A Reading Diary by Alberto Manguel
A Passionate Reader's Reflections on a Year of Books

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Synopsis

While traveling in Calgary, Alberto Manguel was struck by how the novel he was reading (Goethe's Elective Affinities) seemed to reflect the social chaos of the world he was living in. An article in the daily paper would be suddenly illuminated by a passage in the novel; a long reflection would be prompted by a single word. He decided to keep a record of these moments, rereading a book a month, and forming A Reading Diary: a volume of notes, reflections, impressions of travel, of friends, of events public and private, all ellicited by his reading.

From Don Quixote (August) to The Island of Dr. Moreau (February) to Kim (April), Manguel leads us on an enthralling adventure in literature and life, and demonstrates how, for the passionate reader, one is utterly inextricable from the other.
 

About Alberto Manguel

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Alberto Manguel is the author of "A History of Reading" and (with Gianni Guadalupi) of "The Dictionary of Imaginery Places". His novel "News from a Foreign Country Came" won the McKitterick prize in 1992.
 
Published January 1, 2004 by Knopf Canada. 224 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

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Rather, each chapter is a freestanding essay that takes up topics in the history of reading: the way reading has been taught and learned, how people read in public and in private, bookish means of divining the future, the idea of reading as a metaphor, the relation of that which is heard to that ...

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Like many journals, this intermingles the profound with the trite and presents at least one grand irony: Manguel declares early that he doesn’t like people to sum up books for him, then spends the rest of his text practicing that very sin.

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Writer and critic Manguel's (Reading Pictures ) elegantly elliptical and wryly contemporary diary of cities revisited and books reread during 2002 and 2003 op

Jun 28 2004 | Read Full Review of A Reading Diary: A Passionate...

Publishers Weekly

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Manguel attests to reading's power to transform while tracing its 4000-year history.

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Born and raised in Argentina, Manguel--who currently resides in Canada--is at his sharpest and most original in his Argentine-themed essays: a piece on Borges's amorous adventures draws on Manguel's schoolboy memories of reading aloud to the blind writer;

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Reading, Manguel asserts in this encyclopedic and self-indulgent exploration, has such ""a particular quality of privacy"" that one ""can transform a place by reading in it."" An erudite yet entertaining conversation with the reader, Manguel's History ranges over languages and literatures from pr...

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Writer and critic Manguel's (Reading Pictures ) elegantly elliptical and wryly contemporary diary of cities revisited and books reread during 2002 and 2003 opens with a journey he undertakes to his birthplace, Buenos Aires, just after Argentina's economic crisis in December 2001.

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