Book Review: For the Love of Books

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For the Love of Books: Stories of Literary Lives, Banned Books, Author Feuds, Extraordinary Characters, and More
by Graham Tarrant
Nonfiction
249 pages
Expected publication date, June 18, 2019, by Skyhorse Books, ARC provided by NetGalley


 

For many readers, a book about books is one of the most appealing types of books available. Whether it is a memoir of a reading life or reference material that helps open one’s mind to new authors or genres, a good book about books is always enjoyable. For the Love of Books: Stories of Literary Lives, Banned Books, Authors Feuds, Extraordinary Characters, and More by British author Graham Tarrant falls firmly into the latter category. It provides a wealth of information about the history of books– particularly over the past two hundred years– and gives the reader brief glimpses into the lives of a variety of authors. Some of those glimpses are humorous, some contentious, and some show us the dark sides of the authors’ lives.

For the most part, these glimpses are entertaining, if brief. Few of the stories are more than a paragraph or two, though some as long as a couple of pages. Tarrant’s brevity provides enough information that they don’t feel completely lacking, but it does make the book feel like a mad dash through literary history. Factoids are fun and easy to take in, but they don’t satisfy the desire for a deeper story.

For the Love of Books is an entertaining book and handy as a reference guide, but its appeal is largely surface level. Readers searching for a more in-depth look into favorite authors or genres will hunger for more information, but those who are getting back into the habit of reading will likely find it to be fun and useful.


 

Thank you to NetGalley and Skyhorse Books for providing me with a free ebook in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book in any way.

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