12/06/22

Short stories are just not my cup of tea even though I keep on trying them. Unfortunately, this bookd didn’t change my mind! What I did like about it were the interludes of people’s recollections of libraries as this was written at a time when libraries were closing.

The old saying that you don’t like what you don’t understand is true for me and this book. I’ll keep on trying.