Howards End is on the Landing – Susan Hill


I picked this book up from here while looking for a Christmas present for my Sister in Law (I don’t think I did very well on the christmas present).

Early one autumn afternoon in pursuit of an elusive book on my shelves, I encountered dozens of others that I had never read, or forgotten I owned, or wanted to read for a second time. The discovery inspired me to embark on a year-long voyage through my books, forsaking new purchases in order to get to know my own collection again. A book which is left on a shelf for a decade is a dead thing, but it is also a chrysalis, packed with the potential to burst into new life. Wandering through her house that day, my eyes were opened to how much of that life was stored in my home, neglected for years. Howard’s End is on the Landing charts the journey as I revisit the conversations, libraries and bookshelves of the past that have informed a lifetime of reading and writing.

It’s written in a conversational style and Ms Hill has charming anecdotes about authors she has met. She writes about what was happening in her life when she read certain books and what she thinks of them (and the author’s technique and style). This is definitely a book for readers and it makes me want to take a journey through my own book shelves – I know there is a heap of books I haven’t read and others that I didn’t read properly the first time.

As an Australian and an Austen fan, I should be outraged (she dismisses both Canadian and Australian literature – how can anyone discard Margaret Atwood? and ‘doesn’t get’ Austen) but really it didn’t matter. It made me think about reading and being a reader and what they means.

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Filed under Non-Fiction, Recommended

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