You Are What You Read

Reviews of books as I read them. This is basically a (web)log of books I've read.

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Location: Lawrenceville, Georgia, United States

I am a DBA/database analyst by day, full time father on evenings and weekends.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

How to Read and Why

How to Read and Why is by Harold Bloom, the noted literary critic. It's an interesting survey of world literature.

Bloom covers short stories, novels, poems, plays, and another set of more modern novels. Blooms comments are insightful, and I was left wanting more. He provides overviews of masterpieces, like Don Quixote, Paradise Lost, Hamlet, Crime and Punishment, and Blood Meridian. Most I was not familiar with some of these, so was happy to get descriptions and analyses. Bloom describes each work's comment on the human condition.

I was less pleased with his comments on WHY to read. He basically says we read because we cannot know enough people well enough, so reading provides more knowledge to fill the gaps. He says, and I agree, that reading is a solitary, selfish road to improving oneself. However, I would argue that self-improvement is not only noble, but has a broader good for society.

I'll rate it a B+. I would recommend it only for someone interested in literature and who wants to gain insight into the great works of the world.


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