New Review Category: Books for the Curious Reader
Books for whom? The curious reader. Those readers who might find a single book an invitation to further reading adventures. A book that might send a reader off in a dozen different directions, in directions she had no idea the first book would take her.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece called What’s Not to Love about Collecting and Reading Books? One book I read ended up leading me to at least four other surprisingly related books I found myself needing to either browse through or actually read. And all the other books were of different genres than the book I began with. Reading the first book was, indeed, an adventure.
I talked with others about this idea of reviewing books that might be an adventure for curious readers. I could list such books under Book Reviews on our Home Page. Interesting idea thought some, but doesn’t my premise, based on the earlier blog piece, rely on the curious reader also being a collector of books? Point well taken. But in many cases, having an iPad or its equivalent can take the place of a book collection. It was also pointed out that most people do not have the time to meander their way through one book that leads to another and another and even others. That, too, is true, but . . .
Popular fiction, thrillers that have you chewing your nails, mysteries to keep you guessing, or love stories that have you holding your breath or your Kleenex, do not encourage a meandering reading pace. Even though they may be exciting, satisfying, thoughtful, even enlightening, but mostly they are read from beginning to end, not enticing a reader to pause; to maybe check out something the story reminds them of, or characters in a novel or events in a nonfiction book remembered as something very different from what they are reading.
Since writing the aforementioned blog, I have read two books that fit this category. One is The Archivist by Cooley which sent me in search of Eliot’s Four Quartets, information about wives committed to insane asylums, and a biography of poor Vivienne Eliot. The other book is Travels with a Donkey by RLS which led to French maps, French pronunciation, French Protestants, and the ever-oppressive French Catholics. So, dear readers, since it’s my website, I’m introducing Books for the Curious Reader. You will now find that category under Book Reviews and tags. If you are a reader with the time, the will, and a curious spirit, I hope these selections will please you. – Sunny Solomon