Sunday, July 22, 2007

So Many Books, So Little Time by Sara Nelson Book Review

So Many Books, So Little Time
By Sara Nelson Putnam 2003

I loved this book very much. I could identify so much with Sara in practically EVERY chapter. The idea was to read 52 books in one year (on average one book per week). The only problem I had about this book was that Sara did not write about all 52 books. She mentioned maybe half the list of books that she actually did read. The rest are listed in Appendix B.

Appendix A is the original list she had planned to read. But as Sara mentioned, reading moods change and reading what is listed becomes a chore. I know EXACTLY how she felt.

I also sympathised with Sara whenever she was in decision mode about which books would be the right mood for the occasion, (usually this was involving a trip somewhere outside of NYC) and what extra books should she take in case of any possible unexpected events.

As an example, I took my son to the park playground yesterday, and I took 3 books with me. American Jezebel because I had just a few pages to finish the book. So Many Books which I had not started at that point. And Sixpence House which I was already halfway through. I ended up starting Sara's book and left Sixpence House for today. Fortunately, these two books are about books and they are short. And as of this writing, I have finished both of them. LOL

I had no problems with Sara writing about family members, friends and other personal events, amongst her reviews and other thoughts about the books. These are what made her choices of books more personal. I did learn a few interesting things about her.

Sara is in a multi-racial marriage. Her husband, Leo, is Japanese-American. And they have one son named Charley.

Leo does not like reading books. I can totally understand Sara's frustration with wanting to tell him about a great book she just read, and he is so not interested. My spouse is exactly the same way. Fortunately Leo and my spouse both understand our addiction, our need, to constantly buy more books.

This book was published in 2003. At that time Sara was working in NYC for Glamour magazine. In 2005 Sara changed jobs and is now the Editor in Chief of Publishers Weekly, or PW as it is now called. Definitely a step up for Sara.

Sara's older sister Liza Nelson has also written a novel. It's called Playing Botticelli.

This is the last book for the Non Fiction Challenge.


The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
Nine Parts of Desire by Geraldine Brooks
A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
Rapture by Susan Minot
Heartburn by Nora Ephron (1983)
Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue
John Adams by David McCullough
Call It Sleep, by Henry Roth
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott
Turning Japanese by David Mura
The Way Home by Henry Dunow
Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk
Floaters by Calvin Trillin (1980)
The Crimson Petal and the White by Faber
The Brothers Karamazov
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

(There are more books listed at the back of the hard cover book)


Tara said...

I also loved this book and identified with the author so much. I think I remember her writing that she's 'lied' about where she was when she was reading or looking at books - I can identify with that!

Carrie K said...

I've seen that book, but never picked it up. I'll have to give it a read. I was afraid it was going to be anothe list of books one must read.

I completely agree about listing books and then *having* to read them! It starts to feel like homework and not pleasure.

Red Room Librarian said...

I had never heard of this book before I happened upon your blog, which I am now a fan of and will visit regularly, but I will be looking for it at Barnes and Noble the next time I go. Whenever I read about books like this, I always ask myself why I don't put a pause in my flipping pages and publish a reading journal myself? Perhaps I am just too busy reading!

If you haven't read Great Books by David Denby (I believe that's the author's name - it's been a while), I think you would enjoy it. It's a reading journal, too, but this one is about Denby's experience as an older student in Columbia's Great Books program.

More comments later, I"m sure!