Skip to main content

Review: So Many Books, So Little Time, by Sarah Nelson

Sarah Nelson explores a wide range of books in her quasi-essay about a year of reading. She is so much like me in so many ways, but so different in so many others. How do you even begin to talk about books? The impact that some of them have had upon your life? A book that changed your ideas of something? These are questions that Nelson tackles in her long essay about what it means to be a reader.

Nelson found that she couldn't meet her goal. She basically read whatever she felt like reading, whenever she felt like reading it. Sure, she had "must-read" books, and books that had been recommended to her; but they all came in the course of time- whatever felt "right" was the book she read at that particular time. The thing is, you can't just sit down and read a book a week for fifty-two weeks! It may take two days to read one book, but then two years to finish another book. I go through phases of reading, and its good to know that I'm not the only one who does that. I'm the kind of person, too, who reads more than one book at a time; often I'll get questions like, "how can you pay attention to two books at the same time?" Like Nelson, I read whatever I want to, whenever, and sometimes don't finish things.

Nelson talks about her reading selections in an educated manner, saying why she did or didn't like a book, and giving a few personal reminisces of her own. It is a well crafted novel, a must-read for any book lover. Nelson also gave me a few suggestions as to what to read, and made me consider more deeply the way in which I regard books in general.

Also reviewed by: Book Nut


Danielle said…
I read this as well a few years ago. While I didn't share exactly her tastes in books, I could still appreciate how she felt about reading and books.
Literary Feline said…
I read this one a few years ago, just as Danielle did. I had never really paid much attention to the selling and marketing of books before having read this one and so I found that especially interesting.
Webster Twelb said…
I love the idea of the book. I havent really heard about the book until now. It sounds good. I myself do have a lot of books to read. *sigh* when can i find the time...
verbivore said…
This sounds like it might be fun to read. I enjoy thinking about what reading brings to my life and why I read and what I would do if I couldn't read.

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Forever Amber, by Kathleen Winsor

Pages: 972 Originally published: 1944 My edition: 2000 (Chicago Review Press) How I acquired my copy:, 2004

Forever Amber takes place in the 1660s, immediately follwing Charles II's ("the Merry Monarch") return of the Stuarts to the English throne. The book features Amber St. Claire, a young woman who starts out as a sixteen-year-old country girl, naieve to the workings of the world. She immediately meets Bruce Carlton, a dashing young Cavalier, with whom she has a passionate love affair in choppy intervals throughout the book. They have two children together, but Bruce won't marry her for the reason he tells his friend Lord Almsbury: that Amber just isn't the kind of woman one marries.

Upon following Bruce to London, he goes to Virginia, leaving her to fend for herself. What follows is a series of affairs and four marriages, with Bruce coming back from America now and then. Amber's marriages are imprudent: her first husband is a gambler, her second is…

Review: Jane Austen's Letters, ed. by Deirdre Le Faye

Pages: 667 Original date of publication: 2011 My copy: 2011 (Oxford University Press) Why I decided to read: How I acquired my copy:, April 2013
This is a compilation of many of Jane Austen’s letters, most of them sent to her sister Cassandra between 1796 and 1817, the year of her death. Although many of Austen’s letters were destroyed by her sister in order to preserve the family reputation, the collection contains over 160 letters in which Austen gives her sister details about her life in Chawton—as well as giving us a tantalizing glimpse of what was going through her mind as she was writing her novels (especially the novel that was to become Pride and Prejudice, First Impressions). There are other letters here, too, giving advice to her niece and professional correspondence to publishers—as well as a couple of letters that were written by Cassandra Austen after Jane’s death.
To the sisters, the letters acted in the way that phone calls do today; Austen’s news is all about pe…

Review: Midnight in Peking, by Paul French

Pages: 259 Original date of publication: 2013 My copy: 2013 (Penguin) Why I decided to read: How I acquired my copy: Phoenix bookstore, May 2013
In January 1937, the body of a young British girl, Pamela Werner, was found near Peking’s Fox Tower. Although two detectives, one British and the other Chinese, spent months on the case, the case was never solved completely, and the case was forgotten in the wake of the invasion of the Japanese. Frustrated, Pamela’s father, a former diplomat, tried to solve the crime. His investigation took him into the underbelly of Peking society and uncovered a secret that was worse than anything he could have imagined.
At first, I thought that this would be a pretty straightforward retelling of a true crime, but what Paul French (who spent seven years researching the story) reveals in this book is much more than that. Foreign society in Peking in the 1930s was stratified, with the British colonials at the top and the White Russian refugees at the bottom, but…