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One for the Books by Joe Queenan

One for the Books (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Joe Queenan (Author), Dorothy Handelman (Photographer), Francesca Belanger (Designer), Thomas Ng (Cover designer)

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2151754,204 (3.72)17
Title:One for the Books
Authors:Joe Queenan (Author)
Other authors:Dorothy Handelman (Photographer), Francesca Belanger (Designer), Thomas Ng (Cover designer)
Info:Viking : New York
Collections:Your library, Lastc, Gift
Tags:Books About Books, Literary Criticism

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One for the Books by Joe Queenan (2012)



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Nice book and spot-on funny in places. I'm not sure that Joe and I share a lot in common regarding the books we choose to read, but his observations about readers and non-readers throughout the book are on the mark. ( )
  untraveller | Mar 23, 2014 |
When you decide to read a Joe Queenan penned tome, you can expect many things: a very well read discourse on many things, some really interesting digressions from the main topic of discussions, but the forays afield are so interesting and so erudite that you don't really mind. You also get an ascerbic wit, a lot of cynicism and sarcasm. If you can live with that, then you are usually in for a treat, for Joe Queenan is a really really smart guy, and well read. Which is why he wrote this particular book.

This is kind of a warped but fascinating look inside Queenans brain about his love, nay his obsession with books. It is a compendium of essays on particular things about books that he loves, but it is also about more than just books, it is about authors, literature, the book business, the world as he sees it, the evolution of the mass media business, Paris, writers and people who worship writers, and particular pecadillos of Joe Queenan himself.

Mind you, this is sometimes the easiest book to read because the prose is so smooth and the sotires and ideas so interesting, and there are times when you have to put it down and walk away, because that is the way Queenan is. I had read one previous book by Queenan: Red Lobster, White Trash, & the Blue Lagoon: Joe Queenan's America. It was smart, sarcastic, cynical, maddening, and definitely worth reading.

I was drawn to this particular title because of it's subject: books. I fancy myself a bibliophile so I was drawn to this book like a moth to a flame. I am so very glad I met it's acquaintance. But I warn you reading Joe Queenan is a challenge, a good challenge though. ( )
1 vote pw0327 | Nov 30, 2013 |
I am on a reading spree of books about books. After Michael Dirda's gentle paean to overlooked books, this was an abrupt shift. Joe Queenan is a little tough and very opinionated, but though our taste in books diverges wildly (he will not read any books where the main character attended prep school while I am reluctant to pick up a book about the proles), he is very funny. He loves reading and France, and he is averse to book clubs and book recommendations from friends. And we both love Anne Shirley. ( )
  amy_marie26 | Nov 25, 2013 |
The author and I share little in the way of tastes (he doesn't read much nonfiction, doesn't think highly of libraries, and refuses to buy used books), but I can still applaud his fanatical devotion to the medium, and his principled aversion to Kindles. A greatly entertaining praise song to the book. ( )
  dono421846 | Sep 29, 2013 |
Joe Queenan writes about his lifelong obsession with books, and his fear that he may not live long enough to finish The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and his fear that he may live long enough to finish Middlemarch.

Queenan is grouchy and opinionated and hilarious. I was sure he was making up some titles for their laugh value, and yet an amazon search turns up actual published books (The Story of Stupidity: A History of Western Idiocy from the Days of Greece to the Moment you Saw this Book and The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things). Also too ridiculous to be made-up (and who cares — it's funny): a terrifying night spent in James Thurber's house in an abandoned neighborhood during an unexpected monsoon and after an encounter with two stalkerish fans at a reading.

I am a total heathen according to Queenan, since I borrow from libraries and hate accumulating books and have occasionally read an e-book, but there were moments of true kinship. He had me at "Saddling another person with a book he did not ask for has always struck me as a huge psychological imposition, like forcing someone to eat a chicken biryani without so much as inquiring whether they like cilantro." I think this quite nicely sums up my philosophy of life. ( )
  bkohl | Aug 10, 2013 |
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To Skip McGovern, Lover of Books
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The average American reads four books a year, and the average American finds this more than sufficient.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670025828, Hardcover)

One of America’s leading humorists and author of the bestseller Closing Time examines his own obsession with books

Joe Queenan became a voracious  reader as a means of escape from a joyless childhood in a Philadelphia housing project. In the years since then he has dedicated himself to an assortment of  idiosyncratic reading challenges: spending a year reading only short books, spending a year reading books he always suspected he would hate, spending a year reading books he picked with his eyes closed.

In One for the Books, Queenan tries to come to terms with his own eccentric reading style—how many more books will he have time to read in his lifetime? Why does he refuse to read books hailed  by reviewers as “astonishing”? Why does he refuse to lend out books? Will he ever buy an e-book? Why does he habitually read thirty to forty books simultaneously? Why are there so many people to whom the above questions do not even matter—and what do they read? Acerbically funny yet passionate and oddly affectionate, One for the Books is a reading experience that true book lovers will find unforgettable.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:58 -0400)

One of America's leading humorists and author of the bestseller "Closing Time" examines his own obsession with books.

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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