Unlike Nick Hornby’s Pollysyllabic Spree (see previous post), Sara Nelson’s book is really a memoir. Because she is a book enthusiast, she talks a lot about what she reads (or, sometimes, does not read, or reads only part of), but she does not seem to know very much about books, or to be able to put her own reading experiences or tastes into any besides personal contexts. Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina, for instance, lead her to reflections on unreasoning passion, marriage and infidelity in her own life (no, she does not confess to having been unfaithful–except figuratively, as she concludes what I thought was a laboured conceit about her relationships with books, which are “the affairs I do not have”). The chronicle of her attempt to read and write about a book a week for a year is moderately entertaining, and Nelson’s style and personality are generally engaging, but for someone looking for literary insight, this book has little to offer.
- Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love Is the Saddest Comic Novel I’ve Ever Read
- Some Afterthoughts on Academic Blogging
- The Case for “Intelligent, Bloggy Bookchat By Scholars”: How’s It Looking?
- This Week In My Sabbatical: Reading and Writing
- A Secret I Am Unworthy to Share? W. Somerset Maugham, The Painted Veil
- “Definitely Floating”: Barbara Comyns, The Vet’s Daughter
Comments that contribute civilly and constructively to discussion of the topics raised on this blog, from any point of view, are welcome. Comments that are not civil or constructive will be deleted.
All entries copyright Rohan Maitzen. If you use material from this blog, please give proper credit to the author.