Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Book by Book: Notes on Reading and Life

Another book about books. I must be in a rut. Having said that, I can recommend this book as something to be nibbled at from time to time, not blasted through as I was compelled to do; it's much too rich for that.

Michael Dirda, a long-time book reviewer and Pulitzer Prize-winner for criticism, has built a small book filled with big ideas. Each chapter addresses a topic, such as "Learning," or "Work and Leisure," featuring some discussion by Dirda himself, who frequently cites the Great Minds as reference points. The chapter may also include a selection of quotations, or a recommended reading list, or both.

And at the end of the book, "A Selective and Idiosyncratic Who's Who," to identify all those clever people he referenced along the way. This list can also be used as a roster of authors whose works one might choose to read.

So by all means, read Book by Book. But it would be better bought than borrowed from a library. It's more a truffle than a Twinkie, after all.


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