December 21, 2009

Howards End is on the Landing - Susan Hill


Howards End is on the Landing has been written about by many bloggers since its release - some have loved it and others, not so much. I fall very much in the former category - I really, really enjoyed this book and wandering through the book shelves and piles of Susan Hill. True, the content and set up of the book was very different to what I initially thought it would be. As others have stated, they thought (as did I) that the premise of the book would be Hill discussing her "year of reading from home" project - we would follow her through her reads one by one as she dissected and analysed her reading of each book. The actual book is a little different to this - Hill seems to have no clear path or guidelines for the structure - we are taken down random memories and stories connected to certain authors and books that have been a part of her reading life as a whole.

I certainly don't agree with a few of Hill's views - she isn't a fan of Jane Austen to begin with so that would create a huge rip in our reading friendship - but I love hearing about her views and opinions even if I don't share them all. One of Hill's favourite writers is Virginia Woolf and I particularly liked the sections of the book where she discussed Woolf's life and her writing.

My major disappointment with this book is that it did not go on for longer - I really enjoyed being a part of Hill's reading world and I was sorry it had to come to an end. Maybe there will be a sequel??

8 comments:

Frances said...

I also loved this book, and drew special attention in my post on the book to her focus on "slow reading." Book blogging is a wonderful thing but the one thing that I would take exception to is the occasional tendency to race through as much material as possible as quickly as possible. As if this were some type of race. As if we are defined by a set of stats. I am even more mindfully embracing the slow read after reading this book. Glad you enjoyed it also.

Karen said...

Hi Frances - I really connected with that comment in the book too - particularly at this time of year when everything (even reading!) seems a little out of control!

JoAnn said...

Despite the mixed reviews, I look forward to reading this next year.

Dot said...

So good to hear a positive review of this, I'm going to try and read it in the new year, I love Susan Hill.

savidgereads said...

I felt very much like you Karen. I loved this book but didnt always agree with the author which rather than get grumpy or angry about made me instead think about my relationships to authors and my own books, its a great book.

Steph said...

As you said, I've heard mixed things about this book, so I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it. I'm not sure how I'd feel about it - not liking Jane Austen might be a deal breaker for me! ;) Also, from one review I read, I got the sense that Hill was sometimes disparaging towards book bloggers, but perhaps I've made that up? I'm sure I'll wind up reading this one, but I'll probably borrow it from the library/wait for it to come out in paperback!

Karen said...

Hi JoAnn - I really hope you enjoy it as much I did when you get to it next year.

Hi Dot - I haven't read any other books by Hill - what would you recommend?

Hi savidgereads - I completely agree - a very thought provoking book in many ways. The world would be very boring if we all liked the same books I think!

Hi Steph - the one comment I can remember Hill making about book blogging was that it sometimes seems as though some bloggers are trying to race through as many books as they can without really reading and taking in the content of each book. I do agree with her in some ways and her comment did make me stop and think about the quality of my reading as opposed to the speed.

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