For the Sake of Reading | Wyatt’s World

Just as the new school year gets underway, acclaimed author and Princeton University professor John McPhee publishes his latest title on writing nonfiction, Draft No. 4. Use both occasions to gather the most recent wave of books about books into a display highlighting the pure pleasures of reading.

  • From Holmes to Sherlock: The Story of the Men and Women Who Created an Icon by Mattias Boström; tr. from Swedish by Michael Gallagher (Mysterious).
    How did Arthur Conan Doyle come to invent the fictional character Sherlock Holmes, and how did the famous sleuth survive and thrive into the 21st century? This cultural history traces the influence and iterations of the renowned detective from his origins in the 1880s to today, detailing legal battles, obsessive fans, screen adaptations, and more.
  • I’d Rather Be Reading: A Library of Art for Book Lovers by Guinevere De La Mare (Chronicle).
    A grown-up picture book for readers, this work offers Pinterest-worthy images celebrating the many gratifications of the written word. Artists include Julia Rothman and Jane Mount, while writers Maura Kelly, Gretchen Rubin, and Ann Patchett contribute the text.
  • Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children’s Literature as an Adult by Bruce Handy (S. & S.).
    The stories of childhood hold special magic for readers, as all who have kept their torn and tattered copies of Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things Are well know. Handy dives deep into this remembered world as he smartly explores a number of iconic titles from multiple perspectives with a loving, appreciative eye.
  • George and Lizzie by Nancy Pearl (Touchstone).
    Librarian Nancy Pearl turns from talking about novels to writing them with her fiction debut concerning marriage, regret, and the lingering lessons of youth. Fellow librarians will delight in the literary references sprinkled into this character-centered novel, highlighting Pearl’s readers’ advisory background. [A September LibraryReads Pick.—Ed.]
  • Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks by Annie Spence (Flatiron: Macmillan).
    In pithy, funny, and smart missives, librarian Spence takes to nonfiction to address the various books in her life, giving them their assigned spaces: those to be weeded, those she can’t read, and plenty of works she feels strongly about. For example, Jeffrey Eugenides’s The Virgin Suicides gets an ode to its brilliance, while Agatha Christie’s “Miss Marple” books receive a shout-out for their ubiquitous readers’ advisory value. [A September LibraryReads Pick.—Ed.]
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Neal Wyatt About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt compiles LJ's online feature Wyatt's World and is the author of The Readers' Advisory Guide to Nonfiction (ALA Editions, 2007). She is a collection development and readers' advisory librarian from Virginia. Those interested in contributing to The Reader's Shelf should contact her directly at

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