Dave's Reviews > Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting and Living with Books

Browsings by Michael Dirda
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really liked it

I first read Michael Dirda when I was living near DC and commuting every day on the train, thinking that I was the only person alive who was reading Somerset Maugham's Cosmopolitans or the mysteries of Margery Allingham. Dirda's Washington Post column made me believe that there might be at least one other person (other than my brother or selected friends) who wanted to read what I wanted to read. He introduced me to Terry Pratchett and gave me a hundred other writers to explore. And made me feel less lonely. I am so grateful to him.

This book isn't perfect: Dirda's breezy, chipper written persona can get wearying reading little essay after essay in a row (which I think he understands). A couple of the essays about less literary subjects--a bad trip to the Rockies, school shootings--come off whiny and flat. And I feel that the serious (which he is perfectly capable of discussing) gets lost in his joy in rediscovering the obscure and forgotten adventure books he loves. But who can resist joy? I now have a dozen new possibilities to explore, and I still get a rush and a comfort when he recommends a title that I thought only I cared about. Thanks again, Michael.

P.S. I love this so much: "It's certainly not as though I need any more books. Just yesterday I was up in the attic creating neat stacks of those I would like to read Right Now." Story of my life.

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Reading Progress

August 12, 2015 – Started Reading
August 12, 2015 – Shelved
August 19, 2015 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by Julie (new) - added it

Julie Ehlers Story of my life too! I have great memories of reading Dirda when I lived in Williamsburg, VA, where the Post was the go-to paper. I read the Post Book World every Sunday. I really liked his memoir An Open Book. I'll have to check out his others. Great review!

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