corner corner Howards End is on the Landing: A year of reading from home

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Howards End is on the Landing: A year of reading from home
by Susan Hill | Nonfiction
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 11/5/2015
Average 7 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by heartthumper): to be read


4 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Thursday, November 05, 2015

8 out of 10

I got this slightly-battered softcover online, after reading a review somewhere - it's author Susan Hill's look at her personal TBR shelves! It opens with her hunt for a particular book - Howards End, of course - on the shelf where she knows it should be, but it isn't there. Instead, she gets caught up in books she'd forgotten she had, either not having read them at all or having done so long enough ago that she wants to re-read them. And the book is about that "journey" through her own bookshelves, resonating with anyone who has stacks and shelves and boxes full of books.

I enjoyed her comments about the acquisition and shelving of books, and her thoughts on various titles and authors - even on the fairly-rare cases where I didn't agree with her. There's such a keen love of books and reading, of browsing and re-discovering, of re-visiting old favorites later in life to find an entirely new book... wonderful stuff!

She's hot for fonts, too, mentioning early on that "if you cut me open, I daresay that whatever is carved upon my heart will be in Ralph Beyer lettering". And she has a fondness for pop-up books, from some of the earliest commercial versions to the magnificent works of Robert Sabuda.

In books-about-books, I enjoy spotting references to my own favorites, and there were many here, from Sayers' "Lord Peter" books to Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals. And I also like to find tantalizing descriptions of books I haven't read yet, so as to expand my own collection.

There's a chapter on books she does NOT want to re-read - or indeed to finish at all. There's a chapter on "things that fall out of books", always an entertaining topic. And another chapter touches on "slow reading" - something that I seldom do, as my natural reading speed is pretty darned fast. But I do appreciate her comments on the ways in which some prose - and most poetry - amply repays a leisurely read, savoring the sounds and rhythm of the words as much as the subject.

A very enjoyable book on the love of reading!  


Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Thursday, December 10, 2015

This book has not been rated.

Released 2 yrs ago (12/10/2015 UTC) at Nashua, New Hampshire USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

I'm sending this to BCer eponine38 in Massachusetts, to fill a wish. Enjoy!

*** Released as part of the 2015 What's In A Name release challenge. ***  


Journal Entry 3 by wingeponine38wing at Winchester, Massachusetts USA on Friday, December 11, 2015

This book has not been rated.

What a wonderful surprise, Gory! Thank you so much! This has been on my wishlist for a while now.  


Journal Entry 4 by wingeponine38wing at Winchester, Massachusetts USA on Tuesday, February 16, 2016

7 out of 10

This was enjoyable; a book with short chapters that can be read a little at a time - at least that's what I did!

I've never read any of Hill's other works, but found the writing in this to be superb. She really made me think about how, what, when, and where one reads, and how this influences us. Especially the "where": of course we know of the term "beach reads" for the lighter, fluffier books, but I never thought much about how one's surroundings while reading can color one's impressions of a book. The "when", for me, matters tremendously. There have been several books that I started, couldn't get into, put aside, then picked up again even as little as a month later and breezed right through. Hill has a chapter about "slow reading", which covers the "how". I'm a (very) slow reader by nature (unlike Gory!), which has always been a source of frustration; it's nice to know that sometimes that can be an advantage!

I think my favorite thing about this book was the fact that Hill personifies her books, especially in one chapter entitled "Bad Bed-Fellows". The chapter's title comes from her worry that two books whose authors don't like each other might resent being shelved together. Then she describes being near a shelf of her books as the light fades, and wonders: "Do the books believe I am no longer there because they do not see me? Can they hear the sound of my breathing? I can still stretch out a hand and grasp one. Does that startle and terrify them...? Once it is dark and they settle back, do they sleep? Do they move closer together or turn over and re-arrange their covers?" Wonderful!

Ms. Hill sets herself the task of (mentally, at least) paring down her entire collection to the 40 most essential books to keep. We see her reasoning process throughout, and at the end are presented with the list, called The Final Forty.

The book did get me curious about some authors I've never read, but, thankfully, it didn't add to my wishlist as much as I feared it might.

Recommended! 


Journal Entry 5 by wingeponine38wing at Winchester, Massachusetts USA on Tuesday, February 16, 2016

This book has not been rated.

Released 2 yrs ago (2/16/2016 UTC) at Winchester, Massachusetts USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

On its way to tabby-cat-owner via the US/Canada wishlist-tag game. Enjoy!

Released for Keep Them Moving Challenge hosted by booklady331.
 


Journal Entry 6 by tabby-cat-owner at Phoenix, Arizona USA on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

This book has not been rated.

I received this book in the mail from eponine38 of Winchester, Massachusetts who tagged me with it.

Thank you so much for tagging me with this book, eponine38. 


Journal Entry 7 by tabby-cat-owner at Phoenix, Arizona USA on Wednesday, October 12, 2016

7 out of 10

This was an interesting book. The author tells much of her life story while writing about the books that she has read. She was lucky in that she was able to spend her life reading books, writing books, working in publishing and also launching her own publishing business. She has met an huge amount of authors in her lifetime. Many of the authors, I never heard of, since they were probably best known in England in an earlier time, but I loved reading about Ian Fleming. (I haven't traveled in circles like that but I did meet an author of a book that I had read and admired recently in a serendipitous way.)

The author has a chapter dedicated to the covers of books. I must admit that the best thing about this book is its cover which I continue to admire. The title of book is very catching as well and motivated me to want to read the book.

Although I enjoyed reading about the author's life, the books she has loved reading and the many authors that she has met, I found myself coming to the conclusion that we were quite different in our literary tastes. She dislikes Jane Austen who is my favorite author whose works have given and still continue to give great enjoyment to my life. Yesterday in Goodwill, I picked up "On the Black Hill" by Bruce Chatwin, a book that the author loves and highly recommends. I almost bought it. I think now that I will go back, get it, add to my ginormous Mount TBR and maybe I will get around to reading a book about a set of male twins in Wales who never marry and never leave their tiny little Welsh sphere.

I am glad that the author still loves children's books because I still do. I am going to become a grandmother, and my daughter asked me if I had kept her children's books. Do I need to answer that? YES, but I had to pare them down and save my favorites, my children's favorites and the ones with great memories attached.

I was also glad to see a chapter on contemplative books, because I love to read those, and they must be read slowly.

Finally, I have decided that I want to write a book about the books in my life. 


Journal Entry 8 by tabby-cat-owner at Bookring, Postal Release -- Controlled Releases on Monday, November 14, 2016

This book has not been rated.

Released 1 yr ago (11/14/2016 UTC) at Bookring, Postal Release -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

This book has been sent off in the mail for the ABC bookring--H authors. 


Journal Entry 9 by wingheartthumperwing at Hutchinson, Kansas USA on Sunday, April 15, 2018

This book has not been rated.

I had chosen this from the "H" authors when it was my turn. Now I am getting around to reading it! Found it while rearranging my bookshelf..... 


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