REVIEW: For the Love of Books, Graham Tarrant

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Which famous author died of caffeine poisoning? Why Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was banned in China? Who was the first British writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature? What superstitions Truman Capote kept whenever he wrote? Who the other Winston Churchill was? A treasure trove of compelling facts, riveting anecdotes, and extraordinary characters, For the Love of Books is a book about books—and the inside stories about the people who write them. Learn how books evolved, what lies behind some of the greatest tales ever told, and who’s really who in the world of fiction. From banned books to famous feuding authors, from literary felons to rejected masterpieces, from tips for aspiring writers to stand-out book lists for readers to catch up on, For the Love of Books is a celebration of the written word and an absolute page-turner for any book lover.

As a person who spends most of their time reading books and talking about books and thinking about books, the first mention of Graham Tarrant’s “For the Love of Books: Stories of Literary Lives, Banned Books, Author Feuds, Extraordinary Characters, and More” in my vicinity, initially left me more than a little eager to get my hands on it. But, unfortunately, to a consummate book-devotee there was not really anything new to be gained here; most of the information was general knowledge, its frequent lists banal and rather arbitrary and, towards the end, it started to feel more like a reference book than anything anyone would sit down and actually take the time to read recreationally. The book comes in at a cool $19.99 in the US (no idea how much it costs in the UK, or if it is actually published here) and, honestly, I would advise you to instead divert that money to an actual book as, for most people interested in literature of this nature, this one will not tell you anymore than a quick google search would unveil.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Head on over to for this book, as well as all of the others featured in my reviews, complete with the added bonuses of free worldwide shipping and bringing a little joy to my life.

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