B-Side Books: Essays on Forgotten Favorites


Product Details

Columbia University Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.5 X 0.75 inches | 0.95 pounds
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About the Author

John Plotz is Barbara Mandel Professor of Humanities at Brandeis University. His books include Semi-Detached: The Aesthetics of Virtual Experience Since Dickens (2017) and the illustrated children's book Time and the Tapestry: A William Morris Adventure (2014). He is the editor of the B-Sides series on Public Books and the cohost of the podcasts Recall This Book and Novel Dialogue.


Whether identifying 'the perfect anti-Western, ' an Iranian comic novel from the 1970s or the cheerful account of a Japanese grandmother's fitful Buddhist practice, these wide-ranging essays are a prod to pursue the world's sometimes hard-to-find novels, novellas and memoirs.--Washington Post
Erudite and appreciative essays on what and why to read.--Kirkus Reviews
These diverse, passionate, and persuasive essays are a rare gift--a form of exhilarating literary conversation with brilliant readers. B-Side Books introduces forgotten gems by beloved authors and undiscovered marvels by unfamiliar authors, in joyful celebration of books that the writers secretly adore.--Claire Messud, author of The Emperor's Children
B-Side Books is a book about the pleasures of reading that is a pleasure to read. It is motley and varied and tonally wide-ranging in all the best ways.--Briallen Hopper, author of Hard to Love: Essays and Confessions
Personal, conversational, and enthusiastic, the writers in this collection come not as critics but as readers fired up by the books they love and who want to pass on these experiences.--Colm Tóibín, author of Brooklyn: A Novel
Italo Calvino suggests we all have our classics, whatever the canon says. Many of us also cherish books that are an essential part of any world we can imagine or remember. This volume gathers a wonderful set of such books and offers intimate essays about them: treasures upon treasures.--Michael Wood, author of The Habits of Distraction
[A] smart and fun collection . . . more than being just a collection of 'what to read next' suggestions, the pieces easily convey a sense of how powerful reading can be. Book lovers are in for a treat.--Publishers Weekly, starred review
This slim volume is the ideal antidote to something like Harold Bloom's The Western Canon and the other beefy works that lay out The Official Reading List For All Educated Persons . . . B-Side Books is a helpful and thoroughly enjoyable curated guide, perfect for quick bedside consumption. The volume will keep your reading list full for years to come, or it can simply serve as a reminder to be grateful for literature's fertile nooks and crannies.--The Arts Fuse