Synopses & Reviews
The well-known publishing correspondent and self-described "readaholic" chronicles a year spent reading-and the surprises it brought.
In early 2002, Sara Nelson-editor, reporter, reviewer, mother, daughter, wife, and compulsive reader-set out to chronicle a year's worth of reading, to explore how the world of books and words intermingled with children, marriage, friends, and the rest of the "real" world. She had a system all set up: fifty-two weeks, fifty-two books . . . and it all fell apart the first week. That's when she discovered that books chose her as much as she chose them, and the rewards and frustrations they brought were nothing she could plan for: "In reading, as in life, even if you know what you're doing, you really kind of don't."
From Solzhenitsyn to Laura Zigman, Catherine M. to Captain Underpants, this is the captivating result. It is a personal memoir filled with wit, charm, insight, infectious enthusiasm-and observations on everything from Public Books (the ones we pretend we're reading), lending trauma and the idiosyncrasies of sex scenes ("The mingling of bodies and emotions and fluids is one thing. But reading about it: now that's personal") to revenge books, hype, the stresses of recommendation (What does it mean when someone you like hates the book you love?), the odd reasons we pick up a book in the first place, and how to put it down if we don't like it ("The literary equivalent of a bar mitzvah, the moment at which you look at yourself and announce: Today I am an adult."). Throughout, So Many Books, So Little Time is pure delight-a work at once funny, wise, and rueful: enough to make a passionate reader out of anybody.
"Nelson examines phenomena that will make many readers smile with recognition: the false importance of an overhyped book, the recommendation from a friend that makes you think less of your friend, and, most dreaded of all, the book you feel guilty for not having read." The New Yorker
"Most readers will probably come away from this love letter to books eager to pursue some of Nelson's favorites Nora Ephron's Heartburn, perhaps, or Emma Donoghue's Slammerkin which is what makes Nelson's reflections inspiring and worthwhile." Publishers Weekly
"This book will inspire and humor those who can't go anywhere without something to read.... a work that will make readers run to the shelf to discover which book beckons next." Library Journal
"This is a wonderful read in itself and an invaluable source of books to be explored." Barbara Wyatt, Elle
"A smart, witty, utterly original memoir about how every book we read becomes a part of us." Augusten Burroughs
A well-known publishing correspondent shares her unique memoir of the interplay between life and the books readers choose to read.
Sometimes subtle, sometimes striking, the interplay between our lives and our books is the subject of this unique memoir by well-known publishing correspondent and self-described "readaholic" Sara Nelson. From Solzhenitsyn to Laura Zigman, Catherine M. to Captain Underpants, the result is a personal chronicle of insight, wit, and enough infectious enthusiasm to make a passionate reader out of anybody.
About the Author
Sara Nelson is a senior contributing editor at Glamour and the publishing columnist for the New York Observer. She has also been an editor at Self, Inside.com, and Book Publishing Report, and a contributor to many other publications, including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
Table of Contents
January 6; Great expectations -- January 20; Word about Leo -- February 1; Double-booked -- February 8; Endless love -- February 13; 92 in the shade -- February 20; More about Mom -- February 27; Clean plate book club -- March 8; Hype -- March 15; Eating crow -- March 22; Sharing books gives me heartburn -- March 29; Nothing happened -- April 6; Book by book -- April 15; Even greater expectations -- April 22; And the Oscar goes to... -- April 30; Dear Mr. Robert Plunket -- May 5; P.S. I lied -- May 12; Baseball, part I -- May 20; Baseball, part II -- June 1; Summer reading -- June 22; Million little pieces -- July 6; Time machine -- July 20; Reading confidential -- August 20; Anna, Emma, and me -- September 1; Acknowledge this! -- September 11; Oh, God -- September 18; Kid stuff -- September 25; Sex and the city -- October 2; Sex and the city-across the pond -- October 10; Afterlife with Father -- October 24; No business like our business -- November 3; Saturdays with Charley -- November 15; Oeuvre and oeuvre again -- November 25; Openings -- December 10; Friends and family -- December 30; What did I do? -- Epilogue.