Jacob’s Room is Full of Books
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Mr B's review
Susan Hill invites us to perch on her shoulder through a very personal year of reading experiences. To join her is to be reminded of books we’ve loved and be introduced to books we really should read. Hill’s observations of her reading places and her accounts of the serendipitous way she settles on a given book, make us focus anew on the cathartic pleasure of the process of settling down for a read and the endless seams of reading that await our attention.
When we spend so much of our time immersed in books, who’s to say where reading ends and living begins? The two are impossibly and gloriously wedded, as Hill shows in Jacob’s Room Is Full of Books.
Considering everything from Edith Wharton’s novels through to Alan Bennett’s diaries, Virginia Woolf and the writings of twelfth century monk Aelred of Rievaulx, Susan Hill charts a year of her life through the books she has read, reread or returned to the shelf. From beneath a shady tree in a hot French summer, or the warmth of a kitchen during an English winter, Hill reflects on what her reading throws up, from writing and writers to politics and religion, as well as the joy of dandies or the pleasure of watching a line of geese cross a meadow.
Full of wry observations and warm humour, as well as strong opinions freely aired, this is a rare and wonderful insight into the rich world of reading from one of the nation’s most accomplished authors.
Praise for Howards End is on the Landing:
‘Totally beguiling, utterly persuasive’ * The Times * A passionate reminder of the importance of reading and a revealing glimpse of a writer’s life * Observer * Fascinating sketches of literary and artistic figures … an eloquent advocate [for] the virtues of wide-ranging, deeply felt and considered reading * Daily Telegraph * Delightful… an idiosyncratic commingling of fiction, non-fiction and poetry…Hill has a voracious and varied appetite and her taste, with a few exceptions, is impeccable * New Statesman *
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