If civilized people are expected to have read all important works of literature, and thousands more books are published every year, what are we supposed to do in those awkward social situations in which we're forced to talk about books we haven't read? In this delightfully witty, provocative book, a huge hit in France that has drawn huge attention from critics around the world, literature professor and psychoanalyst Bayard argues that it's actually more important to know a book's role in our collective library than its details. Using examples from such writers as Graham Greene, Oscar Wilde, Montaigne, and Umberto Eco, and even the movie Groundhog Day, he describes the many varieties of non-reading and the horribly sticky social situations that might confront us, and then offers his advice on what to do. Practical, funny, and thought-provoking, How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read is in the end a love letter to books, offering a whole new perspective on how we read and absorb them. It's the book that readers everywhere will be talking about-and despite themselves, reading-this holiday season.
Check out these articles about the French edition of How to Talk about Books you Haven't Read:
New York Times - 'Read It? No, but You Can Skim a Few Pages and Fake It' by Alan Riding
(also published in the International Herald Tribune)
Chronicle of Higher Education - 'Huckleberry Who? by Lennard J. Davis
Times Online (UK edition) - 'Viewpoint' by Sarah Vine
The Harvard Crimson - 'You've Read 'Gravity's Rainbow'? Bullshit'm by Madeline K. B. Ross
Broad Street Review - 'The only book you'll ever need' by Leonard Boasberg