July 12, 2013

Books about people who like books

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 2:44 pm by chuckredman

I’m finding, more and more often, that the books I’m reading lead me to other books, by the power of suggestion.  For example, I read Cast a Giant Shadow by Ted Berkman, the biography of Mickey Marcus.  Mickey’s favorite book was The Green Hat (Michael Arlen), which by coincidence was already on my future reading list because I had come across it while browsing at the library.  So I knew I had to read it, and I have to agree with Mickey that it is indeed a literary gem.

If you need suggestions for late 19th century or early 20th century fiction, read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise.  The book is very autobiographical, and the young protagonist and other characters spend a fair amount of time mentioning the books they read.  They were quite prolific.  In Keep the Aspidistra Flying, George Orwell’s persona works in English book “sellers”, and he expresses a great many opinions about the particular books, both good and bad, that customers ask for.  Some of the “good” ones I’ve added to my future reading list.  OK, a few of the “bad” ones, too.

Right now I’m reading The 42nd Parallel by John Dos Passos (a pretty amazing book).  One of his main characters read Romola, by George Eliot.  She’s one of my favorite authors, so Romola has moved way up on my reading list.

If anyone has any other examples of books leading to other books by the power of suggestion, I would love to hear about them.  Thanks!

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2 Comments »

  1. Pat Fuller said,

    Chuck – I could give you a million examples of this, but not off the top of my head! When I like a book (particularly non-fiction), I usually skim the bibliography at the end and mark any books that sound interesting, and sometimes (depending on their cost and availability) end up buying them. I recently did this with “The Story of Anne Frank” by Mirjam Pressler. I bought another book of hers called “Anne Frank’s Family,” which I just finished. With my interest in genealogy, this was a perfect follow-on.

    • chuckredman said,

      Yeah, I don’t read that much nonfiction but I can see how that could happen. If we only had unlimited time (and money), we could follow every single lead that sounds interesting. That takes us back to the question of mortality . . .


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