Tag: McMurtry

Books: A Memoir by Larry McMurtry

Posted February 24, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Non-Fiction / 0 Comments

Books: A Memoir by Larry McMurtryTitle: Books: A Memoir (Goodreads)
Author: Larry McMurtry
Published: Simon & Schuster, 2008
Pages: 259
Genres: Non-Fiction
My Copy: Personal Copy

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Larry McMurtry is known for his novels Terms of Endearment and his 1985 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Lonesome Dove, among many other things. But what people might not know about Larry McMurtry is he is also a rare-book scout.  Owning many second hand bookstores called Booked Up, McMurtry is always on the hunt for good books. Book is a memoir of adventures as a book seller.

Let’s face it, I love a good book memoir so I thought I had to check this one out, but I’m a little disappointed. At times in this book it felt more like bragging than actual book scouting; I don’t really enjoy reading a whole lot of “I found a book that was worth hundreds of dollars and brought it for mere dollars”. There needed to be a bit more about his love for the books and less showing off to really make this book enjoyable.

I think it would be cool to be a book seller or scout and it was interesting to read about his journey as one. I did actually visit all the second hand book stores in search for gems so maybe this book did have an effect on me. The only difference was, gems for me are the books I really want to read and not books that would make me money. I also would have enjoyed some more about Larry McMurtry’s reading life as well amd the books he was passionate about or recommends, but this just wasn’t there.

I think this book just lacked passion overall; I felt like Larry McMurtry saw books as money makers and there was no love for them. It’s an interesting book but now I know what to look for in a book about books, I don’t think I would pick up another book like this; unless recommended to me. Book sellers or book scouts may get more out of this book but I have a feeling that most would probably share my opinion.

By the Book by Ramona Koval

Posted January 2, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Non-Fiction / 0 Comments

By the Book by Ramona KovalTitle: By the Book (Goodreads)
Author: Ramona Koval
Published: Text, 2012
Pages: 239
Genres: Non-Fiction
My Copy: Personal Copy

Buy: Book Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Ramona Koval’s By the Book: A Reader’s Guide to Life is a memoir of the author’s reading journal. From her mother’s influences to her first library card all the way though to her career as a literary journalist. Ramona Koval writes this as a love story to the books that have influenced her life and career.

Not only is this book very easy to read, it might even offer some interesting titles for you to read. I know my ‘to read’ list suffered especially with the introduction to Richard Holmes; I’ve now added a heap of his books to my wish list. I almost read this in a sitting and I would’ve if I didn’t have to go to bed. I was drawn to Kaval’s literary journey and the reasoning behind reading some of the books.

It might be just me but I find people’s reading histories really interesting and give me a little confidence in my own journey. Personally I think I have an interesting journey and this book as inspired me to document it in better detail. I’ve started to build a slight obsession with memoirs about people’s reading history’s having recently read Books: A Memoir by Larry McMurtry and moving onto Through the Window by Julian Barnes after finishing this one. I have asked my readers for recommendations similar to these books in a recent blog post so I hope to read many more memoirs of bibliophiles.

By the Book is an entertaining read with some real gems; like borrowing Kafka from a library at a very young age and asking her mother to buy her a copy of the Kama Sutra. By the Book is not only an entertaining reading journey but hopefully it will inspire reader to share their own history with the world; I know I would like to read about them. It might be just my love of books and books about books but I really enjoyed this biography and recommend it to all serious readers.