By September 2, 2010 1 Comments Read More →

Book Group Toolbox #7: A Reader’s Delight

delightA recent rediscovery of A Reader’s Delight by Noel Perrin reminds me why I always keep this little out-of-print gem on my Book Group Resource list.

Perrin profiles little-known books and captures why they are a ‘delight’ for readers. He points out the imaginative and timeless qualities of these books and writes about them in a way that will make readers want to pick up every title he collected.

Of course, this collection is loaded with good books for book groups and you can bet not one title will have a hold on it. What may be challenging for facilitators is getting enough copies. I have a feeling many of these books get weeded from lack of circulation.

But some of these titles are worth the effort to obtain a copy. Those reading groups with a penchant for Jane Austen are advised to look to Emily Eden for further drawing room comedy and romance. Perrin describes Eden as “more sentimental, more worldly, and less intelligent than Austen—but she is just as witty, and almost as delightful.” Start with The Semi-Attached Couple.

Perrin offers up Peter Beagle’s first novel, A Fine and Private Place and calls it “an astonishingly good book: a pure and perfect comedy with tragic overtones.” The book opens in a New York City cemetery and one of the two love affairs is between two ghosts. It’s funny, sad, touching, and poetic. Perrin’s only quibble is with the poetry-spouting squirrel.

If you find this book in your library’s collection, keep it. Do the same for A Child’s Delight, a collection of Perrin’s essays on minor classics of childrens’ literature.

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About the Author:

Kaite Mediatore Stover refuses to give up her day job as director of readers' services for The Kansas City Public Library to read tarot cards professionally or be the merch girl/roadie for her husband's numerous bands. Follow her on Twitter at @MarianLiberryan.

1 Comment on "Book Group Toolbox #7: A Reader’s Delight"

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  1. newrambler@gmail.com' laura says:

    Oh, I adore that book! My grandmother handed it to me from her best beloved books bookshelf one day when I was in junior high or high school. There are a couple of copies available in my statewide system, although sadly none in my county.

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