Book Ruminations: Howard's End is on the Landing

posted May 15, 2013, 1:35 PM by jj pionke
I just finished the book Howard's End is on the Landing by Susan Hill.  It's a memoir whereupon she goes looking for a book in her house, can't find it, but finds a bunch of other books that she forgot she had and that she has never read.  She vows to limit her internet usage, buy no more books, and spend a year reading from home.  What follows then is her thoughts on reading, annotating, and all sorts of things associated with books.  I chose this book because I do love reading books that are about reading and books and I figured it would be a nice treat after a hectic semester.  That said, I went into the book with the full knowledge that it might be problematic. 

A reviewer somewhere talked about how for someone who repeatedly states that they are against name dropping, they do a lot of it.  That part is true.  In some ways, it feels like Hill is trying to say, I am not a name dropper but I know all of these people and I want to write about them because I know them and love their work and they are quirky and interesting.  I wish she had just done the writing and stopped caveating it with "I don't like name droppers".  That said, the book is an enjoyable read and I find that it is a book that is best read one small chapter at a time.  Waiting for the tea to steep?  Read a chapter.  Waiting for the news to come on in ten minutes, read a chapter.  And so on.  Besides the annoyance of the caveat, the book is a delight and I came away from it with at least a dozen or more authors/books that I would like to check out.  That part makes me wail a bit as I too have vowed to buy no more new books until I have moved to wherever I get a job and are settled in, but that is a post for a different day.