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The Pleasure of Reading by Antonia Fraser
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The Pleasure of Reading (1992)

by Antonia Fraser (Editor)

Other authors: Margaret Atwood (Contributor), J.G. Ballard (Contributor), Zafer Baren (Illustrator), Sally Beauman (Contributor), Dovrat Ben-Nahum (Illustrator)76 more, Melvyn Bragg (Contributor), Louise Brierly (Illustrator), Christopher Brown (Illustrator), Robert Burchfield (Contributor), A.S. Byatt (Contributor), Brian Cairns (Illustrator), John Carey (Contributor), Chloe Cheese (Illustrator), Catherine Cookson (Contributor), Wendy Cope (Contributor), Chris Corr (Illustrator), Andrew Davidson (Illustrator), Marion Deuchars (Illustrator), Andrzej Dudzinski (Illustrator), Leo Duff (Illustrator), Carol Ann Duffy (Contributor), Buchi Emecheta (Contributor), Patrick Leigh Fermor (Contributor), Dan Fern (Illustrator), Jeff Fisher (Illustrator), Michael Foot (Contributor), John Fowles (Contributor), Jane Gardam (Contributor), Carolyn Gowdy (Illustrator), Simon Gray (Contributor), Germaine Greer (Contributor), Elizabeth Harbour (Illustrator), Clifford Harper (Illustrator), Ronald Harwood (Contributor), Griselda Holderness (Illustrator), Alan Hollinghurst (Contributor), David Holmes (Illustrator), Simon Hornby (Contributor), Jane Human (Illustrator), Benoit Jacques (Illustrator), Rana Kabbani (Contributor), Judith Kerr (Contributor), Jean-Christian Knaff (Illustrator), Andrew Kulman (Illustrator), Pui Yee Lau (Illustrator), Hermione Lee (Contributor), Dennis Leigh (Illustrator), Paul Leith (Illustrator), Doris Lessing (Contributor), Katie Lester (Illustrator), Karen Ludlow (Illustrator), Debbie Lush (Illustrator), Kim Marsland (Illustrator), Roger McGough (Contributor), Candia McWilliam (Contributor), Gita Mehta (Contributor), Andrew Mockett (Illustrator), Brian Moore (Contributor), Jan Morris (Contributor), Toby Morrison (Illustrator), John Mortimer (Contributor), Edna O’Brien (Contributor), Richard Parent (Illustrator), Ian Pollock (Illustrator), Ashley Potter (Illustrator), Liz Pyle (Illustrator), Ruth Rendell (Contributor), Paul Sayer (Contributor), Joan Smith (Contributor), Stephen Spender (Contributor), Tom Stoppard (Contributor), Frances Tee (Illustrator), Emma Tennant (Contributor), Peter Till (Illustrator), Sue Townsend (Contributor), Irene von Treskow (Illustrator), Timberlake Wertenbaker (Contributor), Jeanette Winterson (Contributor), Rosemary Woods (Illustrator), Janet Woolley (Illustrator), Philip Ziegler (Contributor)

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» See also 39 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
I loved this. So many addicts confessing! I´m tempted to add my own reading history in the back.

Particularly read: Jeanette Winterson and Timberlake Wertenbaker (one thing I regret is that the paper is so lovely, I haven´t dog-eared or marked my favourite passages as is my custom. Oh, come on, don´t gasp! Books are alive! They grow with annotation). Anyway, definitely worth getting your hands on. ( )
1 vote askajnaiman | Jun 14, 2016 |
really disappointing (after the great cover) ( )
  c_why | Aug 27, 2014 |
I loved this. So many addicts confessing! I´m tempted to add my own reading history in the back.

Particularly read: Jeanette Winterson and Timberlake Wertenbaker (one thing I regret is that the paper is so lovely, I haven´t dog-eared or marked my favourite passages as is my custom. Oh, come on, don´t gasp! Books are alive! They grow with annotation). Anyway, definitely worth getting your hands on. ( )
  Evalangui | Aug 22, 2014 |
this book has made me think about my first books. we had no money to buy books, my parents had no books, and i had never heard of a public library until i was 6 and lived in ottawa. the years that my mother(never my father) read to me, we lived in england after the war on an airbase and life was hard. i remember noddy and rupert, both left behind when we came to canada and a big red compilation which came to canada and had augustus was a chubby lad, fat ruddy cheeks augustus had. that's all i can remember.
when we lived in ottawa we had more money, so i was bought thorton w. wilder-chatty the red squirrel-, the bobbsey twins, and my grandmother sent me girl every week. i loved girl until she died in 1963. i never lived near a library but my father used to drive me twice a week in the holidays in 62,63,64.
where did these authors get all these books????? ( )
  mahallett | Mar 23, 2013 |
It took me a long time to finish this, but it's a really nice book to dip into in between reading other things. It is a collection of short pieces by famous writers - maybe four or five pages each - reminiscing about their childhood reading, musing on the place books have in their lives, and discussing what they read nowadays. Some of the writers have added a 'top ten' list of their favourite books to the end of their pieces, and each author has been allocated an illustrator, giving a varied and colourful flavour to the pages.

With the exception of a couple of duds - including, to my surprise, Alan Hollinghurst - it's a lovely ensemble piece, bringing back memories of my own childhood reading: how I read, what I read and how different books floated into my life. I had to read it with a piece of paper and a pen next to me because there were so many books I wanted to chase up, old favourites and as yet unread masterpieces, having heard them praised so highly.

Although the book is quite old - the youngest author is Jeanette Winterson - I might get myself a copy (I read it from the library) because the themes and many of the books are so timeless and universal that they'll always ring true. ( )
  elliepotten | Jun 14, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fraser, AntoniaEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Atwood, MargaretContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ballard, J.G.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baren, ZaferIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Beauman, SallyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ben-Nahum, DovratIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bragg, MelvynContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brierly, LouiseIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brown, ChristopherIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burchfield, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Byatt, A.S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cairns, BrianIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carey, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cheese, ChloeIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cookson, CatherineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cope, WendyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Corr, ChrisIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davidson, AndrewIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Deuchars, MarionIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dudzinski, AndrzejIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Duff, LeoIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Duffy, Carol AnnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Emecheta, BuchiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fermor, Patrick LeighContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fern, DanIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fisher, JeffIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Foot, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fowles, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gardam, JaneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gowdy, CarolynIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gray, SimonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Greer, GermaineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harbour, ElizabethIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harper, CliffordIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harwood, RonaldContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Holderness, GriseldaIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hollinghurst, AlanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Holmes, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hornby, SimonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Human, JaneIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jacques, BenoitIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kabbani, RanaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kerr, JudithContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Knaff, Jean-ChristianIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kulman, AndrewIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lau, Pui YeeIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lee, HermioneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leigh, DennisIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leith, PaulIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lessing, DorisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lester, KatieIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ludlow, KarenIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lush, DebbieIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Marsland, KimIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McGough, RogerContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McWilliam, CandiaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mehta, GitaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mockett, AndrewIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moore, BrianContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morris, JanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morrison, TobyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mortimer, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
O’Brien, EdnaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Parent, RichardIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pollock, IanIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Potter, AshleyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pyle, LizIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rendell, RuthContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sayer, PaulContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, JoanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Spender, StephenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stoppard, TomContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tee, FrancesIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tennant, EmmaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Till, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Townsend, SueContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
von Treskow, IreneIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wertenbaker, TimberlakeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Winterson, JeanetteContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Woods, RosemaryIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Woolley, JanetIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ziegler, PhilipContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Please distinguish between Antonia Fraser's original anthology, The Pleasure of Reading (1992), and her later revision having the similar title, The Pleasure of Reading: 43 Writers on the Discovery of Reading and the Books that Inspired Them (2015). The two collections have different content; without limitation, the later anthology adds approximately five contributors who did not appear in the earlier collection.
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In this delightful collection forty acclaimed writers explain what first made them interested in literature, what inspired them to read and what makes them continue to do so. First published in 1992 in hardback only, original contributors include Margaret Atwood, J. G. Ballard, Melvyn Bragg, A. S. Byatt, Carol Ann Duffy, Simon Gray, Germaine Greer, Alan Hollinghurst, Doris Lessing, Candia McWilliam, Edna O'Brien, Ruth Rendell, Tom Stoppard, Sue Townsend and Jeanette Winterson. The new edition will include essays from five new writers, Emily Berry, Kamila Shamsie, Rory Stewart, Katie Waldegrave and Tom Wells. Royalties generated from this project will go to Give a Book, www.giveabook.org.uk, a charity set up in 2011 that seeks to get books to places where they will be of particular benefit. Give a Book works in conjunction with Age UK, Prison Reading Groups, Maggie's Centres, which help people affected by cancer, and various schools and literacy projects, such as Beanstalk, where many pupils have never had a book of their own in their lives.… (more)

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