The Year of Reading Dangerously

The Year of Reading Dangerously

How Fifty Great Books (and Two Not-so-great Ones) Saved My Life

Book - 2014
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"An editor and writer's vivaciously entertaining, and often moving, chronicle of his year-long adventure with fifty great books (and two not-so-great ones)-- a true story about reading that reminds us why we should all make time in our lives for books. Nearing his fortieth birthday, author and critic Andy Miller realized he's not nearly as well read as he'd like to be. A devout book lover who somehow fell out of the habit of reading, he began to ponder the power of books to change an individual life-- including his own-- and to the define the sort of person he would like to be. Beginning with a copy of Bulgakov's Master and Margarita that he happens to find one day in a bookstore, he embarks on a literary odyssey of mindful reading and wry introspection. From Middlemarch to Anna Karenina to A Confederacy of Dunces, these are books Miller felt he should read; books he'd always wanted to read; books he'd previously started but hadn't finished; and books he'd lied about having read to impress people.Combining memoir and literary criticism, The Year of Reading Dangerously is Miller's heartfelt, humorous, and honest examination of what it means to be a reader. Passionately believing that books deserve to be read, enjoyed, and debated in the real world, Miller documents his reading experiences and how they resonated in his daily life and ultimately his very sense of self. The result is a witty and insightful journey of discovery and soul-searching that celebrates the abiding miracle of the book and the power of reading"--
"A vivaciously witty and entertaining chronicle of one man's quest to better himself by reading fifty great books (and two not-so-great ones), The Year of Reading Dangerously--the grown-up version of a grade-schooler's reading journal--reminds us why we should all make time in our lives for books"--
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper Perennial, [2014]
Edition: First U.S. edition
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780061446184
Branch Call Number: 028.90941 M6123M 2014
Characteristics: 338 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm


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Oct 02, 2018

I'm actually astounded at the harsh ratings on this book. I almost bumped my rating to five stars just because I felt the current ratings were unfair, but then I thought Andy Miller would probably not appreciate a pity rating, so I kept my original 4.5.
Is this a five-star, change-the-world book? No. Is this a great book? Yes.
Now, to be fair, I do understand where the main issue I see others saying comes from. The author can come across as arrogant at times. He has a pretty lofty opinion of his own opinion of books. However, I thought that Miller owned that fact bluntly and addressed it as a flaw. He makes multiple observations about himself and others with that sort of uppity outlook and bashes the lot with a great deal of criticism and humor. The whole book is him getting off his high horse of spouting about books and getting down to actually reading books. And I related hard with this idea. I think anyone who loves books should take a moment to look at their shelves and ask themselves how many of those books they have actually read. If you have honestly read the majority, I think you are in the minority.
And this book addressed that. It's a charming memoir chuck full of rants about books. And what book lover doesn't LOVE to rant about books? I also happen to love listening to and reading such rants, so this was just my cup of tea. I had also only heard of half the books on Miller's list, so this provided me with a bunch of new titles I'm now interested in reading, and even better, this book gave me a book-long pep talk about why and how I should actually READ them.
So that's where I stand: 4.5/5, because this is a charming read with solid material for laughs and thought.

Mar 24, 2017

This author is completely horrid.
Think a pompous stuffed shirt who is convinced that he is the ultimate personage on the authority of books, and he dared to "read dangerously" because...I'm actually at a lost as to why this title was chosen. Perhaps because "Arrogant self-aware bookseller reads 50 books and talks down to the readers about them" is too long and wordy, though more true.
There was also the thing of footnotes, on every page. I get wanting to explain something that might seem complicated to "those who might not understand" but to have them on every page where they serve no purpose except to continue a part of his thought process? (You are not using them correctly dude)
If you can't tell, I really had a hard time with this book. If you like it, cheers, but it's so not for me.

Dec 06, 2016

Sorry: not for me.

hgeng63 Feb 17, 2015

Not one for the ages. Could have been cut by 1/3. The subject matter of the bk is more lovable than Miller's handling of it.


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