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rowena

Rowena's Reviews

My true loves: Wilkie Collins, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Anais Nin, George Eliot, James Joyce, James Baldwin, George Orwell, Oscar Wilde, bell hooks, Chinua Achebe, Langston Hughes, William Shakespeare... I'm falling for : Italo Calvino, Toni Morrison, Frantz Fanon, Wole Soyinka, Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, Albert Camus, Margaret Atwood, Somerset Maugham, Junot Diaz, A.S. Byatt... And the lists continue to grow! I will read almost anything, as long as it's well-written. I always love to expand my reading horizons.

Currently reading

Orientalism
Edward W. Said
Infinite Jest
David Foster Wallace
Finnegans Wake (Trade Paperback)
James Joyce
How Reading Changed My Life - Anna Quindlen I enjoyed this book for the most part. It's quite biographical, as the title implies, but it also has a lot of information about the history of books, reading etc. Great quotes about reading by famous writers are also included.

I could definitely relate to many of Quindlen's experiences as a reader. For example, the hostility and suspicion that some look upon readers.I did find that she made some assumptions though. For example, not all children who were readers were solitary and preferred their own company, at least not in my case. She also made a point about how scarcely anyone reads the Catcher in the Rye after the age of 21. Well, I was in my mid-twenties when I first read it but I guess because she is American, the books she included were popular American literature and were part of the American school system . As I grew up in the UK, I read most of the books she mentioned at a later age than Americans did.

So although the book isn't great, it's interesting, hence the 4-stars. There are also some good booklists towards the end. I would really love to read a similar book written by a British author, I feel I could relate more to the book choices (I'm sure Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl and E.Nesbit would make an appearance). However, I did enjoy this book because as a reader I'm always curious about other people's personal journeys into the world of books.