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A Reading Diary: A Year of Favourite Books (2004)

by Alberto Manguel

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648925,098 (3.58)27
"While traveling in Canada, Alberto Manguel was struck by how the novel he was reading (Goethe's Elective Affinities) seemed to mirror the social chaos of the world he was living in. An article in the daily paper would be suddenly illuminated by a passage in the novel; a long meditation would be prompted by a single word. He decided to keep a record of these moments, rereading a book a month and forming A Reading Diary: a volume of notes, reflections, and impressions of travel, of friends, of events public and private, all elicited by his reading." "From Don Quixote (August) to The Island of Dr. Moreau (February) to Kim (April), Manguel leads us on an enthralling adventure in literature and life, and demonstrates how, for the passionate reader, one is utterly inextricable from the other."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)
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Got through it, with a lot of skimming. An apt & revealing sample from a bit in which Manguel lists evaluations of memoirs: Auden, quoting an Icelandic proverb: 'Every man enjoys the smell of his own farts.'"" ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Life and literature are seldom closer than in the writings of Alberto Manguel. In this personal book he relates his experience of reading over the course of one year. It is a compendium of notes , reflections, and impressions of both reading and travel, his life and friendships as illuminated by his reading. This "Diary" can be read as a memoir or used as a reference guide to one's own reading. The texts are all worthwhile; I found some old favorites, new authors and classic texts all within Manguel's reading annual. This little book, slightly more than two hundred pages, has Rabelaisian qualities confined in a little space. There are lists, wide-ranging comments, thoughts, statements, beliefs, pronouncements, and a veritable litany of the delights of living the reading life.
The subtitle of the book, "A Passionate Reader's Reflections on a Year of Books", captures the essence of the text. For Manguel is a "passionate reader" in every sense of that phrase and his reflections are illuminating. I would welcome further annuals like this, and find myself challenged to make my own. For like the author, I consider myself a "passionate reader". ( )
2 vote jwhenderson | Nov 19, 2011 |
Wonderful! Manguel takes us with him through Don Quixote, The Wind in the Willows, and many more. Another Manguel book to be savored. ( )
  benjclark | Mar 23, 2009 |
Beautiful language, but the book was very disjointed. Having read several other books on the same subject which I enjoyed much more, was very disappointed. ( )
  whymaggiemay | Jan 26, 2008 |
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There are books that we skim over happily, forgetting one page as we turn to the next; others that we read reverently, without daring to agree or disagree; others that offer mere information and preclude our commentary; others still that, because we have loved them so long and so dearly, we can repeat word by word, since we know them, in the truest sense, by heart.
- From the forward -
We have been in our house in France for just over a year, and already I have to leave, to visit my family in Buenos Aires.
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