Thursday, August 2, 2012

Second Reading by Jonathan Yardley

A lovely bookcover

I love books about books and I bought one last month that I have been anxious to start: Second Reading by Jonathan Yardley.

Yardley is a book reviewer with the Washington Post and this book is a collection of 60 some essays that he wrote between 2003 and 2010. These are not essays on the Book de Jour. Yardley takes a look - a second reading - at his favorites. Some books and authors have fallen out of fashion and some have never fallen out of fashion; hence the subtitle Notable and Neglected Books Revisited.

Just a scan of the table of contents and I know this is the book for me. I am reminded that I want to read Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis and Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. I am anxious to read what Yardley thinks of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House by Eric Hodgins (I thought I was the only one on earth who loved that book) and A Moveable Feast by Hemingway (which I just reread for Paris in July).

And then there are those I have never heard of such as Reveille in Washington by Margaret Leach about Washington during the Civil War which Yardley promises is the best book ever written about the nation's capital.

After reading just a few of the selections, I can assure you that his style is smooth, his quotes only whet the appetite, and his opinions are lively and insightful. The book itself is a lovely volume published by Europa Editions which, according to its website, publishes "works of literary fiction, high-end mystery and noir, and narrative non-fiction from around the world." 

All in all, I am quite happy to make Mr. Yardley's acquaintance.

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