If I had a rating system for books, which I promise to develop in the not too distant future, The Year of Reading Dangerously by Andy Miller would break the scale.
Have you ever read a book and your face hurt when you were done because you couldn’t stop smiling the entire time you read it? Yeah. I LOVED this book. As soon as I finish this post I will immediately be searching the library catalog for his other works.
I don’t know if I can do justice to this book. It’s very straight forward. Aging father, husband, and editor decides it is time he actually read the books he has told people he’s read. So he does.
I know, sounds totally lame, right?
Except it’s not.
He talks about books like I talk about books. He talks about all those books you pretend not to like or even pretend not to have read because you’re embarrassed because the literati intelligentsia will laugh their asses off and you just can’t be bothered to deal with it. He talks about how baffling those classical novels of the mind are. He’s honest and funny about it.
And yes along the way he does indeed discuss 50 great books and two not so great ones. It really doesn’t even matter.
The beauty of this novel? diary? journey of the soul? is in his words. Which he compiles into the most entertaining and touching and occasionally thought provoking manner.
I can’t remember the last time I read a book and told my hungry six year old, “Mommy just needs ten more minutes to finish this book, you can wait for dinner for ten more minutes right?” (It was actually 13 minutes, so shoot me.)
Just two quotes so you can run to get your hands on this masterpiece.
“It occurred to me that I had been extraordinarily fortunate to have grown up in prosperous country in an era when, for pretty much this first time in history, I could read whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to. And what had I done with this freedom? I had slowly, though unintentionally, abused it.”
“It sounded mind boggling yet somehow inevitable: a book group where you didn’t have to read the book. Wherever she lies, Virginia Woolf must be punching herself in the face.”
What book have you read recently that made you feel this way? Desperately in love and amazed with the written word.