Monday 28 September 2015

Review: The Year of Reading Dangerously: How Fifty Great Books Saved myLife by Andy Miller

A working father whose life no longer feels like his own discovers the transforming powers of great (and downright terrible) literature in this laugh-out-loud memoir.

Andy Miller had a job he quite liked, a family he loved, and no time at all for reading. Or so he kept telling himself. But, no matter how busy or tired he was, something kept niggling at him. Books. Books he'd always wanted to read. Books he'd said he'd read that he actually hadn't. Books that whispered the promise of escape from the daily grind. And so, with the turn of a page, Andy began a year of reading that was to transform his life completely.

This book is Andy's inspirational and very funny account of his expedition through literature: classic, cult, and everything in between. Beginning with a copy of Bulgakov's Master and Margarita that he happens to find one day in a bookstore, he embarks on a literary odyssey. From Middlemarch to Anna Karenina to A Confederacy of Dunces, this is a heartfelt, humorous, and honest examination of what it means to be a reader, and a witty and insightful journey of discovery and soul-searching that celebrates the abiding miracle of the book and the power of reading.

Reveiw: if you're looking for a bit of non-fiction for a change, I highly recommend this book! A book about reading-what could be more perfect that this book for me? Reading this book on audiobook of course and having it read to me by the author-YEY! I so enjoyed listening to this book and actually listened to it in the car with my boyfriend on our way up to Scotland and a significant part of the way round Scotland too-it was such a fun listen we found ourselves waiting in the car to the end of a section before we got out. 

We have all at some point, at least loosely, done what Andy did and created a list of books we think we 'should' read of really really want to read ( my Goodreads to read shelf is at a ridiculously high number right now!) and so to be able to read about somebody else doing this and actually succeeding at it, was great. I also loved the fact that he read some of the books with someone else, whether it be his wife or his book group, I thought that was great! The wonderful thing about this book as well, was that it gave me some inspiration to read some of the books on his list. There are literally only a could on the list of fifty that I have read and whilst that did make me feel a little guilty that I had read so few, it also pointed me I the right direction of books I might enjoye because of Andy's story behind each book and also his brief summary of his thoughts during reading and after reading each novel! 

The format of this book is great because it has a structure to it but it also rambles and has tons of footnotes, footnotes which you might skip if you were reading he hardback or paperback version of this book but because I was listening to the audiobook, we were treated to every funny little anecdote that Andy had to offer us! I really enjoyed this novel. It is a little unconventional in parts. Part memoir, part literary guide, it was hard to definie but fun to read and I really recommend this if your are looking for a little break from fiction! 

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