A friend asks whether a book I’m reading is any good. I try to explain Martin Eden – a man (he is also muscly and has experienced a few gang fights) struggles to overcome his ignorance, wash the laundry, beat down jealous boyfriends, get the girl, and make a living as a writer. My friend is nonplussed, and I’m irritated I haven’t done justice to Jack London.  It could be worse – try explaining why a self help book is so good without sounding like a bad TED talk.

Hoping to understand why a good book is good, I use this blog to summarize the reading I have done. I read whatever takes my fancy but when the need for more structure strikes, I take up the book recommendations in Susan Wise Bauer’s The Well Educated Mind. If you’ve read a book that I’ve read, do leave a comment. I would love to hear from you!

And that is why there is all the difference in the world between the demanding and the undemanding reader. The latter asks no questions — and gets no answers.

Mortimer Adler

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