The well-known publishing correspondent and self-described "readaholic" chronicles a year spent reading-and the surprises it brought.
In early 2002, Sara Nelson-editor, reporter, reviewer, mother, daughter, wife, and compulsive reader-set out to chronicle a year's worth of reading, to explore how the world of books and words intermingled with children, marriage, friends, and the rest of the "real" world. She had a system all set up: fifty-two weeks, fifty-two books . . . and it all fell apart the first week. That's when she discovered that books chose her as much as she chose them, and the rewards and frustrations they brought were nothing she could plan for: "In reading, as in life, even if you know what you're doing, you really kind of don't."
From Solzhenitsyn to Laura Zigman, Catherine M. to Captain Underpants, this is the captivating result. It is a personal memoir filled with wit, charm, insight, infectious enthusiasm-and observations on everything from Public Books (the ones we pretend we're reading), lending trauma and the idiosyncrasies of sex scenes ("The mingling of bodies and emotions and fluids is one thing. But reading about it: now that's personal") to revenge books, hype, the stresses of recommendation (What does it mean when someone you like hates the book you love?), the odd reasons we pick up a book in the first place, and how to put it down if we don't like it ("The literary equivalent of a bar mitzvah, the moment at which you look at yourself and announce: Today I am an adult."). Throughout, So Many Books, So Little Time is pure delight-a work at once funny, wise, and rueful: enough to make a passionate reader out of anybody. [via]