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the book i have read essay

6 Paragraphs on ‘A Book I Have Recently Read’

A Book I Have Recently Read: Books are the best resources of people. With which no earthly wealth can be compared. By reading books we can keep our mind healthy and happy. A good book opens the eyes of the human mind as well as expands and develops the knowledge and intellect and helps to light the mind. Many people like to read story books or other kinds of books. Reading books is a good habit. ‘A Book I Have Recently Read’ is an important paragraph for the students. In this post I have presented six paragraphs on ‘A Book I Have Recently Read’.

A Book I Have Recently Read

Reading books is my passion. I have recently read a book named “ Pather Panchali “. It was written by famous writer Bibhutibhusan Bandopadhyay. The novel is about a little village boy named Apu. The main characters of the book are Apu, Durga, Harihar and Sarbajaya. Harihar and Sarbajaya, a rustic couple, spent their days in miserable distress. But they dreamt of a rosy future. Apu and Durga are their children. Durga died a premature death. It was a great shock to the family. One cannot shed tears when one reads about the death of Apu’s dearest sister Durga. The novel gives us a very living picture of the beauty of a remote village in Bengal. The story reminds us of the hardship of the thousands of poor and helpless people of our country. Really it is an immortal creation of Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay.

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I have little time to read books other than school books. But l heard the story of “Ramer Sumati” written by Saratchandra Chattapadhyay from my grandpa. The story charmed me very much. Recently I managed to have a copy of the book which I finished in a single sitting. It is entirely the story of a joint family of rural Bengal. Here are a few principal characters – Ramlal, the hero, Shyamlal, his step-brother and Narayani, the wife of Shyamlal. Apart from them there are Shyamla’s son and Digambari, his mother-in-law. Ramlal lost his mother when he was only two and a half years old. Narayani, the sister-in-law brought him up with all motherly love and affection. Digambari could not tolerate the sweet relationship between the two. Ramlal was very wayward and that was at the root of all problems. The ancestral home was partitioned and Ramlal was separated much to the pain of Narayani. The author’s portrayal of the characters of Ramlal and Narayani is simply unique. Details of the book cannot be given in this short span. But everybody should go through the book whenever he gets a chance.

Also read : Paragraph on Corona Virus (Covid-19)

I am a genuine book lover. Reading books is my passion. Whenever I get spare time I read story books, novels etc. I am a big fan of cricket as well. My father recently gifted me the autobiography of Sachin Tendulkar “Sachin Tendulkar – Playing It My Way” on my birthday. The book is really very interesting. Sachin Tendulkar is not only a great player but also has become an icon. So a chance to peek into the life of such an icon is always sought after. The chapters describe all the important events of his life. The reader is bound to respect the legend more after going through the book. The book not only brings out Sachin’s passion for cricket but also reveals how caring a father and gentle son he is. I will cherish the experience of reading the book forever and this will be a guide force in my life. I wish to read it once again in future.

  A Book I Have Recently Read

Reading books is my passion. I have recently read William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”. It is the last play of the great playwright, which was written in 1611 at Stafford. Prospero was a learned man. He did not like to rule Milan as merely a Duke. His power was his wisdom. His brother, Antonio, took advantage of this craving for knowledge and conspired to drive him away from Milan with the help of the king of Naples, Alonoso.

Prospero and his daughter eventually took shelter in an alien island. It was a mystic land of which Prospero was little aware. Caliban was an evil spirit which was living in that island. Gradually, Prospero dominated Caliban and became a supreme power by way of his white magic. Dr. Faustus of Marlowe exercised necromancy, but Prospero used his magic for the welfare of the world. Hence his magic was a boon not a bane. His daughter, Miranda, was a lovable and beautiful young lady. Caliban wanted to seduce Miranda, but in vain. At last Ferdinand, the prince of Naples, came to the mysterious land. Miranda was very much appalled to see a beautiful young man for the first time. Seeing Ferdinand, she cried out, “O brave new world.” Later Miranda and Ferdinand fell in love. Prospero wanted to test Ferdinand’s devotion to his daughter. Ferdinand won the mind of Prospero. Using his white magic, Prospero taught everyone including his brother good lessons. Alonso, Antonio and Sebastian realized their misdeed. Gonzalo, who helped Prospero once to escape from his cruel brother, was rewarded.

Finally, everyone was reconciled. Prospero returned to Milan with his daughter and he freed Ariel, the spirit which helped Prospero in fulfilling his desires while living in the alien island. The happy reunion of the play implies the fact that Prospero is a major figure who by way of using his white magic helps everyone reconcile in spite of shortcomings. Honesty and goodness have been rewarded. I felt much aesthetic pleasure while reading the play. Shakespeare’s language, his style, above all, his blending of tragedy and comedy gave to my mind a soothing effect which I cannot forget ever.

Books are our best friends. Even in today’s world of internet and mobile, the importance of books cannot be ignored. I am a genuine book lover. Reading books is my passion. Whenever I get spare time I read story books, novels etc. Recently I have read Bibhutibhushan’s classic novel ‘Chander Pahar’. I loved the book so much that I have lost count of the number of times I flipped through the book even after I had finished reading it.

The book ‘Chander Pahar’ records the adventures of Shankar, the main character of the novel. Shankar, a young bengali boy, faces many adventures in Africa where he goes in connection with his job on the railways. He encounters many ferocious animals like lions, black mamba etc. But the real adventure begins when Shankar accompanies Diago Alverage, a European adventurer, to the Kilimanjaro mountain in search of diamonds. In the course of the events Diago gets killed by a terrible animal called ‘Buniyp’ and Shankar is left all alone in that unknown land of adversity and danger. But he braves it with extraordinary courage and valour.

After a great struggle, he is saved from the desert. Shankar is the embodiment of courage. I love the character very much. I am attracted by Bibhutibhusan Bandyopadhyay’s great narrative skill. He makes the description of African jungles and Shankar’s adventures alive with his narrative skill. Author’s creativity makes Shankar’s character one of the most popular characters of Bengali literature. Whenever I read the novel, I find myself engrossed in it. My mind also travels with Shankar in the land of Africa and feels the adventure. This is why ‘Chander Pahar’ holds such a special place in my mind.

Books are our best friends. Even in today’s world of internet and mobile, the importance of books cannot be ignored. I am a genuine book lover. Reading books is my passion. Whenever I get spare time I read story books, novels etc. Of all the books I have read, I like ‘The Story of My Life’ by Helen Keller the most. The episode centres round the hard struggle of life of Helen Keller. She writes with a natural ease and power, hardly equaled by any other writer of that category.  In this book we see that Helen Keller became blind and deaf after a serious illness in her childhood. However, the day when Miss Sullivan came to her as her teacher was the most memorable day in her life. After a long hard process Helen learnt to read, in raised letters in Braille method . She learnt to write also in a special type of typewriter. In the book ‘The Story of My Life’ an account of the first twenty two years of Helen Keller’s life has been given. During this time she came into contact with many noble and affectionate persons. In her autobiography Helen describes her experiences with so much ease and sincerity in such a lucid style that it cannot but arouse love and wonder for her. But the most striking feature of this book is her strong will and iron determination to cross all the hurdles of a handicapped person in her own life. And therefore, it has the universal appeal to all the readers throughout the world. Everybody should go through the book whenever he gets a chance.

Paragraph on ‘My Hobby”

Paragraph On ‘My Aim In Life’

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8 thoughts on “6 Paragraphs on ‘A Book I Have Recently Read’”

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Mr Greg's English Cloud

Short Essay: My Favourite Book

Writing an essay about your favorite book can be a rewarding experience that not only shares your literary preferences but also opens up the intricate world of your chosen work to others. Whether it’s a timeless classic or a contemporary masterpiece, each book has unique elements that can be explored deeply in a short essay. Here’s a structured guide to help you craft a compelling and insightful essay on your favorite book.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Begin your essay with an engaging introduction that hooks the reader. You might start with a striking quote from the book, a pivotal moment, or a personal anecdote about how you discovered the book. Briefly introduce the book, including the title, author, and a synopsis of the story, setting the stage for your deeper analysis.

The body of your essay should delve into the specific aspects that make this book your favorite. Here’s how to structure this section:

  • Themes:  Discuss the major themes of the book. How do these themes resonate with you or relate to the broader world? This reflection can provide depth to your essay.
  • Characters:  Analyze the main characters and their development throughout the story. What makes these characters memorable or relatable? Share your thoughts on why these characters stand out to you.
  • Plot and Setting:  Describe the plot and setting, and how these elements contribute to the overall impact of the book. Highlight any plot twists or particularly descriptive scenes that have left a lasting impression on you.
  • Personal Connection:  Explain why this book is your favorite. What personal experiences or feelings does it evoke? How has it influenced or changed you? This personal insight can make your essay unique and heartfelt.

Conclude your essay by summarizing the key points discussed. Reflect on the overall impact of the book on your life and how it has shaped your thoughts or beliefs. This is your chance to reinforce why this book holds a special place in your heart and literary collection.

My Favourite Book Essay Example #1

Books have a unique way of transporting the reader to a different world, and for me, “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee is one such book. This novel has been my favourite book for many years now. It explores various themes, including racial injustice, morality, and the loss of innocence. The characters in the novel are complex and well-developed, making it a must-read for anyone who loves literature. In this essay, I will discuss why “To Kill a Mockingbird” is my favourite book, and how it has impacted my life.

One of the most significant themes explored in “To Kill a Mockingbird” is racial injustice. The novel is set in the deep south of the United States during the 1930s, a time when racial segregation was rampant. The story follows the trial of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman. The way the trial is conducted and the verdict that is reached highlights the injustice that was prevalent during that time. Through the character of Atticus Finch, the novel shows the importance of standing up for what is right, even if it means going against societal norms. The theme of racial injustice is still relevant in today’s world, and “To Kill a Mockingbird” serves as a reminder of the need to fight against discrimination and prejudice.

Another theme explored in “To Kill a Mockingbird” is morality. The novel teaches valuable lessons about right and wrong, and the importance of empathy and understanding. Through the character of Atticus Finch, the novel shows the importance of treating everyone with respect and dignity, regardless of their race or social status. The novel also highlights the need for courage and integrity, even in the face of adversity. The moral lessons taught in the novel are essential for everyone, and they have impacted my life greatly.

One of the things that make “To Kill a Mockingbird” such an intriguing read is the complex characters that are well-developed. The character of Scout Finch, the narrator of the story, grows and matures throughout the novel, and her perspectives on life change as she gains more understanding of the world around her. Atticus Finch, Scout’s father, is a complex character who is respected in the community for his honesty and integrity. The novel also explores the character of Boo Radley, who is misunderstood by the community but is ultimately shown to be kind-hearted. The characters in the novel are relatable, and their stories stay with the reader long after the novel has ended.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee is a timeless classic that has impacted many readers around the world. The novel explores themes of racial injustice, morality, and the loss of innocence, and the characters are complex and well-developed. The story teaches valuable lessons about right and wrong, and the importance of empathy and understanding. For me, “To Kill a Mockingbird” is more than just a book; it is a reminder of the need to stand up for what is right, and to treat everyone with respect and dignity.

My Favourite Book Essay Example #2

Reading has always been one of my favorite pastimes, and throughout the years, I have read countless books that have captured my heart and imagination. However, out of all the books I have read, one stands out as my absolute favorite – and that is “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. This book is a timeless classic that has touched the hearts of many, including myself. In this essay, I will be discussing the plot, the characters, and the themes explored in “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The plot of “To Kill a Mockingbird” is centered around the life of a young girl named Scout Finch and her family, who live in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the 1930s. The main conflict of the story arises when Scout’s father, Atticus Finch, a lawyer, is appointed to defend Tom Robinson, a black man who is falsely accused of raping a white woman. Throughout the book, we see how Atticus, Scout, and her brother Jem navigate the racial tensions in their town, and how they fight against the prejudices of their neighbors. The resolution of the story is both heart-warming and heart-wrenching, as we see the consequences of the trial and the impact it has on the Finch family.

The characters in “To Kill a Mockingbird” are some of the most memorable and well-developed characters in all of literature. Scout, the protagonist, is a young girl who is both curious and innocent, and her growth throughout the story is both inspiring and relatable. Jem, her older brother, is a caring and protective sibling who is forced to confront the harsh realities of the world around him. And of course, Atticus Finch, the wise and compassionate lawyer who serves as a moral compass for the entire town. Each character in the book is unique and multi-dimensional, and their interactions with each other create a rich and complex narrative.

The themes explored in “To Kill a Mockingbird” are numerous and thought-provoking. One of the main themes is the exploration of racial inequality and prejudice in the American South during the 1930s. Through the lens of Scout and her family, we see the devastating effects of racism on both the black and white communities in Maycomb. Another important theme is the idea of personal growth and empathy. Throughout the story, we see how Scout and Jem learn to understand and appreciate the perspectives of others, and how their experiences shape their understanding of the world.

In conclusion, “To Kill a Mockingbird” is a book that has stood the test of time and continues to be relevant today. Its powerful themes and memorable characters have captured the hearts and minds of readers for generations, and it remains one of the most influential books in American literature. For me, it is not just a favorite book, but a book that has shaped my understanding of the world and inspired me to be a better person.

My Favourite Book Essay Example #3

Books have always been an integral part of my life. They are a source of knowledge, entertainment, and inspiration. Among the numerous books that I have read, one stands out as my favorite, and that is “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. Published in 1960, this novel has become a classic of modern American literature. It explores themes of racism, justice, and morality through the eyes of a young girl named Scout. In this essay, I will explain why this book is my favorite and why I recommend it to others.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” is my favorite book because of its powerful message against racism. The novel is set in the deep south of America in the 1930s, a time when racial discrimination was rampant. The story follows the life of Scout, a young girl growing up in a small town. Her father, Atticus Finch, is a lawyer who defends a black man accused of raping a white woman. The trial is a symbol of the deep-rooted racism in society and highlights the injustice that African Americans faced at the time. Through Scout’s innocent eyes, we see the reality of racism and its damaging effects on individuals and society as a whole.

Another reason why “To Kill a Mockingbird” is my favorite book is the well-developed characters. Each character is unique and has their own story to tell. Scout, the protagonist, is a feisty young girl who questions the world around her. Her brother Jem is a caring and protective sibling, while Atticus is a wise and compassionate father. The novel also features Boo Radley, a recluse who is misunderstood by the townspeople, and Tom Robinson, the black man who is wrongly accused of a crime he did not commit. The characters are so well-written that they come to life on the pages of the book, making the story both engaging and memorable.

Lastly, “To Kill a Mockingbird” is my favorite book because of its thought-provoking themes of morality and justice. The novel raises important questions about what is right and wrong, and how we should treat others. Atticus Finch’s character embodies the ideals of justice and fairness, and his words of wisdom have inspired many readers. The book also challenges the reader’s beliefs and values, making us reflect on our own attitudes towards race, prejudice, and discrimination.

In conclusion, “To Kill a Mockingbird” is a timeless classic that has touched the hearts of many readers. Its themes of racism, justice, and morality are still relevant today, and the characters are unforgettable. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the complexities of the human experience and the importance of empathy and compassion. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves literature and wants to be inspired by a great story.

  • Be Specific:  Use specific examples from the book to illustrate your points. This not only validates your arguments but also makes your essay more engaging.
  • Be Passionate:  Let your passion for the book shine through in your writing. A genuine tone can make your essay more compelling.
  • Stay Organized:  Keep your writing structured and focused. Each paragraph should have a clear point that supports your overall thesis.
  • Proofread:  Ensure your essay is free of spelling and grammatical errors to maintain credibility and readability.

About Mr. Greg

Mr. Greg is an English teacher from Edinburgh, Scotland, currently based in Hong Kong. He has over 5 years teaching experience and recently completed his PGCE at the University of Essex Online. In 2013, he graduated from Edinburgh Napier University with a BEng(Hons) in Computing, with a focus on social media.

Mr. Greg’s English Cloud was created in 2020 during the pandemic, aiming to provide students and parents with resources to help facilitate their learning at home.

Whatsapp: +85259609792

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the book i have read essay

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Essay on The Most Interesting book I read

the book i have read essay

Our school library is having books which I like very much. One of my friends showed me a certain book in the library and he said that is his favorite book. He also said that is was the second part of the most famous Adventures of Huckleberry Finn written by Mark Twain.

I borrowed the book from the librarian on the advice of my friend. When I went home that day, I had an immediate lunch, when to my room and started reading the book.

Home interesting was it! It was a wonderful book. The book was full of adventures. The main character was Huckleberry Finn who was a poor English boy whose father was a third class drunkard. This father wanted to get his son’s fortune which he get previously in yet another adventure with Tom Sawyer, his friend. So Finn runs away from the custody of his father and meet another boy. This boy was Jim who had been running away from master. He had been a slave boy.

The two friends go to the sea and get on to a ship. They become friendly with the seamen and go on fishing. They also go to various island in the sea and engage themselves in many adventures. At last they come home. Finn finds that his father had died and hi was no more in danger. Jim also get his freedom with Finn’s help.

This interesting children’s novel had been written by well-known English Author Mark Twain who had previously written the famous book Tom Sawyer. Both these books are popular even today. So many millions of children throughout the English speaking world must have read these books. Much more than Tom Sawyer, it was the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn which was the most interesting book I have ever read.

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Essay on My Favourite Book for Students and Children

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500+ Words Essay on My Favourite Book

Essay on My Favourite Book: Books are friends who never leave your side. I find this saying to be very true as books have always been there for me. I enjoy reading books . They have the power to help us travel through worlds without moving from our places. In addition, books also enhance our imagination. Growing up, my parents and teachers always encouraged me to read. They taught me the importance of reading. Subsequently, I have read several books. However, one boom that will always be my favourite is Harry Potter. It is one of the most intriguing reads of my life. I have read all the books of this series, yet I read them again as I never get bored of it.

essay on my favourite book

Harry Potter Series

Harry Potter was a series of books authored by one of the most eminent writers of our generation, J.K. Rowling. These books showcase the wizarding world and its workings. J.K. Rowling has been so successful at weaving a picture of this world, that it feels real. Although the series contains seven books, I have a particular favourite. My favourite book from the series is The Goblet of fire.

When I started reading the book, it caught my attention instantly. Even though I had read all the previous parts, none of the books caught my attention as this one did. It gave a larger perspective into the wizarding world. One of the things which excite me the most about this book is the introduction of the other wizard schools. The concept of the Tri-wizard tournament is one of the most brilliant pieces I have come across in the Harry Potter series.

In addition, this book also contains some of my favourite characters. The moment I read about Victor Krum’s entry, I was star struck. The aura and personality of that character described by Rowling are simply brilliant. Further, it made me become a greater fan of the series.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

What Harry Potter Series Taught Me?

Even though the books are about the world of wizards and magic, the Harry Potter series contains a lot of lessons for young people to learn. Firstly, it teaches us the importance of friendship. I have read many books but never come across a friendship like that of Harry, Hermoine, and Ron. These three musketeers stuck together throughout the books and never gave up. It taught me the value of a good friend.

Further, the series of Harry Potter taught me that no one is perfect. Everyone has good and evil inside them. We are the ones who choose what we wish to be. This helped me in making better choices and becoming a better human being. We see how the most flawed characters like Snape had goodness inside them. Similarly, how the nicest ones like Dumbledore had some bad traits. This changed my perspective towards people and made me more considerate.

the book i have read essay

Finally, these books gave me hope. They taught me the meaning of hope and how there is light at the end of the tunnel. It gave me the strength to cling on to hope in the most desperate times just like Harry did all his life. These are some of the most essential things I learned from Harry Potter.

In conclusion, while there were many movies made in the books. Nothing beats the essence and originality of the books. The details and inclusiveness of books cannot be replaced by any form of media. Therefore, the Goblet of Fire remains to be my favourite book.

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How to Write an Essay On Books

To write a good essay about books on a free topic, you just need to understand what you want to get. And, based on this information, make a plan.

To begin with, you need to understand the difference between these concepts:

  • Are you writing a personal opinion about a book? You can tell whether you liked it or not, what in it caught you or repulsed you.
  • Or is it an overview of the story lines? A full description of what is written in the book, your thoughts on the main points of the book.
  • Or is it a description of the book? Then highlight points of interest. This kind of text usually encourages you to read it.

If you are writing an essay on books for school, you probably need to write a book review.

Preparing for the essay

The experts at StudyCrumb Educational Agency assure you that by following a simple procedure, you will be able to write the essay you need quickly and easily.

  • Choose the book you want to write an essay about. It is better if it is one that you have memorized well. Some teachers recommend writing an essay on your favorite books.
  • Make a short outline that includes an introduction, the main part, and a conclusion.
  • Recall what your book is about. Write out a couple of main thoughts that are memorable and seem close to your heart.
  • Write a review of the book, the kind you’d like to write for your friend. In simple, uncomplicated words.

Essay Writing

Having prepared your drafts and outline for your essay, you’ve already done a tremendous job, and it’s just a matter of doing a little bit more. Be sure to remember that the essay about the book you read is your thoughts, feelings, and emotions about the work itself.

In the water part, write about the plot of the book, about the essence, but don’t reveal the intrigue completely, so that your classmates can read the book too. You can quote a few curious places, but don’t forget to justify why you chose them.

In the main part you should write your personal opinion of what you have read. If the teacher did not mention that the book must necessarily be a favorite, you can also write about the book, which, on the contrary, left a negative residue in your soul.

It is better to make the ending short and concise. Write what you like to read, why you like to read, and recommend the chosen work to read all. Check out  http://cheapessaysonline.com/  for quality essay examples for your own inspiration.

Examples of essay on books

An essay about a book leaves the imagination free, especially when you’re a big fan of the book world. But sometimes reading is much easier than writing. So here are a few examples of essays.

Introduction:

“I love to read. Reading helps you immerse yourself in that completely different world. Makes you forget that you are a mere student. You can become a great traveler, fly around the globe, or you can find yourself in a school of magic and learn complex magical sciences. My choice was the Harry Potter book, because that’s the world where I spent my childhood.

“My favorite book is Roald Dahl ‘s Matilda. I think this work is suitable for children as well as adults. Matilda is a little girl with strange parents and a very mean principal. And then, one day, a good teacher shows up at school who treats all the students, including Matilda, with awe. When I was little, I was sure it was just a fairy tale. But now, after rereading this book to refresh my memory, I realize that the book has adult overtones. Matilda is the personification of all the children of the world who face the hostility of adults who should not have been parents or educators.”

The final part:

“I would like to finish my essay about the book “Three Comrades” with the advice: read, look for a moral in any work, and you can become a good person.

These are just examples of how you can write essay on books. Choose your favorite book and write whatever you want to say.

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Essays About Reading: 5 Examples And Topic Ideas

As a writer, you love to read and talk to others about reading books. Check out some examples of essays about reading and topic ideas for your essay.

Many people fall in love with good books at an early age, as experiencing the joy of reading can help transport a child’s imagination to new places. Reading isn’t just for fun, of course—the importance of reading has been shown time and again in educational research studies.

If you love to sit down with a good book, you likely want to share your love of reading with others. Reading can offer a new perspective and transport readers to different worlds, whether you’re into autobiographies, books about positive thinking, or stories that share life lessons.

When explaining your love of reading to others, it’s important to let your passion shine through in your writing. Try not to take a negative view of people who don’t enjoy reading, as reading and writing skills are tougher for some people than others.

Talk about the positive effects of reading and how it’s positively benefitted your life. Offer helpful tips on how people can learn to enjoy reading, even if it’s something that they’ve struggled with for a long time. Remember, your goal when writing essays about reading is to make others interested in exploring the world of books as a source of knowledge and entertainment.

Now, let’s explore some popular essays on reading to help get you inspired and some topics that you can use as a starting point for your essay about how books have positively impacted your life.

For help with your essays, check out our round-up of the best essay checkers

Examples Of Essays About Reading

  • 1. The Book That Changed My Life By The New York Times
  • 2. I Read 150+ Books in 2 Years. Here’s How It Changed My Life By Anangsha Alammyan
  • 3. How My Diagnosis Improved My College Experience By Blair Kenney

4. How ‘The Phantom Tollbooth’ Saved Me By Isaac Fitzgerald

5. catcher in the rye: that time a banned book changed my life by pat kelly, topic ideas for essays about reading, 1. how can a high school student improve their reading skills, 2. what’s the best piece of literature ever written, 3. how reading books from authors of varied backgrounds can provide a different perspective, 4. challenging your point of view: how reading essays you disagree with can provide a new perspective, 1.  the book that changed my life  by  the new york times.

“My error the first time around was to read “Middlemarch” as one would a typical novel. But “Middlemarch” isn’t really about plot and dialogue. It’s all about character, as mediated through the wise and compassionate (but sharply astute) voice of the omniscient narrator. The book shows us that we cannot live without other people and that we cannot live with other people unless we recognize their flaws and foibles in ourselves.”  The New York Times

In this collection of reader essays, people share the books that have shaped how they see the world and live their lives. Talking about a life-changing piece of literature can offer a new perspective to people who tend to shy away from reading and can encourage others to pick up your favorite book.

2.  I Read 150+ Books in 2 Years. Here’s How It Changed My Life  By Anangsha Alammyan

“Consistent reading helps you develop your  analytical thinking skills  over time. It stimulates your brain and allows you to think in new ways. When you are  actively engaged  in what you’re reading, you would be able to ask better questions, look at things from a different perspective, identify patterns and make connections.” Anangsha Alammyan

Alammyan shares how she got away from habits that weren’t serving her life (such as scrolling on social media) and instead turned her attention to focus on reading. She shares how she changed her schedule and time management processes to allow herself to devote more time to reading, and she also shares the many ways that she benefited from spending more time on her Kindle and less time on her phone.

3.  How My Diagnosis Improved My College Experience  By Blair Kenney

“When my learning specialist convinced me that I was an intelligent person with a reading disorder, I gradually stopped hiding from what I was most afraid of—the belief that I was a person of mediocre intelligence with overambitious goals for herself. As I slowly let go of this fear, I became much more aware of my learning issues. For the first time, I felt that I could dig below the surface of my unhappiness in school without being ashamed of what I might find.” Blair Kenney

Reading does not come easily to everyone, and dyslexia can make it especially difficult for a person to process words. In this essay, Kenney shares her experience of being diagnosed with dyslexia during her sophomore year of college at Yale. She gave herself more patience, grew in her confidence, and developed techniques that worked to improve her reading and processing skills.

“I took that book home to finish reading it. I’d sit somewhat uncomfortably in a tree or against a stone wall or, more often than not, in my sparsely decorated bedroom with the door closed as my mother had hushed arguments with my father on the phone. There were many things in the book that went over my head during my first time reading it. But a land left with neither Rhyme nor Reason, as I listened to my parents fight, that I understood.” Isaac Fitzgerald

Books can transport a reader to another world. In this essay, Fitzgerald explains how Norton Juster’s novel allowed him to escape a difficult time in his childhood through the magic of his imagination. Writing about a book that had a significant impact on your childhood can help you form an instant connection with your reader, as many people hold a childhood literature favorite near and dear to their hearts.

“From the first paragraph my mind was blown wide open. It not only changed my whole perspective on what literature could be, it changed the way I looked at myself in relation to the world. This was heavy stuff. Of the countless books I had read up to this point, even the ones written in first person, none of them felt like they were speaking directly to me. Not really anyway.” Pat Kelly

Many readers have had the experience of feeling like a book was written specifically for them, and in this essay, Kelly shares that experience with J.D. Salinger’s classic American novel. Writing about a book that felt like it was written specifically for you can give you the chance to share what was happening in your life when you read the book and the lasting impact that the book had on you as a person.

There are several topic options to choose from when you’re writing about reading. You may want to write about how literature you love has changed your life or how others can develop their reading skills to derive similar pleasure from reading.

Topic ideas for essays about reading

Middle and high school students who struggle with reading can feel discouraged when, despite their best efforts, their skills do not improve. Research the latest educational techniques for boosting reading skills in high school students (the research often changes) and offer concrete tips (such as using active reading skills) to help students grow.

It’s an excellent persuasive essay topic; it’s fun to write about the piece of literature you believe to be the greatest of all time. Of course, much of this topic is a matter of opinion, and it’s impossible to prove that one piece of literature is “better” than another. Write your essay about how the piece of literature you consider the best positive affected your life and discuss how it’s impacted the world of literature in general.

The world is full of many perspectives and points of view, and it can be hard to imagine the world through someone else’s eyes. Reading books by authors of different gender, race, or socioeconomic status can help open your eyes to the challenges and issues others face. Explain how reading books by authors with different backgrounds has changed your worldview in your essay.

It’s fun to read the information that reinforces viewpoints that you already have, but doing so doesn’t contribute to expanding your mind and helping you see the world from a different perspective. Explain how pushing oneself to see a different point of view can help you better understand your perspective and help open your eyes to ideas you may not have considered.

Tip: If writing an essay sounds like a lot of work, simplify it. Write a simple 5 paragraph essay instead.

If you’re stuck picking your next essay topic, check out our round-up of essay topics about education .

the book i have read essay

Amanda has an M.S.Ed degree from the University of Pennsylvania in School and Mental Health Counseling and is a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer. She has experience writing magazine articles, newspaper articles, SEO-friendly web copy, and blog posts.

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Describe a book you have recently read – IELTS Cue Card Sample Answers

Janet

Updated On Sep 18, 2023

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Describe a book you have recently read – IELTS Cue Card Sample Answers

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This article contains the Describe a book you have recently read Cue Card Sample Answers.

During Part 2 of the IELTS Speaking test, you will have exactly one minute to prepare and speak on a specific topic. This is the IELTS cue card task. You can learn how to communicate clearly and successfully by reviewing sample answers.

This IELTS cue card gives you an opportunity to share one of your opinions about a book you have recently read.

Practise IELTS Speaking Part 2 by referencing the Cue Card Sample Answers below.

Before you start, take a look at the introduction to Speaking Part 2 below!

Learn How to Prepare a Cue Card now!

Describe a book you read

You should say:

  • Who wrote this book?
  • What it is about?
  • When you read it?
  • And explain why you liked it.

Sample Answer 1

Being a bibliophile, I try my best to complete at least one book a week. Earlier, I used to read 4-5 books a month. However, gradually, the numbers declined as I got held up in other important tasks. So, with the new year, I have taken a resolution to finish a minimum of 2 books a month. Having said that, I spent the last week reading A Bend in the Road by Nicholas Sparks.

The main protagonists of this book are Miles Ryan and Sarah Andrews. The former loses his wife to a hit-and-run accident. After going through a tough time in his life and spending two years trying to find the person behind this accident, Miles begins dating his son – Jonah’s – teacher, Sarah Andrews.

With time, their relationship turns stronger, and they fall deeply in love with each other. However, Miles comes across new evidence pertaining to the death of his wife. And, this person is somehow related to Sarah.

This is a romantic novel that showcases the attributes of love, sacrifice, and letting go. I like the way the author described diverse emotions keenly and precisely. Also, I liked the way of writing that the author put forth in this book.

Sample Answer 2

On a Saturday evening, I was lying down with this book called “ Tell me your dreams” by Sidney Sheldon. Thanks to the maid, who served hot tea.

The book had an irresistible start. Initially, it describes three women, their love life and the mysterious ways in which their lovers are killed. After some time, the plot becomes gripping. It is revealed that they are three personalities of the same woman, Ashley, who suffered from multiple personality disorder and had murdered the men mercilessly.

Later, it is revealed that Ashley had a traumatic childhood which caused her to create these identities. Ashley is represented by a lawyer friend of her father. The court finally accepts that it was Ashley’s condition that made her kill and orders psychiatric treatment. She gets treated in the hospital and regains sanity.

The book has revealed an episode in the life of a psychiatrically affected person. It gave me an insight into the lives of women experiencing wounding disturbances in their childhood. Infact, when I come across news about murders, especially when the charges are against a lady, I suspect whether the woman is really guilty. The book cast such an effect on me.

  • Grant: agree to give or allow (something requested) to.  Eg: He was granted permission to take leave
  • Curious: interested in learning about people or things around you Eg: Rose was curious about her results. 
  • Impulsively: without forethought; on impulse; suddenly.  Eg: Rose impulsively decided to buy the diamond necklace. 
  • Found out: discover something or come to know about something.  Eg: The treasure box hidden in the backyard was found out. 
  • Novelty: the quality of being new, original, or unusual Eg: The tourists are still a novelty on this remote island
  • In hindsight: the ability to understand an event or situation only after it has happened Eg: In hindsight, I should have taken the job offer. 

Related Cue Cards:

  • An educational trip
  • Describe something interesting you learned from the internet
  • Interesting Conversation
  • Describe a piece of good news that you heard or received

Explore More Interesting Cue cards >>

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Janet

Janet had been an IELTS Trainer before she dived into the field of Content Writing. During her days of being a Trainer, Janet had written essays and sample answers which got her students an 8+ band in the IELTS Test. Her contributions to our articles have been engaging and simple to help the students understand and grasp the information with ease. Janet, born and brought up in California, had no idea about the IELTS until she moved to study in Canada. Her peers leaned to her for help as her first language was English.

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Describe a Tourist Attraction in Your Country that You Would Recommend – IELTS Cue Card

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The Best Book I’ve Ever Read

In my many years as a journalist, scholar and thinker, I have read nearly all the great works of literature, including Milton, Shakespeare and the first third of The Brothers Karamazov. But no book has ever spoken to me as profoundly or directly as Joel Stein’s Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity.

Haven’t we all, on some level, been a Jewish boy in 1970s New Jersey with only female friends, an Easy-Bake oven and a strong predilection for show tunes? Haven’t we all had a panic attack when learning we’re going to have a son, since that means we’re going to have to figure out how to throw footballs, watch other people throw footballs and decide whether to be happy or sad about the results of said football throwing? Haven’t we all then tried to rectify our lack of masculinity by becoming a Boy Scout, fighting fires with firefighters, driving a Lamborghini Superleggera, doing three days of Army boot camp, firing a tank and going one round with UFC champion Randy Couture? I know I have.

Although Man Made won’t be published until May 15, I have already reread it more than 30 times, and to the shock of my lovely wife Cassandra, who overheard me, I still laughed at all the jokes on the 30th read. The quality of the writing is so consistently great that to find my favorite section, all I need to do is turn to a random page and read it. Like this one: Isn’t the entire point of being seen in a Lamborghini to get two women for a threesome? But–and here is the car’s one major design flaw–there are only two seats. So I’d have to meet two women at a club, take one home, drive back to the club, and take the second one home. By then, the effect of the Lamborghini would have worn off on the first one, so I’d have to take her for a quick drive somewhere, thus de-Lamborghini-sexing the second one. The math just doesn’t work out.

The only parts I didn’t fully enjoy were those in which the author suffered horribly. Like when after just three hours of boot camp–which admittedly was in Kentucky in the summer and he’d slept only three hours and wasn’t told not to lock his knees–he fainted daintily into the arms of a soldier. Or when UFC president Dana White insisted that Stein get choked out so he’d know what it feels like, and Stein faked nodding off, which caused White to get his psycho jujitsu-training friend to choke him out yet again, causing Stein to not be able to swallow his own spit that night. I really felt for him there.

It is clear from the book that Stein deeply loves his son, his wife, his combative father, his self-reliant father-in-law, his editor, his agent and every one of the people he meets in the course of his quest. Even that jujitsu guy who choked him out. I’m sure all those people will enjoy all the jokes that celebrate and do not mock them and will thank Stein for writing about them. Possibly with gifts of 2009 grand cru Bordeaux.

I admit I feared this book would be just a longer version of Stein’s column in Time, which wouldn’t be a bad thing given the awesomeness of that artistic endeavor. But it is much more. It’s got occasional cursing. And bigger type. I also admit I was wary of reading yet another book that traffics in the differences between men and women. But Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus is to Man Made what Fifty Shades of Grey is to having sex with Venus. Just to make that completely clear: Time magazine says reading Man Made is better than having sex with the Roman goddess Venus. Also, to be clear, TIME magazine is fine with that sentence appearing in any promotional materials for the book.

Are there books with deeper insights, better reporting, more important ideas and a better theme song? No, there are not. In Man Made, Stein does that amazing thing great writers do when they take all these ideas that were already in your head, put them on paper and then charge you $27 for that paper. Or put them on e-readers and charge you $13 to download. Either way, it counts equally toward the author’s sales figures.

The film rights to Man Made have already been sold to Fox, and I hope it gets turned into a movie with George Clooney playing the Stein role, since they remind me so much of each other.

Though this is only Stein’s first book, I would already put him on par with David Sedaris, Dave Barry, James Thurber, Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln. I have recommended Man Made not just to all my friends and family but also to strangers on Twitter, over and over and over again. My one fear is that after this great achievement, Stein will succumb to the soul-depleting self-promotion of book marketing and lose his ability to be a ruthless critic of our shallow times. Which is why, in case this is his only great book, I suggest buying one for yourself and one for your dad for Father’s Day.

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All Those Books You’ve Bought but Haven’t Read? There’s a Word for That

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the book i have read essay

By Kevin Mims

  • Oct. 8, 2018

I own far more books than I could possibly read over the course of my remaining life, yet every month I add a few dozen more to my shelves. For years I felt guilty about this situation, until I read an article by Jessica Stillman on the website of the magazine Inc. titled “ Why You Should Surround Yourself With More Books Than You’ll Ever Have Time to Read.” Stillman argued that a personal library too big to get through in a lifetime “isn’t a sign of failure or ignorance,” but rather “a badge of honor.” Her argument was a variation on a theme put forth by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his 2007 best seller “The Black Swan,” a book about the outsize impact on our lives of large, unpredictable events. In essence, Taleb claims that although people tend to place a higher value on the things they know than on the things they don’t know, it is the things we don’t know, and therefore can’t see coming, that tend to shape our world most dramatically.

A person’s library is often a symbolic representation of his or her mind. A man who has quit expanding his personal library may have reached the point where he thinks he knows all he needs to and that what he doesn’t know can’t hurt him. He has no desire to keep growing intellectually. The man with an ever-expanding library understands the importance of remaining curious, open to new ideas and voices.

Taleb argues that a personal library “should contain as much of what you do not know as your financial means, mortgage rates and the currently tight real-estate market allow you to put there. You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older, and the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menacingly. Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books an antilibrary .”

I don’t really like Taleb’s term “antilibrary.” A library is a collection of books, many of which remain unread for long periods of time. I don’t see how that differs from an antilibrary. A better term for what he’s talking about might be tsundoku , a Japanese word for a stack of books that you have purchased but not yet read. My personal library is about one-tenth books I have read and nine-tenths tsundoku . I probably own about 3,000 books. But many of those books are anthologies or compilations that contain multiple books within them. I own a lot of Library of America volumes, a series that publishes the complete novels of authors like Dashiell Hammett and Nathanael West as a single book. Thus, my 3,000-book library probably holds more than 6,000 works. Once I have read a book, I often give it away or trade it in at a used-book store. As a result, my tsundoku is ever expanding while the number of books in my house that I have read remains fairly constant at a few hundred.

In truth, however, the tsundoku fails to describe much of my library. I own a lot of story collections, poetry anthologies and books of essays, which I bought knowing I would probably not read every entry. People like Taleb, Stillman and whoever coined the word tsundoku seem to recognize only two categories of book: the read and the unread. But every book lover knows there is a third category that falls somewhere between the other two: the partially read book. Just about every title on a book lover’s reference shelves, for instance, falls into this category. No one reads the American Heritage Dictionary or Roget’s Thesaurus from cover to cover. One of my favorite books is John Sutherland’s “The Stanford Companion to Victorian Fiction.” It’s a fascinating, witty and very opinionated survey of Victorian England’s novels and novelists, from the famous (Dickens, Trollope, Thackeray) to the justifiably forgotten (Sutherland describes the novels of Tom Gallon as “sub-Dickensian fiction of sentiment and lowlife in London, typically written in an elliptical, rather graceless style”). I’ve owned the book for 20 years and derived great enjoyment from it, but I doubt I’ll ever manage to read every word of it or of dozens of other reference books on my shelves.

Nor do I typically read biographies all the way through. Biographers have a tendency to shoehorn every last tidbit of information they can into their books. I don’t really care about the marks that Ogden Nash received on his third-grade report card or how many trunks of clothing Edith Wharton had shipped across the Atlantic when she moved to France. There are probably hundreds of biographies in my personal library. I have read parts of most of them but I have read very few in their entirety. The same is true of collections of letters. Whenever I finish reading a work of fiction by, say, Willa Cather, I’ll be inspired to pull out the massive tome “The Selected Letters of Willa Cather” and try to get the measure of what the author was like when she was “off duty.”

These cannot be counted as books I have read, but nor can they be labeled tsundoku . Like much of my library, they live in the twilight zone of the partially read. Taleb argues that “read books are far less valuable than unread ones,” because unread ones can teach you things you don’t yet know. I don’t really agree with him. I think it’s a good idea to keep your shelves stocked both with books you’ve read and books you haven’t. But just as important is that third category of book: those you haven’t read all of and may never get around to finishing.

The sight of a book you’ve read can remind you of the many things you’ve already learned. The sight of a book you haven’t read can remind you that there are many things you’ve yet to learn. And the sight of a partially read book can remind you that reading is an activity that you hope never to come to the end of.

Perhaps the Japanese have a word for that.

Kevin Mims lives in Sacramento and works at the Avid Reader bookstore, where he has partially read much of the inventory.

Follow New York Times Books on Facebook and Twitter , sign up for our newsletter or our literary calendar . And listen to us on the Book Review podcast .

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Want to know about the best books to read and the latest news start here..

John S. Jacobs was a fugitive, an abolitionist — and the brother of the canonical author Harriet Jacobs. Now, his own fierce autobiography has re-emerged .

Don DeLillo’s fascination with terrorism, cults and mass culture’s weirder turns has given his work a prophetic air. Here are his essential books .

Jenny Erpenbeck’s “ Kairos ,” a novel about a torrid love affair in the final years of East Germany, won the International Booker Prize , the renowned award for fiction translated into English.

Kevin Kwan, the author of “Crazy Rich Asians,” left Singapore’s opulent, status-obsessed, upper crust when he was 11. He’s still writing about it .

Each week, top authors and critics join the Book Review’s podcast to talk about the latest news in the literary world. Listen here .

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the book i have read essay

The Best Reviewed Essay Collections of 2021

Featuring joan didion, rachel kushner, hanif abdurraqib, ann patchett, jenny diski, and more.

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Well, friends, another grim and grueling plague year is drawing to a close, and that can mean only one thing: it’s time to put on our Book Marks stats hats and tabulate the best reviewed books of the past twelve months.

Yes, using reviews drawn from more than 150 publications, over the next two weeks we’ll be revealing the most critically-acclaimed books of 2021, in the categories of (deep breath): Memoir and Biography ; Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror ; Short Story Collections ; Essay Collections; Poetry; Mystery and Crime; Graphic Literature; Literature in Translation; General Fiction; and General Nonfiction.

Today’s installment: Essay Collections .

Brought to you by Book Marks , Lit Hub’s “Rotten Tomatoes for books.”

These Precious Days

1. These Precious Days by Ann Patchett (Harper)

21 Rave • 3 Positive • 1 Mixed Read Ann Patchett on creating the work space you need, here

“… excellent … Patchett has a talent for friendship and celebrates many of those friends here. She writes with pure love for her mother, and with humor and some good-natured exasperation at Karl, who is such a great character he warrants a book of his own. Patchett’s account of his feigned offer to buy a woman’s newly adopted baby when she expresses unwarranted doubts is priceless … The days that Patchett refers to are precious indeed, but her writing is anything but. She describes deftly, with a line or a look, and I considered the absence of paragraphs freighted with adjectives to be a mercy. I don’t care about the hue of the sky or the shade of the couch. That’s not writing; it’s decorating. Or hiding. Patchett’s heart, smarts and 40 years of craft create an economy that delivers her perfectly understated stories emotionally whole. Her writing style is most gloriously her own.”

–Alex Witchel ( The New York Times Book Review )

2. Let Me Tell You What I Mean by Joan Didion (Knopf)

14 Rave • 12 Positive • 6 Mixed Read an excerpt from Let Me Tell You What I Mean here

“In five decades’ worth of essays, reportage and criticism, Didion has documented the charade implicit in how things are, in a first-person, observational style that is not sacrosanct but common-sensical. Seeing as a way of extrapolating hypocrisy, disingenuousness and doubt, she’ll notice the hydrangeas are plastic and mention it once, in passing, sorting the scene. Her gaze, like a sentry on the page, permanently trained on what is being disguised … The essays in Let Me Tell You What I Mean are at once funny and touching, roving and no-nonsense. They are about humiliation and about notions of rightness … Didion’s pen is like a periscope onto the creative mind—and, as this collection demonstrates, it always has been. These essays offer a direct line to what’s in the offing.”

–Durga Chew-Bose ( The New York Times Book Review )

3. Orwell’s Roses by Rebecca Solnit (Viking)

12 Rave • 13 Positive • 1 Mixed Read an excerpt from Orwell’s Roses here

“… on its simplest level, a tribute by one fine essayist of the political left to another of an earlier generation. But as with any of Solnit’s books, such a description would be reductive: the great pleasure of reading her is spending time with her mind, its digressions and juxtapositions, its unexpected connections. Only a few contemporary writers have the ability to start almost anywhere and lead the reader on paths that, while apparently meandering, compel unfailingly and feel, by the end, cosmically connected … Somehow, Solnit’s references to Ross Gay, Michael Pollan, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Peter Coyote (to name but a few) feel perfectly at home in the narrative; just as later chapters about an eighteenth-century portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds and a visit to the heart of the Colombian rose-growing industry seem inevitable and indispensable … The book provides a captivating account of Orwell as gardener, lover, parent, and endlessly curious thinker … And, movingly, she takes the time to find the traces of Orwell the gardener and lover of beauty in his political novels, and in his insistence on the value and pleasure of things .”

–Claire Messud ( Harper’s )

4. Girlhood by Melissa Febos (Bloomsbury)

16 Rave • 5 Positive • 1 Mixed Read an excerpt from Girlhood here

“Every once in a while, a book comes along that feels so definitive, so necessary, that not only do you want to tell everyone to read it now, but you also find yourself wanting to go back in time and tell your younger self that you will one day get to read something that will make your life make sense. Melissa Febos’s fierce nonfiction collection, Girlhood , might just be that book. Febos is one of our most passionate and profound essayists … Girlhood …offers us exquisite, ferocious language for embracing self-pleasure and self-love. It’s a book that women will wish they had when they were younger, and that they’ll rejoice in having now … Febos is a balletic memoirist whose capacious gaze can take in so many seemingly disparate things and unfurl them in a graceful, cohesive way … Intellectual and erotic, engaging and empowering[.]”

–Michelle Hart ( Oprah Daily )

Why Didn't You Just Do What You Were Told?

5. Why Didn’t You Just Do What You Were Told by Jenny Diski (Bloomsbury)

14 Rave • 7 Positive

“[Diski’s] reputation as an original, witty and cant-free thinker on the way we live now should be given a significant boost. Her prose is elegant and amused, as if to counter her native melancholia and includes frequent dips into memorable images … Like the ideal artist Henry James conjured up, on whom nothing is lost, Diski notices everything that comes her way … She is discerning about serious topics (madness and death) as well as less fraught material, such as fashion … in truth Diski’s first-person voice is like no other, selectively intimate but not overbearingly egotistic, like, say, Norman Mailer’s. It bears some resemblance to Joan Didion’s, if Didion were less skittish and insistently stylish and generated more warmth. What they have in common is their innate skepticism and the way they ask questions that wouldn’t occur to anyone else … Suffice it to say that our culture, enmeshed as it is in carefully arranged snapshots of real life, needs Jenny Diski, who, by her own admission, ‘never owned a camera, never taken one on holiday.’” It is all but impossible not to warm up to a writer who observes herself so keenly … I, in turn, wish there were more people around who thought like Diski. The world would be a more generous, less shallow and infinitely more intriguing place.”

–Daphne Merkin ( The New York Times Book Review )

6. The Hard Crowd: Essays 2000-2020 by Rachel Kushner (Scribner)

12 Rave • 7 Positive Listen to an interview with Rachel Kushner here

“Whether she’s writing about Jeff Koons, prison abolition or a Palestinian refugee camp in Jerusalem, [Kushner’s] interested in appearances, and in the deeper currents a surface detail might betray … Her writing is magnetised by outlaw sensibility, hard lives lived at a slant, art made in conditions of ferment and unrest, though she rarely serves a platter that isn’t style-mag ready … She makes a pretty convincing case for a political dimension to Jeff Koons’s vacuities and mirrored surfaces, engages repeatedly with the Italian avant garde and writes best of all about an artist friend whose death undoes a spell of nihilism … It’s not just that Kushner is looking back on the distant city of youth; more that she’s the sole survivor of a wild crowd done down by prison, drugs, untimely death … What she remembers is a whole world, but does the act of immortalising it in language also drain it of its power,’neon, in pink, red, and warm white, bleeding into the fog’? She’s mining a rich seam of specificity, her writing charged by the dangers she ran up against. And then there’s the frank pleasure of her sentences, often shorn of definite articles or odd words, so they rev and bucket along … That New Journalism style, live hard and keep your eyes open, has long since given way to the millennial cult of the personal essay, with its performance of pain, its earnest display of wounds received and lessons learned. But Kushner brings it all flooding back. Even if I’m skeptical of its dazzle, I’m glad to taste something this sharp, this smart.”

–Olivia Laing ( The Guardian )

7. The Right to Sex: Feminism in the Twenty-First Century by Amia Srinivasan (FSG)

12 Rave • 7 Positive • 5 Mixed • 1 Pan

“[A] quietly dazzling new essay collection … This is, needless to say, fraught terrain, and Srinivasan treads it with determination and skill … These essays are works of both criticism and imagination. Srinivasan refuses to resort to straw men; she will lay out even the most specious argument clearly and carefully, demonstrating its emotional power, even if her ultimate intention is to dismantle it … This, then, is a book that explicitly addresses intersectionality, even if Srinivasan is dissatisfied with the common—and reductive—understanding of the term … Srinivasan has written a compassionate book. She has also written a challenging one … Srinivasan proposes the kind of education enacted in this brilliant, rigorous book. She coaxes our imaginations out of the well-worn grooves of the existing order.”

–Jennifer Szalai ( The New York Times )

8. A Little Devil in America by Hanif Abdurraqib (Random House)

13 Rave • 4 Positive Listen to an interview with Hanif Abdurraqib here

“[A] wide, deep, and discerning inquest into the Beauty of Blackness as enacted on stages and screens, in unanimity and discord, on public airwaves and in intimate spaces … has brought to pop criticism and cultural history not just a poet’s lyricism and imagery but also a scholar’s rigor, a novelist’s sense of character and place, and a punk-rocker’s impulse to dislodge conventional wisdom from its moorings until something shakes loose and is exposed to audiences too lethargic to think or even react differently … Abdurraqib cherishes this power to enlarge oneself within or beyond real or imagined restrictions … Abdurraqib reminds readers of the massive viewing audience’s shock and awe over seeing one of the world’s biggest pop icons appearing midfield at this least radical of American rituals … Something about the seemingly insatiable hunger Abdurraqib shows for cultural transaction, paradoxical mischief, and Beauty in Blackness tells me he’ll get to such matters soon enough.”

–Gene Seymour ( Bookforum )

9. On Animals by Susan Orlean (Avid Reader Press)

11 Rave • 6 Positive • 1 Mixed Listen to an interview with Susan Orlean here

“I very much enjoyed Orlean’s perspective in these original, perceptive, and clever essays showcasing the sometimes strange, sometimes sick, sometimes tender relationships between people and animals … whether Orlean is writing about one couple’s quest to find their lost dog, the lives of working donkeys of the Fez medina in Morocco, or a man who rescues lions (and happily allows even full grown males to gently chew his head), her pages are crammed with quirky characters, telling details, and flabbergasting facts … Readers will find these pages full of astonishments … Orlean excels as a reporter…Such thorough reporting made me long for updates on some of these stories … But even this criticism only testifies to the delight of each of the urbane and vivid stories in this collection. Even though Orlean claims the animals she writes about remain enigmas, she makes us care about their fates. Readers will continue to think about these dogs and donkeys, tigers and lions, chickens and pigeons long after we close the book’s covers. I hope most of them are still well.”

–Sy Montgomery ( The Boston Globe )

10. Graceland, at Last: Notes on Hope and Heartache from the American South  by Margaret Renkl (Milkweed Editions)

9 Rave • 5 Positive Read Margaret Renkl on finding ideas everywhere, here

“Renkl’s sense of joyful belonging to the South, a region too often dismissed on both coasts in crude stereotypes and bad jokes, co-exists with her intense desire for Southerners who face prejudice or poverty finally to be embraced and supported … Renkl at her most tender and most fierce … Renkl’s gift, just as it was in her first book Late Migrations , is to make fascinating for others what is closest to her heart … Any initial sense of emotional whiplash faded as as I proceeded across the six sections and realized that the book is largely organized around one concept, that of fair and loving treatment for all—regardless of race, class, sex, gender or species … What rises in me after reading her essays is Lewis’ famous urging to get in good trouble to make the world fairer and better. Many people in the South are doing just that—and through her beautiful writing, Renkl is among them.”

–Barbara J. King ( NPR )

Our System:

RAVE = 5 points • POSITIVE = 3 points • MIXED = 1 point • PAN = -5 points

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Nonfiction Books » Essays

The best essays: the 2021 pen/diamonstein-spielvogel award, recommended by adam gopnik.

Had I Known: Collected Essays by Barbara Ehrenreich

WINNER OF the 2021 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay

Had I Known: Collected Essays by Barbara Ehrenreich

Every year, the judges of the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay search out the best book of essays written in the past year and draw attention to the author's entire body of work. Here, Adam Gopnik , writer, journalist and PEN essay prize judge, emphasizes the role of the essay in bearing witness and explains why the five collections that reached the 2021 shortlist are, in their different ways, so important.

Interview by Benedict King

Had I Known: Collected Essays by Barbara Ehrenreich

Unfinished Business: Notes of a Chronic Re-Reader by Vivian Gornick

The Best Essays: the 2021 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award - Nature Matrix: New and Selected Essays by Robert Michael Pyle

Nature Matrix: New and Selected Essays by Robert Michael Pyle

The Best Essays: the 2021 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award - Terroir: Love, Out of Place by Natasha Sajé

Terroir: Love, Out of Place by Natasha Sajé

The Best Essays: the 2021 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award - Maybe the People Would be the Times by Luc Sante

Maybe the People Would be the Times by Luc Sante

The Best Essays: the 2021 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award - Had I Known: Collected Essays by Barbara Ehrenreich

1 Had I Known: Collected Essays by Barbara Ehrenreich

2 unfinished business: notes of a chronic re-reader by vivian gornick, 3 nature matrix: new and selected essays by robert michael pyle, 4 terroir: love, out of place by natasha sajé, 5 maybe the people would be the times by luc sante.

W e’re talking about the books shortlisted for the 2021 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay . As an essayist yourself, or as a reader of essays, what are you looking for? What’s the key to a good essay ?

Let’s turn to the books that made the shortlist of the 2021 PEN Award for the Art of the Essay. The winning book was Had I Known: Collected Essays by Barbara Ehrenreich , whose books have been recommended a number of times on Five Books. Tell me more. 

One of the criteria for this particular prize is that it should be not just for a single book, but for a body of work. One of the things we wanted to honour about Barbara Ehrenreich is that she has produced a remarkable body of work. Although it’s offered in a more specifically political register than some essayists, or that a great many past prize winners have practised, the quiddity of her work is that it remains rooted in personal experience, in the act of bearing witness. She has a passionate political point to make, certainly, a series of them, many seeming all the more relevant now than when she began writing. Nonetheless, her writing still always depends on the intimacy of first-hand knowledge, what people in post-incarceration work call ‘lived experience’ (a term with a distinguished philosophical history). Her book Nickel and Dimed is the classic example of that. She never writes from a distance about working-class life in America. She bears witness to the nature and real texture of working-class life in America.

“One point of giving awards…is to keep passing the small torches of literary tradition”

Next up of the books on the 2021 PEN essay prize shortlist is Unfinished Business: Notes of a Chronic Re-Reader by Vivian Gornick.

Vivian Gornick is a writer who’s been around for a very long time. Although longevity is not in itself a criterion for excellence—or for this prize, or in the writing life generally—persistence and perseverance are. Writers who keep coming back at us, again and again, with a consistent vision, are surely to be saluted. For her admirers, her appetite to re-read things already read is one of the most attractive parts of her oeuvre , if I can call it that; her appetite not just to read but to read deeply and personally. One of the things that people who love her work love about it is that her readings are never academic, or touched by scholarly hobbyhorsing. They’re readings that involve the fullness of her experience, then applied to literature. Although she reads as a critic, she reads as an essayist reads, rather than as a reviewer reads. And I think that was one of the things that was there to honour in her body of work, as well.

Is she a novelist or journalist, as well?

Let’s move on to the next book which made the 2021 PEN essay shortlist. This is Nature Matrix: New and Selected Essays by Robert Michael Pyle.

I have a special reason for liking this book in particular, and that is that it corresponds to one of the richest and oldest of American genres, now often overlooked, and that’s the naturalist essay. You can track it back to Henry David Thoreau , if not to Ralph Waldo Emerson , this American engagement with nature , the wilderness, not from a narrowly scientific point of view, nor from a purely ecological or environmental point of view—though those things are part of it—but again, from the point of view of lived experience, of personal testimony.

Let’s look at the next book on the shortlist of the 2021 PEN Awards, which is Terroir: Love, Out of Place by Natasha Sajé. Why did these essays appeal?

One of the things that was appealing about this book is that’s it very much about, in every sense, the issues of the day: the idea of place, of where we are, how we are located on any map as individuals by ethnic identity, class, gender—all of those things. But rather than being carried forward in a narrowly argumentative way, again, in the classic manner of the essay, Sajé’s work is ruminative. It walks around these issues from the point of view of someone who’s an expatriate, someone who’s an émigré, someone who’s a world citizen, but who’s also concerned with the idea of ‘terroir’, the one place in the world where we belong. And I think the dialogue in her work between a kind of cosmopolitanism that she has along with her self-critical examination of the problem of localism and where we sit on the world, was inspiring to us.

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Last of the books on the shortlist for the 2021 Pen essay award is Maybe the People Would Be the Times by Luc Sante.

Again, here’s a writer who’s had a distinguished generalised career, writing about lots of places and about lots of subjects. In the past, he’s made his special preoccupation what he calls ‘low life’, but I think more broadly can be called the marginalized or the repressed and abject. He’s also written acute introductions to the literature of ‘low life’, the works of Asbury and David Maurer, for instance.

But I think one of the things that was appealing about what he’s done is the sheer range of his enterprise. He writes about countless subjects. He can write about A-sides and B-sides of popular records—singles—then go on to write about Jacques Rivette’s cinema. He writes from a kind of private inspection of public experience. He has a lovely piece about tabloid headlines and their evolution. And I think that omnivorous range of enthusiasms and passions is a stirring reminder in a time of specialization and compartmentalization of the essayist’s freedom to roam. If Pyle is in the tradition of Thoreau, I suspect Luc Sante would be proud to be put in the tradition of Baudelaire—the flaneur who walks the streets, sees everything, broods on it all and writes about it well.

One point of giving awards, with all their built-in absurdity and inevitable injustice, is to keep alive, or at least to keep passing, the small torches of literary tradition. And just as much as we’re honoring the great tradition of the naturalist essay in the one case, I think we’re honoring the tradition of the Baudelairean flaneur in this one.

April 18, 2021

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Adam Gopnik

Adam Gopnik has been a staff writer at the New Yorker since 1986. His many books include A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventure of Liberalism . He is a three time winner of the National Magazine Award for Essays & Criticism, and in 2021 was made a chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur by the French Republic.

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The Best Book I Have Ever Read. (Essay)

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From ur unsurpassed description of the book u made me luv the book! heheh! I am very eager to read the book! Marvellous descriptive writer! - Joony ( as usual :p )

the book i have read essay

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50 Must-Read Contemporary Essay Collections

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Liberty Hardy

Liberty Hardy is an unrepentant velocireader, writer, bitey mad lady, and tattoo canvas. Turn-ons include books, books and books. Her favorite exclamation is “Holy cats!” Liberty reads more than should be legal, sleeps very little, frequently writes on her belly with Sharpie markers, and when she dies, she’s leaving her body to library science. Until then, she lives with her three cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon, in Maine. She is also right behind you. Just kidding! She’s too busy reading. Twitter: @MissLiberty

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I feel like essay collections don’t get enough credit. They’re so wonderful! They’re like short story collections, but TRUE. It’s like going to a truth buffet. You can get information about sooooo many topics, sometimes in one single book! To prove that there are a zillion amazing essay collections out there, I compiled 50 great contemporary essay collections, just from the last 18 months alone.  Ranging in topics from food, nature, politics, sex, celebrity, and more, there is something here for everyone!

I’ve included a brief description from the publisher with each title. Tell us in the comments about which of these you’ve read or other contemporary essay collections that you love. There are a LOT of them. Yay, books!

Must-Read Contemporary Essay Collections

They can’t kill us until they kill us  by hanif abdurraqib.

“In an age of confusion, fear, and loss, Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib’s is a voice that matters. Whether he’s attending a Bruce Springsteen concert the day after visiting Michael Brown’s grave, or discussing public displays of affection at a Carly Rae Jepsen show, he writes with a poignancy and magnetism that resonates profoundly.”

Would Everybody Please Stop?: Reflections on Life and Other Bad Ideas  by Jenny Allen

“Jenny Allen’s musings range fluidly from the personal to the philosophical. She writes with the familiarity of someone telling a dinner party anecdote, forgoing decorum for candor and comedy. To read  Would Everybody Please Stop?  is to experience life with imaginative and incisive humor.”

Longthroat Memoirs: Soups, Sex and Nigerian Taste Buds  by Yemisi Aribisala

“A sumptuous menu of essays about Nigerian cuisine, lovingly presented by the nation’s top epicurean writer. As well as a mouth-watering appraisal of Nigerian food,  Longthroat Memoirs  is a series of love letters to the Nigerian palate. From the cultural history of soup, to fish as aphrodisiac and the sensual allure of snails,  Longthroat Memoirs  explores the complexities, the meticulousness, and the tactile joy of Nigerian gastronomy.”

Beyond Measure: Essays  by Rachel Z. Arndt

“ Beyond Measure  is a fascinating exploration of the rituals, routines, metrics and expectations through which we attempt to quantify and ascribe value to our lives. With mordant humor and penetrating intellect, Arndt casts her gaze beyond event-driven narratives to the machinery underlying them: judo competitions measured in weigh-ins and wait times; the significance of the elliptical’s stationary churn; the rote scripts of dating apps; the stupefying sameness of the daily commute.”

Magic Hours  by Tom Bissell

“Award-winning essayist Tom Bissell explores the highs and lows of the creative process. He takes us from the set of  The Big Bang Theory  to the first novel of Ernest Hemingway to the final work of David Foster Wallace; from the films of Werner Herzog to the film of Tommy Wiseau to the editorial meeting in which Paula Fox’s work was relaunched into the world. Originally published in magazines such as  The Believer ,  The New Yorker , and  Harper’s , these essays represent ten years of Bissell’s best writing on every aspect of creation—be it Iraq War documentaries or video-game character voices—and will provoke as much thought as they do laughter.”

Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession  by Alice Bolin

“In this poignant collection, Alice Bolin examines iconic American works from the essays of Joan Didion and James Baldwin to  Twin Peaks , Britney Spears, and  Serial , illuminating the widespread obsession with women who are abused, killed, and disenfranchised, and whose bodies (dead and alive) are used as props to bolster men’s stories. Smart and accessible, thoughtful and heartfelt, Bolin investigates the implications of our cultural fixations, and her own role as a consumer and creator.”

Betwixt-and-Between: Essays on the Writing Life  by Jenny Boully

“Jenny Boully’s essays are ripe with romance and sensual pleasures, drawing connections between the digression, reflection, imagination, and experience that characterizes falling in love as well as the life of a writer. Literary theory, philosophy, and linguistics rub up against memory, dreamscapes, and fancy, making the practice of writing a metaphor for the illusory nature of experience.  Betwixt and Between  is, in many ways, simply a book about how to live.”

Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give by Ada Calhoun

“In  Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give , Ada Calhoun presents an unflinching but also loving portrait of her own marriage, opening a long-overdue conversation about the institution as it truly is: not the happy ending of a love story or a relic doomed by high divorce rates, but the beginning of a challenging new chapter of which ‘the first twenty years are the hardest.'”

How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays  by Alexander Chee

“ How to Write an Autobiographical Novel  is the author’s manifesto on the entangling of life, literature, and politics, and how the lessons learned from a life spent reading and writing fiction have changed him. In these essays, he grows from student to teacher, reader to writer, and reckons with his identities as a son, a gay man, a Korean American, an artist, an activist, a lover, and a friend. He examines some of the most formative experiences of his life and the nation’s history, including his father’s death, the AIDS crisis, 9/11, the jobs that supported his writing—Tarot-reading, bookselling, cater-waiting for William F. Buckley—the writing of his first novel,  Edinburgh , and the election of Donald Trump.”

Too Much and Not the Mood: Essays  by Durga Chew-Bose

“ Too Much and Not the Mood is a beautiful and surprising exploration of what it means to be a first-generation, creative young woman working today. On April 11, 1931, Virginia Woolf ended her entry in A Writer’s Diary with the words ‘too much and not the mood’ to describe her frustration with placating her readers, what she described as the ‘cramming in and the cutting out.’ She wondered if she had anything at all that was truly worth saying. The attitude of that sentiment inspired Durga Chew-Bose to gather own writing in this lyrical collection of poetic essays that examine personhood and artistic growth. Drawing inspiration from a diverse group of incisive and inquiring female authors, Chew-Bose captures the inner restlessness that keeps her always on the brink of creative expression.”

We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy  by Ta-Nehisi Coates

“‘We were eight years in power’ was the lament of Reconstruction-era black politicians as the American experiment in multiracial democracy ended with the return of white supremacist rule in the South. In this sweeping collection of new and selected essays, Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the tragic echoes of that history in our own time: the unprecedented election of a black president followed by a vicious backlash that fueled the election of the man Coates argues is America’s ‘first white president.'”

Look Alive Out There: Essays by Sloane Crosley

“In  Look Alive Out There,  whether it’s scaling active volcanoes, crashing shivas, playing herself on  Gossip Girl,  befriending swingers, or squinting down the barrel of the fertility gun, Crosley continues to rise to the occasion with unmatchable nerve and electric one-liners. And as her subjects become more serious, her essays deliver not just laughs but lasting emotional heft and insight. Crosley has taken up the gauntlets thrown by her predecessors—Dorothy Parker, Nora Ephron, David Sedaris—and crafted something rare, affecting, and true.”

Fl â neuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London  by Lauren Elkin

“Part cultural meander, part memoir,  Flâneuse  takes us on a distinctly cosmopolitan jaunt that begins in New York, where Elkin grew up, and transports us to Paris via Venice, Tokyo, and London, all cities in which she’s lived. We are shown the paths beaten by such  flâneuses  as the cross-dressing nineteenth-century novelist George Sand, the Parisian artist Sophie Calle, the wartime correspondent Martha Gellhorn, and the writer Jean Rhys. With tenacity and insight, Elkin creates a mosaic of what urban settings have meant to women, charting through literature, art, history, and film the sometimes exhilarating, sometimes fraught relationship that women have with the metropolis.”

Idiophone  by Amy Fusselman

“Leaping from ballet to quiltmaking, from the The Nutcracker to an Annie-B Parson interview,  Idiophone  is a strikingly original meditation on risk-taking and provocation in art and a unabashedly honest, funny, and intimate consideration of art-making in the context of motherhood, and motherhood in the context of addiction. Amy Fusselman’s compact, beautifully digressive essay feels both surprising and effortless, fueled by broad-ranging curiosity, and, fundamentally, joy.”

Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture  by Roxane Gay

“In this valuable and revealing anthology, cultural critic and bestselling author Roxane Gay collects original and previously published pieces that address what it means to live in a world where women have to measure the harassment, violence, and aggression they face, and where they are ‘routinely second-guessed, blown off, discredited, denigrated, besmirched, belittled, patronized, mocked, shamed, gaslit, insulted, bullied’ for speaking out.”

Sunshine State: Essays  by Sarah Gerard

“With the personal insight of  The Empathy Exams , the societal exposal of  Nickel and Dimed , and the stylistic innovation and intensity of her own break-out debut novel  Binary Star , Sarah Gerard’s  Sunshine State  uses the intimately personal to unearth the deep reservoirs of humanity buried in the corners of our world often hardest to face.”

The Art of the Wasted Day  by Patricia Hampl

“ The Art of the Wasted Day  is a picaresque travelogue of leisure written from a lifelong enchantment with solitude. Patricia Hampl visits the homes of historic exemplars of ease who made repose a goal, even an art form. She begins with two celebrated eighteenth-century Irish ladies who ran off to live a life of ‘retirement’ in rural Wales. Her search then leads to Moravia to consider the monk-geneticist, Gregor Mendel, and finally to Bordeaux for Michel Montaigne—the hero of this book—who retreated from court life to sit in his chateau tower and write about whatever passed through his mind, thus inventing the personal essay.”

A Really Big Lunch: The Roving Gourmand on Food and Life  by Jim Harrison

“Jim Harrison’s legendary gourmandise is on full display in  A Really Big Lunch . From the titular  New Yorker  piece about a French lunch that went to thirty-seven courses, to pieces from  Brick ,  Playboy , Kermit Lynch Newsletter, and more on the relationship between hunter and prey, or the obscure language of wine reviews,  A Really Big Lunch  is shot through with Harrison’s pointed aperçus and keen delight in the pleasures of the senses. And between the lines the pieces give glimpses of Harrison’s life over the last three decades.  A Really Big Lunch  is a literary delight that will satisfy every appetite.”

Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me  by Bill Hayes

“Bill Hayes came to New York City in 2009 with a one-way ticket and only the vaguest idea of how he would get by. But, at forty-eight years old, having spent decades in San Francisco, he craved change. Grieving over the death of his partner, he quickly discovered the profound consolations of the city’s incessant rhythms, the sight of the Empire State Building against the night sky, and New Yorkers themselves, kindred souls that Hayes, a lifelong insomniac, encountered on late-night strolls with his camera.”

Would You Rather?: A Memoir of Growing Up and Coming Out  by Katie Heaney

“Here, for the first time, Katie opens up about realizing at the age of twenty-eight that she is gay. In these poignant, funny essays, she wrestles with her shifting sexuality and identity, and describes what it was like coming out to everyone she knows (and everyone she doesn’t). As she revisits her past, looking for any ‘clues’ that might have predicted this outcome, Katie reveals that life doesn’t always move directly from point A to point B—no matter how much we would like it to.”

Tonight I’m Someone Else: Essays  by Chelsea Hodson

“From graffiti gangs and  Grand Theft Auto  to sugar daddies, Schopenhauer, and a deadly game of Russian roulette, in these essays, Chelsea Hodson probes her own desires to examine where the physical and the proprietary collide. She asks what our privacy, our intimacy, and our own bodies are worth in the increasingly digital world of liking, linking, and sharing.”

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.: Essays  by Samantha Irby

“With  We Are Never Meeting in Real Life. , ‘bitches gotta eat’ blogger and comedian Samantha Irby turns the serio-comic essay into an art form. Whether talking about how her difficult childhood has led to a problem in making ‘adult’ budgets, explaining why she should be the new Bachelorette—she’s ’35-ish, but could easily pass for 60-something’—detailing a disastrous pilgrimage-slash-romantic-vacation to Nashville to scatter her estranged father’s ashes, sharing awkward sexual encounters, or dispensing advice on how to navigate friendships with former drinking buddies who are now suburban moms—hang in there for the Costco loot—she’s as deft at poking fun at the ghosts of her past self as she is at capturing powerful emotional truths.”

This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America  by Morgan Jerkins

“Doubly disenfranchised by race and gender, often deprived of a place within the mostly white mainstream feminist movement, black women are objectified, silenced, and marginalized with devastating consequences, in ways both obvious and subtle, that are rarely acknowledged in our country’s larger discussion about inequality. In  This Will Be My Undoing , Jerkins becomes both narrator and subject to expose the social, cultural, and historical story of black female oppression that influences the black community as well as the white, male-dominated world at large.”

Everywhere Home: A Life in Essays  by Fenton Johnson

“Part retrospective, part memoir, Fenton Johnson’s collection  Everywhere Home: A Life in Essays  explores sexuality, religion, geography, the AIDS crisis, and more. Johnson’s wanderings take him from the hills of Kentucky to those of San Francisco, from the streets of Paris to the sidewalks of Calcutta. Along the way, he investigates questions large and small: What’s the relationship between artists and museums, illuminated in a New Guinean display of shrunken heads? What’s the difference between empiricism and intuition?”

One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter: Essays  by Scaachi Koul

“In  One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter , Scaachi Koul deploys her razor-sharp humor to share all the fears, outrages, and mortifying moments of her life. She learned from an early age what made her miserable, and for Scaachi anything can be cause for despair. Whether it’s a shopping trip gone awry; enduring awkward conversations with her bikini waxer; overcoming her fear of flying while vacationing halfway around the world; dealing with Internet trolls, or navigating the fears and anxieties of her parents. Alongside these personal stories are pointed observations about life as a woman of color: where every aspect of her appearance is open for critique, derision, or outright scorn; where strict gender rules bind in both Western and Indian cultures, leaving little room for a woman not solely focused on marriage and children to have a career (and a life) for herself.”

Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions  by Valeria Luiselli and jon lee anderson (translator)

“A damning confrontation between the American dream and the reality of undocumented children seeking a new life in the U.S. Structured around the 40 questions Luiselli translates and asks undocumented Latin American children facing deportation,  Tell Me How It Ends  (an expansion of her 2016 Freeman’s essay of the same name) humanizes these young migrants and highlights the contradiction between the idea of America as a fiction for immigrants and the reality of racism and fear—both here and back home.”

All the Lives I Want: Essays About My Best Friends Who Happen to Be Famous Strangers  by Alana Massey

“Mixing Didion’s affected cool with moments of giddy celebrity worship, Massey examines the lives of the women who reflect our greatest aspirations and darkest fears back onto us. These essays are personal without being confessional and clever in a way that invites readers into the joke. A cultural critique and a finely wrought fan letter, interwoven with stories that are achingly personal, All the Lives I Want is also an exploration of mental illness, the sex industry, and the dangers of loving too hard.”

Typewriters, Bombs, Jellyfish: Essays  by Tom McCarthy

“Certain points of reference recur with dreamlike insistence—among them the artist Ed Ruscha’s  Royal Road Test , a photographic documentation of the roadside debris of a Royal typewriter hurled from the window of a traveling car; the great blooms of jellyfish that are filling the oceans and gumming up the machinery of commerce and military domination—and the question throughout is: How can art explode the restraining conventions of so-called realism, whether aesthetic or political, to engage in the active reinvention of the world?”

Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump’s America  by Samhita Mukhopadhyay and Kate Harding

“When 53 percent of white women voted for Donald Trump and 94 percent of black women voted for Hillary Clinton, how can women unite in Trump’s America? Nasty Women includes inspiring essays from a diverse group of talented women writers who seek to provide a broad look at how we got here and what we need to do to move forward.”

Don’t Call Me Princess: Essays on Girls, Women, Sex, and Life  by Peggy Orenstein

“Named one of the ’40 women who changed the media business in the last 40 years’ by  Columbia Journalism Review , Peggy Orenstein is one of the most prominent, unflinching feminist voices of our time. Her writing has broken ground and broken silences on topics as wide-ranging as miscarriage, motherhood, breast cancer, princess culture and the importance of girls’ sexual pleasure. Her unique blend of investigative reporting, personal revelation and unexpected humor has made her books bestselling classics.”

When You Find Out the World Is Against You: And Other Funny Memories About Awful Moments  by Kelly Oxford

“Kelly Oxford likes to blow up the internet. Whether it is with the kind of Tweets that lead  Rolling Stone  to name her one of the Funniest People on Twitter or with pictures of her hilariously adorable family (human and animal) or with something much more serious, like creating the hashtag #NotOkay, where millions of women came together to share their stories of sexual assault, Kelly has a unique, razor-sharp perspective on modern life. As a screen writer, professional sh*t disturber, wife and mother of three, Kelly is about everything but the status quo.”

Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman  by Anne Helen Petersen

“You know the type: the woman who won’t shut up, who’s too brazen, too opinionated—too much. She’s the unruly woman, and she embodies one of the most provocative and powerful forms of womanhood today. In  Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud , Anne Helen Petersen uses the lens of ‘unruliness’ to explore the ascension of pop culture powerhouses like Lena Dunham, Nicki Minaj, and Kim Kardashian, exploring why the public loves to love (and hate) these controversial figures. With its brisk, incisive analysis,  Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud  will be a conversation-starting book on what makes and breaks celebrity today.”

Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist  by Franchesca Ramsey

“In her first book, Ramsey uses her own experiences as an accidental activist to explore the many ways we communicate with each other—from the highs of bridging gaps and making connections to the many pitfalls that accompany talking about race, power, sexuality, and gender in an unpredictable public space…the internet.”

Shrewed: A Wry and Closely Observed Look at the Lives of Women and Girls  by Elizabeth Renzetti

“Drawing upon Renzetti’s decades of reporting on feminist issues,  Shrewed  is a book about feminism’s crossroads. From Hillary Clinton’s failed campaign to the quest for equal pay, from the lessons we can learn from old ladies to the future of feminism in a turbulent world, Renzetti takes a pointed, witty look at how far we’ve come—and how far we have to go.”

What Are We Doing Here?: Essays  by Marilynne Robinson

“In this new essay collection she trains her incisive mind on our modern political climate and the mysteries of faith. Whether she is investigating how the work of great thinkers about America like Emerson and Tocqueville inform our political consciousness or discussing the way that beauty informs and disciplines daily life, Robinson’s peerless prose and boundless humanity are on full display.”

Double Bind: Women on Ambition  by Robin Romm

“‘A work of courage and ferocious honesty’ (Diana Abu-Jaber),  Double Bind  could not come at a more urgent time. Even as major figures from Gloria Steinem to Beyoncé embrace the word ‘feminism,’ the word ‘ambition’ remains loaded with ambivalence. Many women see it as synonymous with strident or aggressive, yet most feel compelled to strive and achieve—the seeming contradiction leaving them in a perpetual double bind. Ayana Mathis, Molly Ringwald, Roxane Gay, and a constellation of ‘nimble thinkers . . . dismantle this maddening paradox’ ( O, The Oprah Magazine ) with candor, wit, and rage. Women who have made landmark achievements in fields as diverse as law, dog sledding, and butchery weigh in, breaking the last feminist taboo once and for all.”

The Destiny Thief: Essays on Writing, Writers and Life  by Richard Russo

“In these nine essays, Richard Russo provides insight into his life as a writer, teacher, friend, and reader. From a commencement speech he gave at Colby College, to the story of how an oddly placed toilet made him reevaluate the purpose of humor in art and life, to a comprehensive analysis of Mark Twain’s value, to his harrowing journey accompanying a dear friend as she pursued gender-reassignment surgery,  The Destiny Thief  reflects the broad interests and experiences of one of America’s most beloved authors. Warm, funny, wise, and poignant, the essays included here traverse Russo’s writing life, expanding our understanding of who he is and how his singular, incredibly generous mind works. An utter joy to read, they give deep insight into the creative process from the prospective of one of our greatest writers.”

Curry: Eating, Reading, and Race by Naben Ruthnum

“Curry is a dish that doesn’t quite exist, but, as this wildly funny and sharp essay points out, a dish that doesn’t properly exist can have infinite, equally authentic variations. By grappling with novels, recipes, travelogues, pop culture, and his own upbringing, Naben Ruthnum depicts how the distinctive taste of curry has often become maladroit shorthand for brown identity. With the sardonic wit of Gita Mehta’s  Karma Cola  and the refined, obsessive palette of Bill Buford’s  Heat , Ruthnum sinks his teeth into the story of how the beloved flavor calcified into an aesthetic genre that limits the imaginations of writers, readers, and eaters.”

The River of Consciousness  by Oliver Sacks

“Sacks, an Oxford-educated polymath, had a deep familiarity not only with literature and medicine but with botany, animal anatomy, chemistry, the history of science, philosophy, and psychology.  The River of Consciousness  is one of two books Sacks was working on up to his death, and it reveals his ability to make unexpected connections, his sheer joy in knowledge, and his unceasing, timeless project to understand what makes us human.”

All the Women in My Family Sing: Women Write the World: Essays on Equality, Justice, and Freedom (Nothing But the Truth So Help Me God)  by Deborah Santana and America Ferrera

“ All the Women in My Family Sing  is an anthology documenting the experiences of women of color at the dawn of the twenty-first century. It is a vital collection of prose and poetry whose topics range from the pressures of being the vice-president of a Fortune 500 Company, to escaping the killing fields of Cambodia, to the struggles inside immigration, identity, romance, and self-worth. These brief, trenchant essays capture the aspirations and wisdom of women of color as they exercise autonomy, creativity, and dignity and build bridges to heal the brokenness in today’s turbulent world.”

We Wear the Mask: 15 True Stories of Passing in America  by Brando Skyhorse and Lisa Page

“For some, ‘passing’ means opportunity, access, or safety. Others don’t willingly pass but are ‘passed’ in specific situations by someone else.  We Wear the Mask , edited by  Brando Skyhorse  and  Lisa Page , is an illuminating and timely anthology that examines the complex reality of passing in America. Skyhorse, a Mexican American, writes about how his mother passed him as an American Indian before he learned who he really is. Page shares how her white mother didn’t tell friends about her black ex-husband or that her children were, in fact, biracial.”

Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith

“Since she burst spectacularly into view with her debut novel almost two decades ago, Zadie Smith has established herself not just as one of the world’s preeminent fiction writers, but also a brilliant and singular essayist. She contributes regularly to  The New Yorker  and the  New York Review of Books  on a range of subjects, and each piece of hers is a literary event in its own right.”

The Mother of All Questions: Further Reports from the Feminist Revolutions  by Rebecca Solnit

“In a timely follow-up to her national bestseller  Men Explain Things to Me , Rebecca Solnit offers indispensable commentary on women who refuse to be silenced, misogynistic violence, the fragile masculinity of the literary canon, the gender binary, the recent history of rape jokes, and much more. In characteristic style, Solnit mixes humor, keen analysis, and powerful insight in these essays.”

The Wrong Way to Save Your Life: Essays  by Megan Stielstra

“Whether she’s imagining the implications of open-carry laws on college campuses, recounting the story of going underwater on the mortgage of her first home, or revealing the unexpected pains and joys of marriage and motherhood, Stielstra’s work informs, impels, enlightens, and embraces us all. The result is something beautiful—this story, her courage, and, potentially, our own.”

Against Memoir: Complaints, Confessions & Criticisms  by Michelle Tea

“Delivered with her signature honesty and dark humor, this is Tea’s first-ever collection of journalistic writing. As she blurs the line between telling other people’s stories and her own, she turns an investigative eye to the genre that’s nurtured her entire career—memoir—and considers the price that art demands be paid from life.”

A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause  by Shawn Wen

“In precise, jewel-like scenes and vignettes,  A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause  pays homage to the singular genius of a mostly-forgotten art form. Drawing on interviews, archival research, and meticulously observed performances, Wen translates the gestural language of mime into a lyric written portrait by turns whimsical, melancholic, and haunting.”

Acid West: Essays  by Joshua Wheeler

“The radical evolution of American identity, from cowboys to drone warriors to space explorers, is a story rooted in southern New Mexico.  Acid West  illuminates this history, clawing at the bounds of genre to reveal a place that is, for better or worse, home. By turns intimate, absurd, and frightening,  Acid West  is an enlightening deep-dive into a prophetic desert at the bottom of America.”

Sexographies  by Gabriela Wiener and Lucy Greaves And jennifer adcock (Translators)

“In fierce and sumptuous first-person accounts, renowned Peruvian journalist Gabriela Wiener records infiltrating the most dangerous Peruvian prison, participating in sexual exchanges in swingers clubs, traveling the dark paths of the Bois de Boulogne in Paris in the company of transvestites and prostitutes, undergoing a complicated process of egg donation, and participating in a ritual of ayahuasca ingestion in the Amazon jungle—all while taking us on inward journeys that explore immigration, maternity, fear of death, ugliness, and threesomes. Fortunately, our eagle-eyed voyeur emerges from her narrative forays unscathed and ready to take on the kinks, obsessions, and messiness of our lives.  Sexographies  is an eye-opening, kamikaze journey across the contours of the human body and mind.”

The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative  by Florence Williams

“From forest trails in Korea, to islands in Finland, to eucalyptus groves in California, Florence Williams investigates the science behind nature’s positive effects on the brain. Delving into brand-new research, she uncovers the powers of the natural world to improve health, promote reflection and innovation, and strengthen our relationships. As our modern lives shift dramatically indoors, these ideas—and the answers they yield—are more urgent than ever.”

Can You Tolerate This?: Essays  by Ashleigh Young

“ Can You Tolerate This?  presents a vivid self-portrait of an introspective yet widely curious young woman, the colorful, isolated community in which she comes of age, and the uneasy tensions—between safety and risk, love and solitude, the catharsis of grief and the ecstasy of creation—that define our lives.”

What are your favorite contemporary essay collections?

the book i have read essay

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17 Book Review Examples to Help You Write the Perfect Review

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17 book review examples to help you write the perfect review.

17 Book Review Examples to Help You Write the Perfect Review

It’s an exciting time to be a book reviewer. Once confined to print newspapers and journals, reviews now dot many corridors of the Internet — forever helping others discover their next great read. That said, every book reviewer will face a familiar panic: how can you do justice to a great book in just a thousand words?

As you know, the best way to learn how to do something is by immersing yourself in it. Luckily, the Internet (i.e. Goodreads and other review sites , in particular) has made book reviews more accessible than ever — which means that there are a lot of book reviews examples out there for you to view!

In this post, we compiled 17 prototypical book review examples in multiple genres to help you figure out how to write the perfect review . If you want to jump straight to the examples, you can skip the next section. Otherwise, let’s first check out what makes up a good review.

Are you interested in becoming a book reviewer? We recommend you check out Reedsy Discovery , where you can earn money for writing reviews — and are guaranteed people will read your reviews! To register as a book reviewer, sign up here.

Pro-tip : But wait! How are you sure if you should become a book reviewer in the first place? If you're on the fence, or curious about your match with a book reviewing career, take our quick quiz:

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What must a book review contain?

Like all works of art, no two book reviews will be identical. But fear not: there are a few guidelines for any aspiring book reviewer to follow. Most book reviews, for instance, are less than 1,500 words long, with the sweet spot hitting somewhere around the 1,000-word mark. (However, this may vary depending on the platform on which you’re writing, as we’ll see later.)

In addition, all reviews share some universal elements, as shown in our book review templates . These include:

  • A review will offer a concise plot summary of the book. 
  • A book review will offer an evaluation of the work. 
  • A book review will offer a recommendation for the audience. 

If these are the basic ingredients that make up a book review, it’s the tone and style with which the book reviewer writes that brings the extra panache. This will differ from platform to platform, of course. A book review on Goodreads, for instance, will be much more informal and personal than a book review on Kirkus Reviews, as it is catering to a different audience. However, at the end of the day, the goal of all book reviews is to give the audience the tools to determine whether or not they’d like to read the book themselves.

Keeping that in mind, let’s proceed to some book review examples to put all of this in action.

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Book review examples for fiction books

Since story is king in the world of fiction, it probably won’t come as any surprise to learn that a book review for a novel will concentrate on how well the story was told .

That said, book reviews in all genres follow the same basic formula that we discussed earlier. In these examples, you’ll be able to see how book reviewers on different platforms expertly intertwine the plot summary and their personal opinions of the book to produce a clear, informative, and concise review.

Note: Some of the book review examples run very long. If a book review is truncated in this post, we’ve indicated by including a […] at the end, but you can always read the entire review if you click on the link provided.

Examples of literary fiction book reviews

Kirkus Reviews reviews Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man :

An extremely powerful story of a young Southern Negro, from his late high school days through three years of college to his life in Harlem.
His early training prepared him for a life of humility before white men, but through injustices- large and small, he came to realize that he was an "invisible man". People saw in him only a reflection of their preconceived ideas of what he was, denied his individuality, and ultimately did not see him at all. This theme, which has implications far beyond the obvious racial parallel, is skillfully handled. The incidents of the story are wholly absorbing. The boy's dismissal from college because of an innocent mistake, his shocked reaction to the anonymity of the North and to Harlem, his nightmare experiences on a one-day job in a paint factory and in the hospital, his lightning success as the Harlem leader of a communistic organization known as the Brotherhood, his involvement in black versus white and black versus black clashes and his disillusion and understanding of his invisibility- all climax naturally in scenes of violence and riot, followed by a retreat which is both literal and figurative. Parts of this experience may have been told before, but never with such freshness, intensity and power.
This is Ellison's first novel, but he has complete control of his story and his style. Watch it.

Lyndsey reviews George Orwell’s 1984 on Goodreads:

YOU. ARE. THE. DEAD. Oh my God. I got the chills so many times toward the end of this book. It completely blew my mind. It managed to surpass my high expectations AND be nothing at all like I expected. Or in Newspeak "Double Plus Good." Let me preface this with an apology. If I sound stunningly inarticulate at times in this review, I can't help it. My mind is completely fried.
This book is like the dystopian Lord of the Rings, with its richly developed culture and economics, not to mention a fully developed language called Newspeak, or rather more of the anti-language, whose purpose is to limit speech and understanding instead of to enhance and expand it. The world-building is so fully fleshed out and spine-tinglingly terrifying that it's almost as if George travelled to such a place, escaped from it, and then just wrote it all down.
I read Fahrenheit 451 over ten years ago in my early teens. At the time, I remember really wanting to read 1984, although I never managed to get my hands on it. I'm almost glad I didn't. Though I would not have admitted it at the time, it would have gone over my head. Or at the very least, I wouldn't have been able to appreciate it fully. […]

The New York Times reviews Lisa Halliday’s Asymmetry :

Three-quarters of the way through Lisa Halliday’s debut novel, “Asymmetry,” a British foreign correspondent named Alistair is spending Christmas on a compound outside of Baghdad. His fellow revelers include cameramen, defense contractors, United Nations employees and aid workers. Someone’s mother has FedExed a HoneyBaked ham from Maine; people are smoking by the swimming pool. It is 2003, just days after Saddam Hussein’s capture, and though the mood is optimistic, Alistair is worrying aloud about the ethics of his chosen profession, wondering if reporting on violence doesn’t indirectly abet violence and questioning why he’d rather be in a combat zone than reading a picture book to his son. But every time he returns to London, he begins to “spin out.” He can’t go home. “You observe what people do with their freedom — what they don’t do — and it’s impossible not to judge them for it,” he says.
The line, embedded unceremoniously in the middle of a page-long paragraph, doubles, like so many others in “Asymmetry,” as literary criticism. Halliday’s novel is so strange and startlingly smart that its mere existence seems like commentary on the state of fiction. One finishes “Asymmetry” for the first or second (or like this reader, third) time and is left wondering what other writers are not doing with their freedom — and, like Alistair, judging them for it.
Despite its title, “Asymmetry” comprises two seemingly unrelated sections of equal length, appended by a slim and quietly shocking coda. Halliday’s prose is clean and lean, almost reportorial in the style of W. G. Sebald, and like the murmurings of a shy person at a cocktail party, often comic only in single clauses. It’s a first novel that reads like the work of an author who has published many books over many years. […]

Emily W. Thompson reviews Michael Doane's The Crossing on Reedsy Discovery :

In Doane’s debut novel, a young man embarks on a journey of self-discovery with surprising results.
An unnamed protagonist (The Narrator) is dealing with heartbreak. His love, determined to see the world, sets out for Portland, Oregon. But he’s a small-town boy who hasn’t traveled much. So, the Narrator mourns her loss and hides from life, throwing himself into rehabbing an old motorcycle. Until one day, he takes a leap; he packs his bike and a few belongings and heads out to find the Girl.
Following in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and William Least Heat-Moon, Doane offers a coming of age story about a man finding himself on the backroads of America. Doane’s a gifted writer with fluid prose and insightful observations, using The Narrator’s personal interactions to illuminate the diversity of the United States.
The Narrator initially sticks to the highways, trying to make it to the West Coast as quickly as possible. But a hitchhiker named Duke convinces him to get off the beaten path and enjoy the ride. “There’s not a place that’s like any other,” [39] Dukes contends, and The Narrator realizes he’s right. Suddenly, the trip is about the journey, not just the destination. The Narrator ditches his truck and traverses the deserts and mountains on his bike. He destroys his phone, cutting off ties with his past and living only in the moment.
As he crosses the country, The Narrator connects with several unique personalities whose experiences and views deeply impact his own. Duke, the complicated cowboy and drifter, who opens The Narrator’s eyes to a larger world. Zooey, the waitress in Colorado who opens his heart and reminds him that love can be found in this big world. And Rosie, The Narrator’s sweet landlady in Portland, who helps piece him back together both physically and emotionally.
This supporting cast of characters is excellent. Duke, in particular, is wonderfully nuanced and complicated. He’s a throwback to another time, a man without a cell phone who reads Sartre and sleeps under the stars. Yet he’s also a grifter with a “love ‘em and leave ‘em” attitude that harms those around him. It’s fascinating to watch The Narrator wrestle with Duke’s behavior, trying to determine which to model and which to discard.
Doane creates a relatable protagonist in The Narrator, whose personal growth doesn’t erase his faults. His willingness to hit the road with few resources is admirable, and he’s prescient enough to recognize the jealousy of those who cannot or will not take the leap. His encounters with new foods, places, and people broaden his horizons. Yet his immaturity and selfishness persist. He tells Rosie she’s been a good mother to him but chooses to ignore the continuing concern from his own parents as he effectively disappears from his old life.
Despite his flaws, it’s a pleasure to accompany The Narrator on his physical and emotional journey. The unexpected ending is a fitting denouement to an epic and memorable road trip.

The Book Smugglers review Anissa Gray’s The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls :

I am still dipping my toes into the literally fiction pool, finding what works for me and what doesn’t. Books like The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray are definitely my cup of tea.
Althea and Proctor Cochran had been pillars of their economically disadvantaged community for years – with their local restaurant/small market and their charity drives. Until they are found guilty of fraud for stealing and keeping most of the money they raised and sent to jail. Now disgraced, their entire family is suffering the consequences, specially their twin teenage daughters Baby Vi and Kim.  To complicate matters even more: Kim was actually the one to call the police on her parents after yet another fight with her mother. […]

Examples of children’s and YA fiction book reviews

The Book Hookup reviews Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give :

♥ Quick Thoughts and Rating: 5 stars! I can’t imagine how challenging it would be to tackle the voice of a movement like Black Lives Matter, but I do know that Thomas did it with a finesse only a talented author like herself possibly could. With an unapologetically realistic delivery packed with emotion, The Hate U Give is a crucially important portrayal of the difficulties minorities face in our country every single day. I have no doubt that this book will be met with resistance by some (possibly many) and slapped with a “controversial” label, but if you’ve ever wondered what it was like to walk in a POC’s shoes, then I feel like this is an unflinchingly honest place to start.
In Angie Thomas’s debut novel, Starr Carter bursts on to the YA scene with both heart-wrecking and heartwarming sincerity. This author is definitely one to watch.
♥ Review: The hype around this book has been unquestionable and, admittedly, that made me both eager to get my hands on it and terrified to read it. I mean, what if I was to be the one person that didn’t love it as much as others? (That seems silly now because of how truly mesmerizing THUG was in the most heartbreakingly realistic way.) However, with the relevancy of its summary in regards to the unjust predicaments POC currently face in the US, I knew this one was a must-read, so I was ready to set my fears aside and dive in. That said, I had an altogether more personal, ulterior motive for wanting to read this book. […]

The New York Times reviews Melissa Albert’s The Hazel Wood :

Alice Crewe (a last name she’s chosen for herself) is a fairy tale legacy: the granddaughter of Althea Proserpine, author of a collection of dark-as-night fairy tales called “Tales From the Hinterland.” The book has a cult following, and though Alice has never met her grandmother, she’s learned a little about her through internet research. She hasn’t read the stories, because her mother, Ella Proserpine, forbids it.
Alice and Ella have moved from place to place in an attempt to avoid the “bad luck” that seems to follow them. Weird things have happened. As a child, Alice was kidnapped by a man who took her on a road trip to find her grandmother; he was stopped by the police before they did so. When at 17 she sees that man again, unchanged despite the years, Alice panics. Then Ella goes missing, and Alice turns to Ellery Finch, a schoolmate who’s an Althea Proserpine superfan, for help in tracking down her mother. Not only has Finch read every fairy tale in the collection, but handily, he remembers them, sharing them with Alice as they journey to the mysterious Hazel Wood, the estate of her now-dead grandmother, where they hope to find Ella.
“The Hazel Wood” starts out strange and gets stranger, in the best way possible. (The fairy stories Finch relays, which Albert includes as their own chapters, are as creepy and evocative as you’d hope.) Albert seamlessly combines contemporary realism with fantasy, blurring the edges in a way that highlights that place where stories and real life convene, where magic contains truth and the world as it appears is false, where just about anything can happen, particularly in the pages of a very good book. It’s a captivating debut. […]

James reviews Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight, Moon on Goodreads:

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is one of the books that followers of my blog voted as a must-read for our Children's Book August 2018 Readathon. Come check it out and join the next few weeks!
This picture book was such a delight. I hadn't remembered reading it when I was a child, but it might have been read to me... either way, it was like a whole new experience! It's always so difficult to convince a child to fall asleep at night. I don't have kids, but I do have a 5-month-old puppy who whines for 5 minutes every night when he goes in his cage/crate (hopefully he'll be fully housebroken soon so he can roam around when he wants). I can only imagine! I babysat a lot as a teenager and I have tons of younger cousins, nieces, and nephews, so I've been through it before, too. This was a believable experience, and it really helps show kids how to relax and just let go when it's time to sleep.
The bunny's are adorable. The rhymes are exquisite. I found it pretty fun, but possibly a little dated given many of those things aren't normal routines anymore. But the lessons to take from it are still powerful. Loved it! I want to sample some more books by this fine author and her illustrators.

Publishers Weekly reviews Elizabeth Lilly’s Geraldine :

This funny, thoroughly accomplished debut opens with two words: “I’m moving.” They’re spoken by the title character while she swoons across her family’s ottoman, and because Geraldine is a giraffe, her full-on melancholy mode is quite a spectacle. But while Geraldine may be a drama queen (even her mother says so), it won’t take readers long to warm up to her. The move takes Geraldine from Giraffe City, where everyone is like her, to a new school, where everyone else is human. Suddenly, the former extrovert becomes “That Giraffe Girl,” and all she wants to do is hide, which is pretty much impossible. “Even my voice tries to hide,” she says, in the book’s most poignant moment. “It’s gotten quiet and whispery.” Then she meets Cassie, who, though human, is also an outlier (“I’m that girl who wears glasses and likes MATH and always organizes her food”), and things begin to look up.
Lilly’s watercolor-and-ink drawings are as vividly comic and emotionally astute as her writing; just when readers think there are no more ways for Geraldine to contort her long neck, this highly promising talent comes up with something new.

Examples of genre fiction book reviews

Karlyn P reviews Nora Roberts’ Dark Witch , a paranormal romance novel , on Goodreads:

4 stars. Great world-building, weak romance, but still worth the read.
I hesitate to describe this book as a 'romance' novel simply because the book spent little time actually exploring the romance between Iona and Boyle. Sure, there IS a romance in this novel. Sprinkled throughout the book are a few scenes where Iona and Boyle meet, chat, wink at each, flirt some more, sleep together, have a misunderstanding, make up, and then profess their undying love. Very formulaic stuff, and all woven around the more important parts of this book.
The meat of this book is far more focused on the story of the Dark witch and her magically-gifted descendants living in Ireland. Despite being weak on the romance, I really enjoyed it. I think the book is probably better for it, because the romance itself was pretty lackluster stuff.
I absolutely plan to stick with this series as I enjoyed the world building, loved the Ireland setting, and was intrigued by all of the secondary characters. However, If you read Nora Roberts strictly for the romance scenes, this one might disappoint. But if you enjoy a solid background story with some dark magic and prophesies, you might enjoy it as much as I did.
I listened to this one on audio, and felt the narration was excellent.

Emily May reviews R.F. Kuang’s The Poppy Wars , an epic fantasy novel , on Goodreads:

“But I warn you, little warrior. The price of power is pain.”
Holy hell, what did I just read??
➽ A fantasy military school
➽ A rich world based on modern Chinese history
➽ Shamans and gods
➽ Detailed characterization leading to unforgettable characters
➽ Adorable, opium-smoking mentors
That's a basic list, but this book is all of that and SO MUCH MORE. I know 100% that The Poppy War will be one of my best reads of 2018.
Isn't it just so great when you find one of those books that completely drags you in, makes you fall in love with the characters, and demands that you sit on the edge of your seat for every horrific, nail-biting moment of it? This is one of those books for me. And I must issue a serious content warning: this book explores some very dark themes. Proceed with caution (or not at all) if you are particularly sensitive to scenes of war, drug use and addiction, genocide, racism, sexism, ableism, self-harm, torture, and rape (off-page but extremely horrific).
Because, despite the fairly innocuous first 200 pages, the title speaks the truth: this is a book about war. All of its horrors and atrocities. It is not sugar-coated, and it is often graphic. The "poppy" aspect refers to opium, which is a big part of this book. It is a fantasy, but the book draws inspiration from the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Rape of Nanking.

Crime Fiction Lover reviews Jessica Barry’s Freefall , a crime novel:

In some crime novels, the wrongdoing hits you between the eyes from page one. With others it’s a more subtle process, and that’s OK too. So where does Freefall fit into the sliding scale?
In truth, it’s not clear. This is a novel with a thrilling concept at its core. A woman survives plane crash, then runs for her life. However, it is the subtleties at play that will draw you in like a spider beckoning to an unwitting fly.
Like the heroine in Sharon Bolton’s Dead Woman Walking, Allison is lucky to be alive. She was the only passenger in a private plane, belonging to her fiancé, Ben, who was piloting the expensive aircraft, when it came down in woodlands in the Colorado Rockies. Ally is also the only survivor, but rather than sitting back and waiting for rescue, she is soon pulling together items that may help her survive a little longer – first aid kit, energy bars, warm clothes, trainers – before fleeing the scene. If you’re hearing the faint sound of alarm bells ringing, get used to it. There’s much, much more to learn about Ally before this tale is over.

Kirkus Reviews reviews Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One , a science-fiction novel :

Video-game players embrace the quest of a lifetime in a virtual world; screenwriter Cline’s first novel is old wine in new bottles.
The real world, in 2045, is the usual dystopian horror story. So who can blame Wade, our narrator, if he spends most of his time in a virtual world? The 18-year-old, orphaned at 11, has no friends in his vertical trailer park in Oklahoma City, while the OASIS has captivating bells and whistles, and it’s free. Its creator, the legendary billionaire James Halliday, left a curious will. He had devised an elaborate online game, a hunt for a hidden Easter egg. The finder would inherit his estate. Old-fashioned riddles lead to three keys and three gates. Wade, or rather his avatar Parzival, is the first gunter (egg-hunter) to win the Copper Key, first of three.
Halliday was obsessed with the pop culture of the 1980s, primarily the arcade games, so the novel is as much retro as futurist. Parzival’s great strength is that he has absorbed all Halliday’s obsessions; he knows by heart three essential movies, crossing the line from geek to freak. His most formidable competitors are the Sixers, contract gunters working for the evil conglomerate IOI, whose goal is to acquire the OASIS. Cline’s narrative is straightforward but loaded with exposition. It takes a while to reach a scene that crackles with excitement: the meeting between Parzival (now world famous as the lead contender) and Sorrento, the head of IOI. The latter tries to recruit Parzival; when he fails, he issues and executes a death threat. Wade’s trailer is demolished, his relatives killed; luckily Wade was not at home. Too bad this is the dramatic high point. Parzival threads his way between more ’80s games and movies to gain the other keys; it’s clever but not exciting. Even a romance with another avatar and the ultimate “epic throwdown” fail to stir the blood.
Too much puzzle-solving, not enough suspense.

Book review examples for non-fiction books

Nonfiction books are generally written to inform readers about a certain topic. As such, the focus of a nonfiction book review will be on the clarity and effectiveness of this communication . In carrying this out, a book review may analyze the author’s source materials and assess the thesis in order to determine whether or not the book meets expectations.

Again, we’ve included abbreviated versions of long reviews here, so feel free to click on the link to read the entire piece!

The Washington Post reviews David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon :

The arc of David Grann’s career reminds one of a software whiz-kid or a latest-thing talk-show host — certainly not an investigative reporter, even if he is one of the best in the business. The newly released movie of his first book, “The Lost City of Z,” is generating all kinds of Oscar talk, and now comes the release of his second book, “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI,” the film rights to which have already been sold for $5 million in what one industry journal called the “biggest and wildest book rights auction in memory.”
Grann deserves the attention. He’s canny about the stories he chases, he’s willing to go anywhere to chase them, and he’s a maestro in his ability to parcel out information at just the right clip: a hint here, a shading of meaning there, a smartly paced buildup of multiple possibilities followed by an inevitable reversal of readerly expectations or, in some cases, by a thrilling and dislocating pull of the entire narrative rug.
All of these strengths are on display in “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Around the turn of the 20th century, oil was discovered underneath Osage lands in the Oklahoma Territory, lands that were soon to become part of the state of Oklahoma. Through foresight and legal maneuvering, the Osage found a way to permanently attach that oil to themselves and shield it from the prying hands of white interlopers; this mechanism was known as “headrights,” which forbade the outright sale of oil rights and granted each full member of the tribe — and, supposedly, no one else — a share in the proceeds from any lease arrangement. For a while, the fail-safes did their job, and the Osage got rich — diamond-ring and chauffeured-car and imported-French-fashion rich — following which quite a large group of white men started to work like devils to separate the Osage from their money. And soon enough, and predictably enough, this work involved murder. Here in Jazz Age America’s most isolated of locales, dozens or even hundreds of Osage in possession of great fortunes — and of the potential for even greater fortunes in the future — were dispatched by poison, by gunshot and by dynamite. […]

Stacked Books reviews Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers :

I’ve heard a lot of great things about Malcolm Gladwell’s writing. Friends and co-workers tell me that his subjects are interesting and his writing style is easy to follow without talking down to the reader. I wasn’t disappointed with Outliers. In it, Gladwell tackles the subject of success – how people obtain it and what contributes to extraordinary success as opposed to everyday success.
The thesis – that our success depends much more on circumstances out of our control than any effort we put forth – isn’t exactly revolutionary. Most of us know it to be true. However, I don’t think I’m lying when I say that most of us also believe that we if we just try that much harder and develop our talent that much further, it will be enough to become wildly successful, despite bad or just mediocre beginnings. Not so, says Gladwell.
Most of the evidence Gladwell gives us is anecdotal, which is my favorite kind to read. I can’t really speak to how scientifically valid it is, but it sure makes for engrossing listening. For example, did you know that successful hockey players are almost all born in January, February, or March? Kids born during these months are older than the others kids when they start playing in the youth leagues, which means they’re already better at the game (because they’re bigger). Thus, they get more play time, which means their skill increases at a faster rate, and it compounds as time goes by. Within a few years, they’re much, much better than the kids born just a few months later in the year. Basically, these kids’ birthdates are a huge factor in their success as adults – and it’s nothing they can do anything about. If anyone could make hockey interesting to a Texan who only grudgingly admits the sport even exists, it’s Gladwell. […]

Quill and Quire reviews Rick Prashaw’s Soar, Adam, Soar :

Ten years ago, I read a book called Almost Perfect. The young-adult novel by Brian Katcher won some awards and was held up as a powerful, nuanced portrayal of a young trans person. But the reality did not live up to the book’s billing. Instead, it turned out to be a one-dimensional and highly fetishized portrait of a trans person’s life, one that was nevertheless repeatedly dubbed “realistic” and “affecting” by non-transgender readers possessing only a vague, mass-market understanding of trans experiences.
In the intervening decade, trans narratives have emerged further into the literary spotlight, but those authored by trans people ourselves – and by trans men in particular – have seemed to fall under the shadow of cisgender sensationalized imaginings. Two current Canadian releases – Soar, Adam, Soar and This One Looks Like a Boy – provide a pointed object lesson into why trans-authored work about transgender experiences remains critical.
To be fair, Soar, Adam, Soar isn’t just a story about a trans man. It’s also a story about epilepsy, the medical establishment, and coming of age as seen through a grieving father’s eyes. Adam, Prashaw’s trans son, died unexpectedly at age 22. Woven through the elder Prashaw’s narrative are excerpts from Adam’s social media posts, giving us glimpses into the young man’s interior life as he traverses his late teens and early 20s. […]

Book Geeks reviews Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love :

WRITING STYLE: 3.5/5
SUBJECT: 4/5
CANDIDNESS: 4.5/5
RELEVANCE: 3.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3.5/5
“Eat Pray Love” is so popular that it is almost impossible to not read it. Having felt ashamed many times on my not having read this book, I quietly ordered the book (before I saw the movie) from amazon.in and sat down to read it. I don’t remember what I expected it to be – maybe more like a chick lit thing but it turned out quite different. The book is a real story and is a short journal from the time when its writer went travelling to three different countries in pursuit of three different things – Italy (Pleasure), India (Spirituality), Bali (Balance) and this is what corresponds to the book’s name – EAT (in Italy), PRAY (in India) and LOVE (in Bali, Indonesia). These are also the three Is – ITALY, INDIA, INDONESIA.
Though she had everything a middle-aged American woman can aspire for – MONEY, CAREER, FRIENDS, HUSBAND; Elizabeth was not happy in her life, she wasn’t happy in her marriage. Having suffered a terrible divorce and terrible breakup soon after, Elizabeth was shattered. She didn’t know where to go and what to do – all she knew was that she wanted to run away. So she set out on a weird adventure – she will go to three countries in a year and see if she can find out what she was looking for in life. This book is about that life changing journey that she takes for one whole year. […]

Emily May reviews Michelle Obama’s Becoming on Goodreads:

Look, I'm not a happy crier. I might cry at songs about leaving and missing someone; I might cry at books where things don't work out; I might cry at movies where someone dies. I've just never really understood why people get all choked up over happy, inspirational things. But Michelle Obama's kindness and empathy changed that. This book had me in tears for all the right reasons.
This is not really a book about politics, though political experiences obviously do come into it. It's a shame that some will dismiss this book because of a difference in political opinion, when it is really about a woman's life. About growing up poor and black on the South Side of Chicago; about getting married and struggling to maintain that marriage; about motherhood; about being thrown into an amazing and terrifying position.
I hate words like "inspirational" because they've become so overdone and cheesy, but I just have to say it-- Michelle Obama is an inspiration. I had the privilege of seeing her speak at The Forum in Inglewood, and she is one of the warmest, funniest, smartest, down-to-earth people I have ever seen in this world.
And yes, I know we present what we want the world to see, but I truly do think it's genuine. I think she is someone who really cares about people - especially kids - and wants to give them better lives and opportunities.
She's obviously intelligent, but she also doesn't gussy up her words. She talks straight, with an openness and honesty rarely seen. She's been one of the most powerful women in the world, she's been a graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School, she's had her own successful career, and yet she has remained throughout that same girl - Michelle Robinson - from a working class family in Chicago.
I don't think there's anyone who wouldn't benefit from reading this book.

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Read an Excerpt From Ann Leary's Book That Made Husband Denis Leary Laugh 'So F---ing Loud' (Exclusive)

The bestselling author's new essay collection, 'I've Tried Being Nice' spans family, fame, recovery and learning not to be a people-pleaser

Angela Weiss/WireImage; Marysue Rucci Books

Lots of husbands would be embarrassed to read a book their wife had written that covers — among other things — that time they almost got divorced, disastrous ballroom dancing lessons and their social snafus as they learned to navigate fame, family and all that comes with it.

But Denis Leary isn't that kind of husband.

His wife Ann Leary is brutally honest in her newest book, I've Tried Being Nice , out June 4 — but not at anyone's expense.

"Anything that I write about my family, they get to see before it's published anywhere, because if they don't like it, I don't wanna publish it," the author, 61, tells PEOPLE in a joint interview with Denis, 66. "Writing essays, you have to be so careful about people's feelings, like your husband's and your children's and your parents'. You have to tell your truth, but I like to be mindful of the privacy of people in my life."

The book spans a range of topics from serious to borderline-slapstick, mostly centered around the author's family, marriage, their life together and trying to be less of a people-pleaser.

The PEOPLE Puzzler crossword is here! How quickly can you solve it? Play now !

"I do touch on my childhood a little bit in one of the early essays, but most of it is about our family, being married to Dennis, having our great children and trying not to embarrass them too much by describing our lives," the author adds.

Running like an undercurrent to the laughs, as happens in so many of Ann's books, comes a sneaky dose of wisdom.

"I kind of explored the difference between being nice, which is actually a very good trait, and being a people-pleaser, which is more of like being insecure," she explains. "And it doesn't really come from a place of of altruism or kindness, or a higher level of emotion. It comes from selfish angst and fear."

Her husband, who Ann calls "my kindest critic ... and my biggest cheerleader-fan," says that it's "always exciting when I get to read whatever draft I'm allowed to read of something." He got an early look at these essays before publication, in pretty much the same form the reader will see them.

"I'm proud of her, but it's not the kind of writing I can really do, so a lot of times I'm just sort of in awe of how she could take something and turn it into something so funny or beautiful," Denis says. "I was laughing so f---ing loud at so many things, especially in the newer essays that I didn't know. But, man, this book! It really made me laugh."

The couple, who share children Jack, 34, and daughter Devin, 32, have always liked to laugh — together and, occasionally, in good-natured fun at each other.

"You have to laugh," Ann says, of what gets her through the tough stuff. "I'm actually annoyed when people don't have a sense of humor, I actually find it personally offensive."

Below, in an exclusive excerpt shared with PEOPLE, read a case of mistaken identity with endearing results.

Never miss a story — sign up for  PEOPLE's free daily newsletter  to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer , from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. 

Marysue Rucci Books

Years ago, at a dinner party, I was seated next to a very sweet, nebbishy-looking guy who seemed a little out of his element. Ali Wentworth and George Stephanopoulos were also at our table. They had been dating for less than two weeks. Now their daughters are in college, but how can that be? This party seems like it was yesterday. The thing about humiliating situations is that they always seem so fresh. Memories of my finer moments such as … well … none come to mind right now, but they all seem to fade. Shameful moments have a way of crystallizing in my memory, perfectly intact, forever.

My shy dinner companion at that party was concerned that there wouldn’t be anything for him to eat, as he was vegan. He was so quiet and unassuming. He didn’t seem to know anybody, and I assumed that he was somebody’s plus-one. A famous actor’s cousin, maybe visiting from out of town. 

I realized he was overwhelmed by the dazzling luminaries in the room, so I decided to take him under my wing. I asked one of the waitstaff to prepare him a salad, and then I explained to him who all the important people were. On his other side was a very famous actress. I told him that he shouldn’t be shy—he should introduce himself to her. He told me he already had.

At one point I asked him what he did for work. He told me that he was a musician. 

“Wow, that’s really cool,” I said, imagining him in an orchestra pit, his upper lip quivering above a flute, or perhaps on a subway platform strumming on a mandolin. 

When we left the party, Denis and I shared a ride with Jon Stewart and his wife, Tracey . 

“What was Moby like?” Tracey asked me when we were all in the back of the car. Denis and Jon leaned in toward me with expectant smiles. 

“Moby was there?” I asked. “I love Moby!” 

I’d been listening to a Moby playlist all summer; it was pretty much all I listened to that summer. I guess I’d never seen his photograph, because — yes, Moby had been my sweet, shy dinner companion. 

I began confessing to the others, in a voice rising hysterically, that I had just schooled Moby on the ins and outs of fame. I had just promised Moby that if he had a sample CD of one of his songs, I would personally make sure my husband Denis listened to it. 

“Denis Leary,” I’d said to him, with a humble little laugh. I don’t like name-dropping. 

Then I said, and my face is flaming now just typing these words: “I can’t promise anything, but if he likes one of your songs — who knows, maybe he’ll use it on his show.” I think I even offered some wisdom about how, in show business, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. 

God bless Moby. He didn’t laugh in my face and tell me he’d never heard of Denis Leary or his damn TV show. He thanked me for my thoughtfulness. He asked me about myself. 

This reminds me of something else I’ve learned on the sidelines of fame. Famous people have an undeservedly bad reputation as a group. They’re always accused of being entitled, stupid, selfish and narcissistic. Many are.

But the most entitled jerks at the Emmys or the Golden Globes or even celebrity-filled dinner parties tend to be actors who people besides me don’t recognize, along with lawyers, agents and certain publicists. These jerks will snatch a seat away from an elderly woman with a walker because she doesn’t belong in the VIP area. They push and shove their way to the front of the press line where nobody wants to take their picture. 

The most talented celebrities, in my experience, tend to be the most generous and kind. I’m talking about Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan , now. I’m talking about Morgan Freeman , Meryl Streep , Robert DeNiro — and all the other gentle giants of the celebrity kingdom. They’re thoughtful and kind, they wait their turn in line. They offer their seat to the pregnant or elderly. They turn away from the famous actress at a dinner party to say to the awkward, bumbling actor’s wife — the nobody seated next to them —“Tell me about yourself.” 

Excerpted from I’VE TRIED BEING NICE: Essays by Ann Leary. Copyright © 2024 by Ann Leary. Reprinted by permission of Marysue Rucci Books, a Division of Simon & Schuster, LLC.

I've Tried Being Nice: Essays by Ann Leary is out June 4 from Marysue Rucci Books, and is available for preorder now, wherever books are sold.

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    A book I have read. I read a lot, so it was hard to choose my favourite book. I really liked Harry Potter, which has 7 parts. It was written by J.K Rowling and it is one of the greatest fantasy books in the 21st Century. The story is sets a magical place called Hogwarts, where witches and wizards learn. The story is about a young wizard called ...

  3. Short Essay: My Favourite Book

    My Favourite Book Essay Example #3. Books have always been an integral part of my life. They are a source of knowledge, entertainment, and inspiration. Among the numerous books that I have read, one stands out as my favorite, and that is "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee. Published in 1960, this novel has become a classic of modern ...

  4. Essay on The Most Interesting book I read

    Essay/Speech on The Most Interesting book I read and learn write an Eassy about the Most Interesting book you read. Quizzes; Everyday Science. Science Questions and Answers; ... So many millions of children throughout the English speaking world must have read these books. Much more than Tom Sawyer, it was the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn ...

  5. A Book I Have Read

    It is helpful for gaining lots of knowledge and information but reading a good book is healthier for our brain and…. A Book I Have Read Books And Reading Critical Thinking Mental Health. 7. Essay On Joy Of Reading Books. Words • 805. Pages • 3. Paper Type: 750 Word Essay Examples.

  6. Essay on My Favourite Book for Students and Children

    In addition, books also enhance our imagination. Growing up, my parents and teachers always encouraged me to read. They taught me the importance of reading. Subsequently, I have read several books. However, one boom that will always be my favourite is Harry Potter. It is one of the most intriguing reads of my life.

  7. An Interesting Book I Read

    An Interesting Book I Read - Free Essay Examples and Topic Ideas. "An Interesting Book I Read" could refer to a personal reflection or review of a captivating book that left a lasting impression on the reader. In such a narrative, the reader might delve into the various aspects that made the book compelling, including its engaging plot ...

  8. A book you have recently read paragraph writing in english

    A book you have recently read paragraph writing in english || Hello Friends, In this video we will learn how to write an essay on a book I have recently read...

  9. How to Write an Essay On Books

    Make a short outline that includes an introduction, the main part, and a conclusion. Recall what your book is about. Write out a couple of main thoughts that are memorable and seem close to your heart. Write a review of the book, the kind you'd like to write for your friend. In simple, uncomplicated words.

  10. Essays About Reading: 5 Examples And Topic Ideas

    In this collection of reader essays, people share the books that have shaped how they see the world and live their lives. Talking about a life-changing piece of literature can offer a new perspective to people who tend to shy away from reading and can encourage others to pick up your favorite book. 2. I Read 150+ Books in 2 Years.

  11. Describe a book you have recently read

    Download Study Plan. This article contains the Describe a book you have recently read Cue Card Sample Answers. During Part 2 of the IELTS Speaking test, you will have exactly one minute to prepare and speak on a specific topic. This is the IELTS cue card task. You can learn how to communicate clearly and successfully by reviewing sample answers.

  12. PDF Strategies for Essay Writing

    inconsistency in your essay. • suggests an answer complex enough to require a whole essay's worth of discussion. If the question is too vague, it won't suggest a line of argument. The question should elicit reflection and argument rather than summary or description. • can be explored using the sources you have available for the assignment,

  13. The Best Book I've Ever Read

    May 21, 2012 12:00 AM EDT. In my many years as a journalist, scholar and thinker, I have read nearly all the great works of literature, including Milton, Shakespeare and the first third of The ...

  14. I Reread a Book That Changed My Life, but I'd Changed, Too

    Then I read "This Is How a Robin Drinks: Essays on Urban Nature," the forthcoming book by the Nashville naturalist Joanna Brichetto, which begins with an epigraph from "Pilgrim at Tinker ...

  15. Favorite Book Essay: The Most Engaging Book You Have Ever Read

    The Purpose Driven Life answers more life questions than it originally intends to address. It's educating, inspiring, and motivating. It is food for the mind, the heart, and the spirit. It's a book you should always keep by your bedside. Works Cited. Warren, Richard. The Purpose Driven Life: Zondervan, 2012.

  16. 100 Must-Read Essay Collections

    So below is my list, not of essay collections I think everybody "must read," even if that's what my title says, but collections I hope you will consider checking out if you want to. 1. Against Interpretation — Susan Sontag. 2. Alibis: Essays on Elsewhere — André Aciman. 3. American Romances — Rebecca Brown. 4. Art & Ardor ...

  17. All Those Books You've Bought but Haven't Read? There's a Word for That

    Jenny Erpenbeck's " Kairos ," a novel about a torrid love affair in the final years of East Germany, won the International Booker Prize, the renowned award for fiction translated into ...

  18. The Best Reviewed Essay Collections of 2021 ‹ Literary Hub

    Didion's pen is like a periscope onto the creative mind—and, as this collection demonstrates, it always has been. These essays offer a direct line to what's in the offing.". -Durga Chew-Bose ( The New York Times Book Review) 3. Orwell's Roses by Rebecca Solnit. (Viking) 12 Rave • 13 Positive • 1 Mixed.

  19. Best Essays: the 2021 Pen Awards

    1 Had I Known: Collected Essays by Barbara Ehrenreich. 2 Unfinished Business: Notes of a Chronic Re-Reader by Vivian Gornick. 3 Nature Matrix: New and Selected Essays by Robert Michael Pyle. 4 Terroir: Love, Out of Place by Natasha Sajé. 5 Maybe the People Would be the Times by Luc Sante.

  20. Wondrous Chubby Cheeks: The Best Book I Have Ever Read. (Essay)

    The Best Book I Have Ever Read. (Essay) I have read books of many interesting titles, but out of all the books I loved: Science From Scrap. The book is very interesting, and it is an environmental friendly book and helps recycle things that are found at your home. I found the most interesting scrap craft was the bottle box.

  21. How to write a good essay when you haven't read the book?

    Take any main idea you want and develop 3 BPs proving your point by using the PDF file of the novel and ctrl + F key words from the main idea or thesis, then use whichever quote pops up as supporting evidence. You can usually fit any quote to any main idea. This is coming from a certified procrastinator, someone who hates reading and has done ...

  22. 50 Must-Read Contemporary Essay Collections

    Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me by Bill Hayes. "Bill Hayes came to New York City in 2009 with a one-way ticket and only the vaguest idea of how he would get by. But, at forty-eight years old, having spent decades in San Francisco, he craved change.

  23. 17 Book Review Examples to Help You Write the Perfect Review

    It is a fantasy, but the book draws inspiration from the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Rape of Nanking. Crime Fiction Lover reviews Jessica Barry's Freefall, a crime novel: In some crime novels, the wrongdoing hits you between the eyes from page one. With others it's a more subtle process, and that's OK too.

  24. Read an Excerpt From Ann Leary's New Book, 'I've Tried Being Nice

    The bestselling author's new essay collection, 'I've Tried Being Nice' spans family, fame, recovery and learning not to be a people-pleaser Lizz Schumer is the senior books editor at PEOPLE. She ...

  25. How 1980s Yuppies Gave Us Donald Trump

    The percentage of wealth owned by the middle class dropped from 32 percent to 17 percent. Ironically, it was Donald Trump — if not a yuppie himself, then at least a walking symbol of 1980s glitz ...