A young lady recently asked me for book recommendations. I feel a real responsibility to provide a recommendation since this young lady has actually read the books I have recommended in the past. But I have never been good at selecting a single book on the spur of the moment. I think I read too many books simultaneously to retain a distinct impression of any one of them in particular. Much of what I read is for graduate school and many of those writers are relegated to an academic anonymity in the dustbin of my mind.
This book is different. I have the greatest respect for its author, Mr. Jacques Barzun. Barzun is an author with authority. He has read much and meditated on it. His opinions are well reasoned and delivered in an engaging manner. I look forward to the post in which I explain why he is my hero.
I read this book over my last Christmas break. It met a standard I remember my father articulating: I looked forward to reading it when I wasn't reading it. Many books are enjoyable but certain books make you eager to enjoy them. For me, at least, this was that kind of book.