One for the Books
By Joe Queenan
(Viking Adult, Hardcover, 9780670025824, 256pp.)
Publication Date: October 25, 2012
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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One of America’s leading humorists and author of the bestseller Closing Time examines his own obsession with books
Joe Queenan became a voracious reader as a means of escape from a joyless childhood in a Philadelphia housing project. In the years since then he has dedicated himself to an assortment of idiosyncratic reading challenges: spending a year reading only short books, spending a year reading books he always suspected he would hate, spending a year reading books he picked with his eyes closed.
In One for the Books, Queenan tries to come to terms with his own eccentric reading style—how many more books will he have time to read in his lifetime? Why does he refuse to read books hailed by reviewers as “astonishing”? Why does he refuse to lend out books? Will he ever buy an e-book? Why does he habitually read thirty to forty books simultaneously? Why are there so many people to whom the above questions do not even matter—and what do they read? Acerbically funny yet passionate and oddly affectionate, One for the Books is a reading experience that true book lovers will find unforgettable.
Joe Queenan has been a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, GQ, and Spy. He has written for Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Playboy, Golf Digest, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and The New Republic, and contributes to The New York Times, and The Guardian. He has appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, Good Morning America, Today, and The Daily Show. His books include The New York Times bestseller and Notable Book Closing Time: A Memoir.
Joe Queenan reads so many books, it's amazing that he can also find time to write them. Queenan estimates he's read between 6,000 and 7,000 books total, at a rate of about 125 books a year. His latest work, One for the Books, is all about what he reads and why. More at NPR.org
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"[Queenan's] passion for reading is infectious ... It’s so rare to hear such a heartfelt defense of books — it’s one of the most original works we read this year."
~New York Daily News (Best books of 2012)
"A celebration of literature, reading and the call of books from a stylish humorist who has a soft spot for Georges Simenon and a hard time with trendiness and 'astonishing' reviews."
~Kansas City Star (Top 100 books of 2012)
"A passionate, at times hilarious, account of a life spent reading and rereading."
~Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Queenan's goal isn't just to declare his love for books and to list particular books that he loves, but to suss out the customs of book lovers: to analyze what books mean to his friends and acquaintances (not to mention a few enemies), and how books forge or destroy friendships."
~Leah Price, San Francisco Chronicle