From the author of the international bestseller The End of Your Life Book Club, an inspiring and magical exploration of the enduring power of books - a must for all passionate book lovers, exploring books as diverse as The Girl on the Train, The Little Prince and David Copperfield.
'I've always believed that everything you need to know can be found in a book.' Will Schwalbe
Why is it that we read? Is it to pass time? To learn something new? To escape into another reality?
For Will Schwalbe, reading is a way to entertain himself but also to make sense of the world, to become a better person, and to find the answers to the big (and small) questions about how to live his life. In this delightful celebration of reading, Schwalbe invites us along on his quest for books that speak to the specific challenges of living in our modern world, with all its noise and distractions.
Rich with stories and recommendations, Books for Living is a treasure for everyone who loves books and loves to hear the answer to the question: "What are you reading?"
The right book at the right time can change your life, Schwalbe (The End of Your Life Book Club) argues as he distills a lifetime of reading recommendations down to this personal list of books for many moods and occasions. The first book that Schwalbe recommends is Lin Yutang's The Importance of Living, an interesting work of practical philosophy that Schwalbe returns to over and over. Schwalbe also includes essays on children's books, YA, classics, and recent book such as A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara's 2015 novel. He uses these brief essays as springboards into other topics, such as worry over our Orwellian addiction to smartphones, the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, and why napping should be deemed a human right. His experience taking a class in ancient Greek and reading The Odyssey turns into a memoir about a teacher who inspired him. When he reflects on Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin, he thinks of the high school librarian who subtly provided him with books by gay writers. Schwalbe's tremendous experience with reading and his stellar taste make for a fine guide to the varied and idiosyncratic list of books for which he advocates. By the end of the book, all serious readers will have added some titles to their to-read lists.