Reading about reading—be it the contents of a book, a novel’s history, or our own engagement with the reading process—is both work and pleasure for the librarians charged with collection development and readers’ advisory (RA) services. Here are five titles that offer such librarians a delightful busman’s holiday.
- Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature by Betsy Bird & others (Candlewick).
Three experts in children’s literature, all well-known bloggers, share backstories, anecdotes, and insider gossip about the stories kids love to read.
- The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce’s Ulysses by Kevin Birmingham (Penguin Pr.).
Now recognized as one of the most important novels of its period, Joyce’s 20th-century masterpiece caused a firestorm and triggered a landmark obscenity case when a group of committed advocates sought its publication in the United States.
- The Annotated Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë; ed. by Janet Gezari (Belknap: Harvard Univ., Sept.).
In September, the sublime pleasures of Belknap’s annotated editions expand to Brontë’s angst-filled gothic classic. Once you’ve read the novel, the next best thing is to sink into the annotated version and get caught up in its images, references, and explanations.
- What We See When We Read by Peter Mendelsund (Vintage).
A highly regarded book designer offers a visually stunning and delightful exploration of the process of reading, one rich in illustrations and full of evocative questions.
- The Pleasures of Reading: A Booklover’s Alphabet by Catherine Sheldrick Ross (Libraries Unlimited).
A noted expert in RA services and the history of the relationship between text and reader offers a fascinating A–Z compilation of essays addressing how and why we select and enjoy books.