One of the least surprising facts in the world is that people who enjoy reading books REALLY enjoy reading books about reading books. There’s a whole genre of books-about-reading. Nicholson Baker wrote a book about reading John Updike. Elif Batuman wrote a book about reading Russian literature. William Deresiewicz wrote a book about reading Jane Austen. We could go on. The list is lengthy. (And girth-y.)

The newest title in this succession is Pamela Paul’s “My Life with Bob.” Who is Bob, you ask? Bob is the author’s Book of Books (B.O.B.), which is a notebook in which she scribbles the title of every book she has ever read. The author’s relationship to Bob is similar to Gollum’s relationship to “The Ring,” in the sense that Paul’s Bob is precious to her and gives her life. Bob is the one item that Paul would grab from her house if her house was burning down. Bob is almost thirty years old by now, and he sits on a shelf over Paul’s desk. Paul loves Bob, and by the end of her memoir, we love Bob too.

Give your summer reading list a postmodern *twist* by reading this delightful book about reading.

(Bonus assignment: and then write about it!!!)





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