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Book Smart: Your Essential Reading List for Becoming a Literary Genius in 365 Days
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Book Smart: Your Essential Reading List for Becoming a Literary Genius in 365 Days

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  84 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Jane Mallison presents a series of tips to help readers become better acquainted with literature and literary figures. This text also features 'Book Smart Recommended Reading', sidebars that lead readers to similar books and authors.
Paperback, 294 pages
Published October 19th 2007 by McGraw-Hill (first published October 4th 2007)
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Annie
Book Smart: Your Essential Reading List for Becoming a Literary Genius in 365 Days. How could I resist that title? Author Jane Mallison categorizes 120 books into the 12 months of the year, each with its own theme, and 10 books in each month. January is “Because They Are There: Towering Works to Read in Translation” and includes such old standards as Don Quixote, Dante’s Inferno, Homer’s The Odyssey, etc.

Other months include: “Growing Up: The Pains and the Pleasures” which includes some of my f...more
Bonnie
This is nothing more than a bound copy of any 1001/BBC Book List you can find on the internet, free. If you're still interested, definitely pick this up from your library.

'...each book comes alive with historical notes, highlights on key themes and characters, and advice on how to approach reading.'

Yeah, not exactly. The book contains nothing more than glorified blurbs and personal opinions of the books by the author. Advice on how to approach reading isn't done on books individually but instead...more
Jennifer Patrick
Why I think I need more titles to add to my ponderous list of TBR is beyond me bu tI can't help but pick up books like this. I think I love a list almost as much as I love reading. I did glean a few titles from the author's selection but it was mostly the same old tired junk I've either read and been completely unimpressed - The Great Gatsby is not great and I wish everyone would realize that.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Ah, what to read, what to read? I'm always in search of books suggesting good books to read, so I was happy to see this book.

Author Jane Mallison proposes a list of ten books a month, with each month having a common theme. Themes include award winners, the human condition, biographies.

I was encouraged to think Mallison might be a kindred reader by noting that many of her recommended reads are books I've already read and loved, such as A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, In Cold Blood, Animal Farm, and Fa...more
Dani
I flipped through this book and sent it back to the library once I realized that it wasn't what I expected. It's my fault for not reading the subtitle more carefully :-). I thought this was a study guide that would help me understand the classics that I would be reading throughout the year. It is really just a list of suggestions and story synopses like a smaller version of "1001 Books to Read Before You Die".
Jane
This is a good book for the less motivated reader. Or if you are at a loss of what to read next. Or you want to round out your educated reading list.

Great quote!

There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.
-Joseph Brodsky
Melinda
Interesting thematic grouping of literary (mostly) fiction. I love reading books about books, and found some new titles to add to my lifetime reading list. Worth a look-see even if you're only browsing.
Julie (julie37619)
I love books about books, what can I say?
Shonna Froebel
Besides being an avid reader, the author here was the department head of English at New York's Trinity School for more than two decades. Her list is set up by month. Each month has a theme and 10 books that fit that theme. She suggests you read the information she provides about the books and pick one to read that month (not too onerous) or pick a topic that interests you and read all ten (leaving two extra from other topics). The books are thoughtfully chosen and cover both classics and more re...more
Debnance
Ah, what to read, what to read? I’m always in search of books suggesting good books to read, so I was happy to see this book.

Author Jane Mallison proposes a list of ten books a month, with each month having a common theme. Themes include award winners, the human condition, biographies.

I was encouraged to think Mallison might be a kindred reader by noting that many of her recommended reads are books I’ve already read and loved, such as A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, In Cold Blood, Animal Farm, and Fam...more
Deb Cutler
This book has prompted me to really think about what books I would include in a list of this nature and what books my friends would add. I am also starting a list of these books.
Joanna
There are some really great works cited in this book, and it was nice to revisit them in a quiet and gentle way. Many I feel I ought to reread. There are also some works that I really have no interest in reading, which makes me feel vaguely guilty and under-appreciative. In any case, I skimmed through most all of this and added a bunch of "read" books from my college days (yay!) and a handful of "to read" books as well.
Lorna
I do like books about books. I doubt I'll ever be a literary genius though because I probably won't read many of the books listed in this book. I did enjoy the many thoughts concerning reading though, such as: "We read to know that we are not alone." - C.S. Lewis
Krob
I just like books about books, and this is a good one with suggested titles for every month of the year. I have gotten a few good suggestions of books to read that I never would have picked out on my own.
LynnDee
It definitely gave me more books to add to my "to-read" list, but with some of the synopses of the books, she kind of gave away the endings, which I didn't like.
Cheryl
I am currently using this as a guide to books I might like to read. ;-)
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