Jessica Severson's Reviews > If on a Winter's Night a Traveler

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino
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Jan 09, 11

bookshelves: cambridge-classic-book-club, best-of-2011
Read from January 01 to 08, 2011

I think the time has come for my very first 5-star review. It's going to take a few years and at least one more reading until this book cracks my Top 5 list but it very easily could. It is definitely now on my list of Desert Island books because I think I could amuse myself with it for ages.

This is a book about reading, so obviously I had a bias towards it. But it's also plot-less and meandering and philosophical, things that often rub me the wrong way. It denies the reader the primary pleasure of reading: finding out what happens. And it does it over and over and over again.

Tonight we discuss this in book club and apparently many people have dropped out of the meeting because they found the book off-putting. But I found myself constantly surprised even after I settled into its main conceit.

It is the kind of book where you want to read parts of it to whoever is sitting next to you. I had never heard of Calvino before and I don't know if I ever would have found this book elsewhere, but I'm so glad I did.
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Reading Progress

01/04/2011 page 140
54.0% "This book is amazing. But I can't read for more than a chapter or two without getting myself dizzy. Must finish by book club on Sunday, which should be do-able."
01/07/2011 page 210
81.0% "Ha! Progress! I shall defeat you by Sunday, Calvino. Not sure if my sanity will be intact, though."

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