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.
- This Week in My Classes: Term Limits and New Ideas
- “That promise will not be kept”: Rebecca West, This Real Night
- Open Letters Monthly: The December Issue (With Bonus Crochet)
- This Week: I’m Still Reading, In Spite of It All!
- This Week In My Classes: Pressing On
- Weekend Miscellany: Huffing and Puffing and Toasting 19th-Century Novels
- Peter Jobson on This Week in My Classes: Term Limits and New Ideas
- Amateur Reader (Tom) on This Week in My Classes: Term Limits and New Ideas
- Rohan Maitzen on This Week in My Classes: Term Limits and New Ideas
- RT on This Week in My Classes: Term Limits and New Ideas
- RT on “That promise will not be kept”: Rebecca West, This Real Night
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