Sunday, January 27, 2013
Judging a Book by Its Lover: A Field Guide to the Hearts and Minds of Readers Everywhere by Lauren Leto
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book made me feel like a bad English major. I only recognized about half of the authors and titles that Leto mentions (one bit of advice is to keep paper and pen with you to take notes on all the books she references). It might be the fact that the vast majority of the books are "contemporary literature" and I haven't really read "literature" published in the last 50 years or so. My literary education focused on eras before modernism, probably because I like a linear plot and I am not apologizing for that.
It's just that after reading Judging a Book by Its Lover, I feel that there is so much I missed and now have seriously make up for lost time. However, I've gotten used to reading fun books, or commercial genre fiction (lots of paranormal fiction at the moment), so I'm out of practice with that kind of reading. I've been meaning to stop reading such fluffy books (usually with quite a bit of sex), and start on books that really make me think, but again I place some blame on my English and liberal arts classes for the sheer amount of reading they forced me to do. After all that scholarly reading I just wanted to turn my mind off, and thus fluff books and tv took over.
So I will make a resolution to start reading books that make me think. I'll start slowly and intersperse them with other types of reading as I have wanted to get back into more epic fantasy and there are quite a few nonfiction books that I think look interesting. Let's see how this goes.
On other notes Leto is pithy and acerbic at times while warm and touching at others. I'm sure that her insights into the authors and books would be more meaningful if I had read more of them, but at the same time she is often a little too critical for my taste.
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