"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Review and quotes: EX LIBRIS

Title: Ex Libris: 100+ Books to Read and Reread by Michiko Kakutani

Book Beginning quote: AMERICANAH (2013) 

With Americanah, Chimanmanda Ngozi Adichie has written a wonderfully touching,, incisive, and very funny coming-of-age tale that's both an old-fashioned love story and a sharp-eyed meditation on race, class, immigration, and identity in our rapidly changing, globalized world.

Friday56 quote: THE PLAGUE (1947)

Enduring classics speak not only to the circumstances of the day in which they were written but across the decades or centuries--uncannily anticipating our own experiences and world today. Such is the case of Albert Camus's startlingly resonant 1947 novel The Plague, a novel that can be read, in Camus's own words, as both a tale about an epidemic and as an allegory about the Nazi occupation of France and a "prefiguration of any totalitarian regime, no matter where."

Summary: Literary critic Michiko Kakutani shares her enthusiasm for more than 100 books and their talents authors. She includes in this list many novels, a few classics, and other works of fiction. She also includes memoirs, nonfiction choices including documents, letters, and speeches. Some books stand alone on the list while others are lumped together on a theme, such books of 'Muhammad Ali' or 'books by Saul Bellow.'

Review: My husband gave me this book for Christmas knowing how much I like books about books. I've read many, many books full of lists of titles of must-read books. The books listed in Ex Libris, by and large, were not listed in those books. There was not a Dickens or Austen title to be found. Several of the books were published last year or within the last five years. Several of the suggestions were political in nature. In fact, several times Kakutani would compare the text in the book to what is happening today in American politics even calling out Trump by name for his policies as examples for comparison.  Because there are so many books and titles I've haven't read (and in many case, heard of) it will require that I reread this book with a pencil to mark down all the titles I'd like to read eventually. Ah, so many books, so little time.

Americanah was already on my TBR list. Many book clubs have listed this as a good choice. I am pleased to see that it is funny. So many literary books aren't. The Plague on the other hand doesn't interest me. I had to read another book by Camus, The Stranger, when I was in high school in French. I hated it but it may be because my French language skills weren't very good. I must admit that The Plague does sound very prescient right now though. Few books screamed "Read me" with just one or two exceptions. One book that has completely captured my interest was Life by Keith Richards, Yes, that Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. I wouldn't even consider myself a fan of Richards or his band but Kakutani makes the book sound like one that is surprisingly good. Another that I have been eyeing for several years is by Oliver Sacks, The Man Who Mistook is Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales. If I didn't feel faint at the sight of blood I'm sure I would have considered a career in medicine. Now I just like to read about medical things and careers. And lastly, just to give this list of books some credibility, Kukutani closes out her book making sure we know how much she loves Dr. Seuss. No stuffy list of books here.

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rose City ReaderShare the opening quote from current book.
Th
e Friday56 is hosted at Freda's VoiceFind a quote from page 56 to share. 

Visit these two websites to participate. Click on links to read quotes from books other people are reading. It is a great way to make blog friends and to get suggestions for new reading material.   
 

Source: My own print copy.

-Anne

18 comments:

  1. I find it amusing that Keith Richards' book is called Life because I am always shocked when I realize he is still alive!

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  2. Hi Anne,

    I have to admit that I am not a lover of abridged books, or books about books, so this wouldn't be one for me.

    However I love the cover, so it would be a nice looking 'browsing' book for my shelves!

    And guess what? I just had to check out the titles you featured and I quite like the sound of both 'Americanah' and 'The Plague', so I guess I have probably just disproved my own theory about a book of books! Ho-Hum! :)

    Thanks for sharing and have a good weekend :)

    Yvonne xx

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    1. Oh Good. I hope you like the books I highlighted. Let me know about The Plague.

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  3. This book sounds wonderful! Like you, I love books about books and lists of books. That said, I would pick up this book for the cover alone!

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  4. I like the sound of this one, especially the comparisons to contemporary political figures and their misdeeds, lol. (I assume there was mention of those when Trump was referenced).

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. It was surprising how often she mentioned Trump when she was talking about her suggested titles.

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  5. Wow, this sounds like a good choice!

    My post: https://steppingstonesbookreviews.blogspot.com/2021/02/book-beginnings-on-fridaysfriday-56.html?m=1

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  6. This sounds like a really interesting book. I always enjoy browsing through lists of books and often find some I never even heard of.

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  7. This sounds like a great book to keep for future reference. Have a great weekend!

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  8. I had to fix your link, just FYI....
    I'm definitely interested in your selection this week! Happy Valentine's weekend!

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    1. This will be the second week in teh row that I had bad links. Sorry and thanks.

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  9. Books about books always wins the day!!! Great choice. Here's my post for today. I love that cover too. I'd love that book.

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  10. I will have to look for this one. I like books about books and that this one features more current books as well as some older ones particularly interests me. I imagine my wish list would grow because of it! Have a great weekend!

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  11. I love to make my own lists of books I should read, but I tend to stay away from books of lists by other people. This one does sound interesting, though -- I'm very intrigued to hear that Keith Richards' book is listed. Definitely not what you'd expect!

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  12. That's a great cover! And a book about books is a plus!

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  13. Books about books are so much fun. I love them. And I love the cover for this one. It's so great. Thanks for sharing! Hope you have a great weekend! :)

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  14. I like the idea of 'book about book' and that it includes up to date titles.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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