Travis_J_Smith’s #CBR5 Review #143: My Ideal Bookshelf


Hearing people’s favorites is a favorite of mine, which is why I sought out this book. A varied assortment of creative-types, from Tony Hawk to Stephanie Meyer (they can’t all be winners) writing about their ideal bookshelves? Yes, please.

It had every reason to be a fascinating read, but two factors dragged it down. Firstly, many of the entries were simply of little interest to me because of how the bookshelves and the essays about them were composed. Some, as it’s their field, committed the cardinal sin, judging books based on their covers and then choosing books based upon them.

There also were numerous cooks whose bookshelves consisted of (surprise, surprise) an assortment of cookbooks. It makes sense why this would happen, but I was hoping for discussions of the stories that shaped these peoples’ lives and got preciously little of that.

Most only discussed a couple of their chosen books, and many just used them as a launching pad to discuss other subjects that have nothing to do with this little experiment.

I liked hearing the different things that books meant to people from different backgrounds. That’s just not at all what I was looking for, and the novelty wears off after so long. If you plan on reading this, know that it’s not “let’s all discuss our favorite books” and more “let’s show our favorites and then vaguely talk around them, as opposed to about them.” There’s nothing wrong with that, if it’s what you’re after and into reading. My issue is, for me it wasn’t.

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