The Pleasure of Reading edited by Antonia Fraser
999 Challenge Category: Books about Books
For the bicentenary of the publishing house W. H. Smith, forty writers of the English language talk about their early experiences reading, what reading they do now, and (if possible - not everyone did) their ten favorite books. Many authors -- such as Catherine Cookson, Doris Lessing, A.S. Byatt, and Margaret Atwood -- were names I recognized, though the only author I have read to date is Ruth Rendell. Keeping in mind that the book was published over 15 years ago, however, it's quite an impressive list.
I loved reading the variety of experiences each author had with reading and books. In particular, I loved seeing the same books or author mentioned (like Enid Blyton or The Biggles), but with very different responses. Also, the various approaches to "top ten" (in order, alphabetically, with a few more titles thrown in) were fun. I kept wanting to write my own essay or agonize over a top ten list or talk back to the authors that had a particularly nice point. An absolute pleasure to read; my only regret is that I don't own it. 5 stars.
Cross posted at the 999 Challenge.