Reviewing books that have delighted, edified or enchanted me, including lavish spreads of illustrated quotations and metaphors, word-mosaics for the mind.
By the age of 70, he who doesn’t read will have lived only one life. He who reads will have lived 5,000 years. Reading is immortality working backwards.
Umberto Eco, ‘El Pais’, 23 Feb. 2016
The latest review for you …
The bestellar list
In praise of books which have ‘gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind’ (Emily Bronte). ‘Bestellar’ unhitches the quality of a book from the quantity sold. Featured below alphabetically by author.
‘Do you prefer reading to cards?’ said he; ‘that is rather singular’.
Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice
Readers create writers who in turn create readers.
Alberto Manguel, The City of Words, CBC Massey Lecture Series
“I’ve had time to read and work out new things,” The Rat said. “Reading is like traveling.”
Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Lost Prince
Your chosen literary family can extend over thousands of years and beyond the borders of empires, poet connecting to poet, sharing the mitochondria of imagination.
Molly Peacock, The Paper Garden
They read, they choose, they love: they read forever, and what they read never passes away. In reading, they choose, and, in choosing, they love.
St. Augustine, Confessions
Appreciation is a better mode for the understanding of achievement than are all the analytical kinds of accounting for the emergence of exceptional individuals. Appreciation may judge, but always with gratitude, and frequently with awe and wonder.
By ‘appreciation’ I mean something more than ‘adequate esteem’. Need also enters into it, in the particular sense of turning to the genius of others in order to redress a lack in oneself, or finding in genius a stimulus to one’s own powers, whatever these may emerge as being.
Source: Harold Bloom, Genius (London: Fourth Estate, 2002), p. 5