Pretending to Read

An article in today’s New York Times on Louis Bayard’s How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read?, a best-seller in France that’s coming our way. Bayard says that his book is a satire, not meant to be taken seriously, though grounded in the truth that it is possible to fake your way through a conversation about literature without having read the book(s) being discussed.

But Mr. Bayard’s most daring suggestion is that nonreaders should talk about themselves, using the pretext of the book without dwelling on its contents. In this way, he said, they are forced to tap their imagination and, in effect, invent their own book.

“To be able to talk with finesse about something one does not know is worth more than the universe of books,” he writes.

Sounds a bit familiar, uncomfortably so. I would like this blog to be about the books I’ve read, not about me, but when I’m not feeling particularly inspired it’s easy to use the book I’m blogging on as platform to talk about Moi. I’m going to be curbing that tendency as much as possible.

This morning’s work read was an AWESOME horse story, a genre that was a favorite of mine growing up. In honor of this book, coming out next year some time, here is a list of horse books. Feel free to add the ones I’ve missed!

Black Beauty (Children’s Classics)
The Black Stallion
Misty of Chincoteague
My Friend Flicka

2 thoughts on “Pretending to Read”

  1. What an interesting find! I’d be curious to know how one speaks about a book one hasn’t read, but it would leave me feeling a bit phoney for doing so 🙂

    I’m like you in that I don’t usually talk about myself on the blog. However, I have read posts where the author has woven personal experiences into her/his review and I found myself enjoying it!

    Love your blog name, btw! 🙂

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