John's Reviews > Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks

Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Annie Spence
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Books about books are a perennial favorite with me, and so I clutched this happily as a special treat to be read in the "dead week" between Christmas and New Year. In many ways my eager anticipation was rewarded.

Approaching three-quarters of the book is made up of short essays, done in the form of love letters (or sometimes "Dear John" letters) to over fifty individual books; Spence breaks her own template a few times, as when she addresses a category of books or a series, but that's the general pattern. Her judgments are pretty sharp, at least to go by those she expresses on books that I've read. The latter part of the book contains a bunch of what are in effect group reviews, again written very informally, putting together, say, "Books about Librarians" (in which you can find reference to Murder of a Stacked Librarian, for which I instantly if nervously placed an order . . . at the library, of course) or "Books that Lead to More Books."

I laughed aloud quite frequently, and I took quite a few notes of books that I haven't read but now want to. My only real criticism of Dear Fahrenheit 451 is that after a while I began to feel its auctorial voice (to be pompous) was just a tad wearisome. I get the impression that Spence must be tremendously good, vivacious company in real life, but here I found myself wanting to ask her to back off on the ol' personality a bit. I'm sure that for others the exuberance will have been a primary reason they enjoyed the book so much; for curmudgeonly moi it became, as I say, a little tiring.

Hm. Perhaps I shouldn't have binge-read the book. Looking back on it, I can see how it'd merit an "ideal for dipping into" description. Well, I didn't dip: I dove.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 2, 2018 – Finished Reading
January 4, 2018 – Shelved

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