Scott's Reviews > Readings: Essays and Literary Entertainments

Readings by Michael Dirda
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's review
Oct 30, 09

bookshelves: 2000s, books
Read in October, 2009

I checked Dirda's essays from the library at 8:00 pm, started reading them at 9:00, and didn't close the book again until 5:40 the next morning just as the sun was coming up out of the ocean. The essays are so short, it's easy to convince yourself to read just one more. And they're hilarious, and sentimental, and nostalgic, and informative, and preachy, and ego-centric, and most of all enthusiastic about reading and books and book collecting and writing and drawing pleasure from the printed word.

My two favorite essays were "Comedy Tonight," little more than a bare list of 100 funny novels written during the 20th century, almost none of which I've read, or even heard of. And "The One and the Many," which questions why we read and what it means to have read a book. But really almost all of the essays are a mine of useful recommendations. I filled five pages of my little moleskin notebook with authors and titles to research and read.

If you're feeling a little weary of your current reads or blasé about reading in general, dip into this lighthearted but rewarding anthology and recharge your batteries.
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