Why I Read

No, no, no. Not why I read. Why Wendy Lesser reads.

Why I Read is the title of the book that I read this week. It was a fun little (barely over 200 pages) book that will make you want to track down and read all sorts of obscure things. Although I was kinda excited when one of the obscure books she mentioned just happens to be one I have sitting in my TBR pile…it’s called The Hare with the Amber Eyes, and the only reason I have it is because a friend loved it and lent it to me (note to self…you need to read it! Preferably sooner rather than later, so you can give Judith her book back).

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there it is, hiding in the middle of the pile. Yikes, the Mantel is from Judith, too.

This book is best explained by something that the author noted in the final chapter. Actually, I’m going to have to paraphrase, because it might not have been the final chapter. Because there is a final chapter, and then an afterward, and then a reading list, and I’ll be damned if I can find the passage I’m looking for.

So anyways, she says that why she reads can best be summed up by the title of the chapters. She reads for…

  • character and plot
  • the space between
  • novelty
  • authority
  • grandeur and intimacy
  • elsewhere
  • inconclusions

And lest you think the author is solely a fan of the obscure shit, I will add that she loves Henry James and Dostoevsky (shudder) and mysteries and Isaac Asimov. And for me, the highlight of the book was possibly the paragraph on why James Joyce’s Ulysses leaves her cold (totally a kindred spirit on that).

This is totally a book for people who love books, and if you like to read books that discuss what other people who love books love to read, than this is the book for you. 😀

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5 responses to “Why I Read

  1. I do like to read books like that but I bet I’ve never read any of the books she writes about.


  2. I usually love books about books. Will check this out!


  3. well, sure, “grandeur and intimacy”, but of course.


  4. Ooh, that looks fun!


  5. I saw this on JoAnn’s blog and it really appeals to me. Thanks. I’m glad to see you back on this new blog.


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