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Howards End Is on the Landing: A Year of…
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Howards End Is on the Landing: A Year of Reading from Home (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Susan Hill

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7215313,038 (3.73)201
Member:dorisannn
Title:Howards End Is on the Landing: A Year of Reading from Home
Authors:Susan Hill
Info:Profile Books (2010), Paperback, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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Howards End is on the Landing by Susan Hill (2009)

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Hill's book looks forward, and looks back. It is introspective and determined. It consists of short pieces: memories, rememberings, thoughts. The pieces can be about a theme, such as diaries or an author, but they are mainly reflective and not really connected throughout. There is no 'plot' as such, so I can understand why some readers of her fiction wouldn't like it. I found the exercise about choosing forty books to have for rest of your life interesting, especially the reasoning behind the choices. There is a wide variety of pieces, and I engaged with some more than others. The book can feel a bit rambling if you don't engage with the topic. I would have liked a list of contents for the chapter headings, but I like to be able to orientate myself.
  Tselja | Oct 21, 2014 |
This was disjointed for me. It wasn't what u was hoping for and seemed like a big book of name dropping. I did find some books to read and I did like her writing style. ( )
  KatieEmilySmith | Sep 23, 2014 |
An enjoyable tour through Susan Hill's book collection, during which she muses on reading, libraries and authors. An excellent source of inspiration for new books to read. ( )
  cazfrancis | Sep 23, 2014 |
It wasn't, as I expected from the title, a story about someone's "year of reading from home." Instead it was more of a journey through the author's large book collection, each shelf triggering anecdotes about authors she has met and known, as well as critical comments about some of the works she has read.

There are bits of nice writing, and quick memorable sketches of some (now dead) authors, and it's sometimes nice just to read about writers and writing.

I love reading criticism, and some of hers is intriguing -- I’d never heard of F.M. Mayor, for example. But other pronouncements rankle. I don't share, but can pass over, her dislike of Jane Austen, since we all have different tastes. But I was taken aback by her sniffy dismissal of the entire written product of Canada and Australia, which comes across as parochial and even snobbish. Clearly she's okay with that and probably sees it as a virtue.

I believe her final list of the 40 books she'd keep, if she could only keep 40, contains 37 originally written in English. The only exceptions are The Bible, Crime and Punishment and a Tove Jansson children's book. So safe to say, her tastes and prejudices are not my own. But it's always better to see a book for what it can give you. I think this book does give a sense of the importance of a reading life, which is nice, and would be appreciated by many people looking for a reading list. ( )
  Laura400 | Jun 18, 2014 |
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'To my friends pictured within.'
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It began like this.
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Wain has written an utterly convicing, honest and sensitive account of the deep, inarticulate, agonised love of a father for his brave, confused and lonely child.
Fast reading of a great novel will give us the plot. It will get us names, a shadowy idea of characters, a sketch of settings. It will not get us subtleties, small differentiations, depth of emotion and observation, multilayered human experience, the appreciation of simile and metaphor, any sense of context, any comparison with other novels, other writers. Fast reading will not get us cadence and complexities of style and language. It will not get us anything that enters not just the conscious mind but the unconscious.
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Book description
Early one autumn afternoon in pursuit of an elusive book on her shelves, Susan Hill encountered dozens of others that she had never read, or forgotten she owned, or wanted to read for a second time. The discovery inspired her to embark on a year-long voyage through her books, forsaking new purchases in order to revisit her own collection.
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Early one autumn afternoon in pursuit of an elusive book on her shelves, Susan Hill encountered dozens of others that she had never read, or forgotten she owned, or wanted to read for a second time. The discovery inspired her to embark on a year-long voyage through her books, forsaking new purchases in order to revisit her own collection.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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