Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Bookgasm: The Books About Books Edition

by Amanda Addison

“Hi, my name is Amanda and I’m a Book Luster.”

Yes, I am one of those nerdy book girls who get sexually excited over books. Besides all that great imaginative and informative stuff between the covers (pun totally intended) I love the tangible aspects of books: the smell of the new book, the funky cover of the vintage find, the sound of the pages being flipped. Ahhhhh….. But what really makes me bookgasm are books about books. Books about books are like the hot voyeuristic porn of the bookworld. I get to watch other people get tingly and informed by their reading. That’s hot.

This hot-book-action list contains books that I’ve read, books that I’m eyeing, and recently released books.

Leave Me Alone I’m Reading: Finding and Losing Myself in Books by Maureen Corrigan: Maureen Corrigan is a book reviewer for NPR and a bibliophile. In this book, Corrigan discusses the books that have meant the most to her or that she associates with different times in her life. Her tales range from scholarly to personal. I devoured this book last year and I highly recommend it to the fellow book-luster.

The Little Guide to your Well-Read Life by Steve Leveen: This book has been promoted as a “self-help book” for people who want reading to be a part of their life, yet are intimidated by a life of Reading. While I haven’t read the book, one of my friends gave me a software program by the same name whereby one can create lists of books and link to the Library of Congress and the British Library.

Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and For Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose: Oh how I covet this book!!! In this book, Francine Prose urges readers and aspiring writers to read methodically and carefully and to read a wide range of authors. She also includes a list of “Books to be Read Immediately.”

The Things that Matter: What Seven Classic Novels Have to Say about the Stages of Life by Edward Mendelson: The author takes seven classic books from Frankenstein to several books by Virginia Woolf and describes what these novels can tell us about the basics of human existence. I flipped through this book in a bookstore and it is now prominently placed on my massive “books to be fondled” pile.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel by Jane Smiley: After 9/11 Smiley had a discouraging case of writers block. She decided to use that time in reading novels from the beginning of the history of novels – The Tale of the Genii – up to contemporary reads. The first part of the book discusses her 13 ways of understanding the novel and the latter half are synopses and reviews of the books she read. Although a bit repetitive in the first section, the section of pure unadulterated bookishness thrilled me to the core.

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