Tag: One for the Books

Monthly Review – February 2013

Posted February 28, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Monthly Reading / 0 Comments

It’s so great to see just how well the reading challenge is going; over 500 books have been read from the group so far. I’m so happy with the response and pleased to see people still had time to read The Fault in our Stars. Plenty of interesting thoughts have come out of this book from the group and while there was some people that didn’t like the book, I’m so glad to see so much great constructive criticism in the threads; this is what we live for. For those who don’t know about the reading challenge, there is still time to join in the fun, so check out my introductory post here.

I’m really impressed with the book club’s efforts this year and as we move into March, I’m looking forward to seeing what people will say about Lolita for our Russian literature theme. In January, I managed to read twenty books but this month I’ve read fifteen, which is not a bad effort and still a number I can be proud of. Five of those books go towards the Literary Exploration Reading Challenge and you can find my own record of the challenge here.

Highlights this month include the epic cyber punk noir novel Altered Carbon and the recently translated German crime blockbuster Snow White Must Die. Also I got to read a modern masterpiece by an author that is quickly become a favourite of mine; Jeffery Eugenides. The Virgin Suicides was his debut novel and it was wonderfully bleak; I can’t recommend it enough. How was February for you and your reading life? Let me know in the comments below.

Monthly Reading

  • Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
  • Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
  • Dirt by David Vann
  • Fool Moon by Jim Butcher
  • Gun Machine by Warren Ellis
  • Heart-Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne
  • March Violets by Philip Kerr
  • Occupation Diaries by Raja Shehadeh
  • One for the Books by Joe Queenan
  • Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead
  • Snow White Must Die by Nele Neuhaus
  • The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay
  • The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Young Philby by Robert Littell
  • Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler

One for the Books by Joe Queenan

Posted February 13, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Non-Fiction / 0 Comments

One for the Books by Joe QueenanTitle: One for the Books (Goodreads)
Author: Joe Queenan
Published: Viking, 2012
Pages: 256
Genres: Non-Fiction
My Copy: ARC from Netgalley

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

Joe Queenan is a humourist, critic and author from Philadelphia who become an avid reader as a means of escape from a young age. One for the Books is a memoir where Queenan tries to come to terms with his eccentric reading style.  Joe Queenan is not your typical reader, and One for the Books is not your typical book about books.

 Joe Queenan is a very odd and particular reader, he knows what he likes and this book is not really humorous but more self-deprecating. I thought I was a bitter and jaded person but Queenan puts me to shame, throughout the book it feels like he will never be satisfied and will always be a cranky reader. Even some of his opinions towards books and book collecting seem outlandish and weird for a reader like me but it works for him and you can’t really argue with that.

I was looking forward to reading about someone who is a grump with a passion for book and while this was explored in this book, I think he took it too far sometimes. I know it is his personal opinions but the way he talked about hating people giving him books or even recommending books to him was just a little too far; he is old and set in his ways but I tend to think a little kindness towards others, especially when giving you a gift isn’t too much to ask for.

Joe Queenan is like that weird relative that everyone has; not sure what he is thinking, always set in his ways and you don’t want to get him drunk. This book is really interesting and I enjoyed his approach to this book. While his opinions differ from my own in some aspects, he really does love reading and this doesn’t always come through in the book but you know it is there.

One for the Books is really different to any other book related memoir I’ve read and that is what makes it so interesting. If you don’t want to read about a grumpy old man’s opinions towards reading then you don’t want to read this book. If you want something different then give it ago. I’m happy to have read this book; it makes me feel almost normal when it comes to my opinions on reading and books.