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Get in the Game - Make a Reading Plan

Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library,
Collage of selected books
Books about books!

When you can’t find something to read, who do you ask? Librarians, of course, who have access to more books, old and new, than anyone else. Sorry to disappoint many of you, but we have not read all the books in the library. That does not stop us from helping you, dear readers, because we get information from other resources: book reviews, from colleagues and friends, and from books about books. Summer Reading - Get in the Game is in full swing, and it is a perfect time for you to make a reading plan.

Books About Books to Read

84, Charing Cross Road
Hanff, Helene

New York writer Helen Hanff's love of specific books set her on a quest to find the books she wanted to own. The time was post-World War II, and the only way to buy books was at local stores, or by writing to booksellers. Her witty, sardonic correspondence with Frank Doel, British bookseller, is a tribute to the love of reading, and to independent bookstores everywhere.

1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List
Mustich, James

The list includes fiction and non-fiction, arranged alphabetically by authors' last names. Mustich then adds a type of addendum, "A Miscellany of Special Lists". This book will make you want to live longer to read more.The hard copy weighs 3.4 pounds.

Am I Alone Here?: Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live
Orner, Peter

Peter Orner's book is a collection of essays that inextricably meld books and life. Beautifully insightful, quirky and so very personal as he ruminates about his own life and the books which mattered. The subtitle sums it up: notes on living to read and reading to live. There is an excellent author and title index

The Books in My Life
Miller, Henry

Best known for his irreverent writing (often censored and labeled as porn), this collection of essays about reading and books, and favorite authors, will present another view of the writer, and the books he loved. It is from Miller that I learned about the glorious French poet, Blaise Cendrars, who was a ravenous book buyer and reader.

Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason
Pearl, Nancy

Librarian Nancy Pearl is our profession’s major promoter of reading for pleasure. This is one of the books in her “book lust” series. There are suggestions for everyone’s reading interests.

By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from the New York Times Book Review

A selection of 65 interviews with writers, from the New York Times Book Review, all about their favorite books. These interviews are the uncut versions and have interesting sidebars.

Christopher Morley: Two Classic Novels in One Volume
Morley, Christopher

Two novels: Parnassus on Wheels and The Haunted Bookshop. The first is about Helen McGill, a young woman, who buys a mobile bookshop, and sets out with Roger Mifflin for book selling adventures on the road. In the second novel, Roger Mifflin returns to the brick and mortar store, which is the setting for a love story, a sinister kidnapping plot, spies, and lots of name dropping of authors and books.

Nothing Remains the Same: Rereading and Remembering
Lesser, Wendy

Wendy Lesser, writer, journalist and critic, rereads books from her past, and examines what they meant to her back then and now. The books she reflects upon will bring a fresh point of view to all readers about some old and modern classics.

Ten Years in the Tub
Hornby, Nick

Nick Hornby wrote a monthly column, "Stuff I've Been Reading," published in The Believer Magazine. Covering 2003 through 2013, each section begins with two lists: Books Bought and Books Read. Both serious and humorous, Hornby is a reassuring guide for those who have fallen out of the reading habit, or feel remiss for not having read certain classics.

The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had
Bauer, Susan Wise

Susan Wise Bauer offers a modern-day version of the Great Books so that everyone can read and learn without attending formalized courses. She is an enabler who offers encouragement to slow readers; how to learn to critically analyze the printed word in whatever form; and how to find enjoyment in reading.

The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages
Bloom, Harold

Harold Bloom's guide to the great books of western civilization, and why he thinks they are important. Readers can make their own decisions about what is best, and book clubs will have a rich resource for reading selections.

When Books Went to War: The Stories That Helped Us Win World War II
Manning, Molly Guptill

During World War II the United States government, with the help of Librarians, sent over 120 million paperback books to servicemen in Europe. The books were loved and cherished, and many authors received fan letters from the troops. There are two book lists, and one is especially interesting, "Banned Authors," a small selection of writers whose books were banned in Germany and German-occupied countries during World War II.

The World Between Two Covers: Reading the Globe
Morgan, Ann

Travel the world by reading its novels, poetry, folktales, and other written works. That is what British journalist Ann Morgan did after the 2012 Olympics came to London. In one year she read a book from each of the 196 independent countries of the world and blogged her reading adventures in A Year of Reading the World. The blog continues today with more reading adventures. This book has a fantastic bibliography arranged alphabetically by country.