cover image One for the Books

One for the Books

Joe Queenan. Viking, $24.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-670-02582-4

Humorist Queenan’s (Closing Time: A Memoir) mordantly funny reflections on his relationships with books will resonate with many avid readers, particularly those burdened by guilt over the number of Great Books they never managed to complete. Many pages display his brilliant wit: “I do not listen to audiobooks, for the same reason that I do not listen to baked ziti; it lacks the personal touch.” But woven around these one-liners are thoughtful musings on the importance of books in the author’s life, including touching anecdotes about projects such as his effort to check out library books that no one has borrowed for five years in order to save the books from disposal. Among the book’s highlights is Queenan’s deft savaging of the sometimes banal “Questions for Discussion” that appear in the reading guides included in books. (Oct.)