Friday, October 7, 2016

A book where a bunch of authors talk about books
The Book that Made Me, Edited by Judith Ridge
I knew when I requested this it would grow my "To Read" list.  I requested it anyway.  These are personal stories I considered worth reading.  And I was right about most of them.  A few I found less interesting -- but that's inevitable with such a cross-section of authors.  Also:
  • The length for each chapter / story was excellent.  It made it easy to read.  (They're short.  Some very short.)
  • I really appreciate the list of referenced works at the back.  I would have felt highly put-out if this was not included.
  • I've never read such a Tasman-centric collection of work.  Not only were these New Zealand and Australia voices, they were referencing New Zealand and Australia works in amongst the Lewis, Tolkien and Dahl (and so many others). I liked that.  It made me aware of how few of these authors I knew well, but I like that it expanded my realm of consideration and thought.  I was impressed to find such a diverse inclusion of writers too, including aborigine voices.
  • The most affecting stories for me, were those that focused on a singular work that defined them in some way.  Although I'm sure each author included owes a great deal to more than any one work, committing to commentary on how only one shaped them made for better stories.  The authors who devolved into scatter-shot lists didn't achieve the same impact for me.
  • I loved finding homage paid to Anne of Green Gables, and I found the notes made about her as a character very well-done.
  • It was sweet to find one author attributing inspiration taken from another author included within the same volume.
  • One author's comments on Hatchet were particularly amusing (and understandable) for me.
  • I appreciated how successfully a few of the authors awakened nostalgia for the books of my childhood era; that was a nice by-product of the reading experience.
Bonus: All proceeds from the sale of this book go to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

Review copy received from Walker.

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