Second Reading - Jonathan Yardley

A compilation of his Washington Post columns of the same name, Jonathan Yardley’s Second Reading (Europa Editions, $16) is a delightful summertime adventure in books. Yardley’s passion for reading is a neon sign blazing on every page as he revisits classics like Daphne du Maurier’s modern Gothic, Rebecca, and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, on which the critic confers the title, “American masterwork.” He praises Roald Dahl’s adult short fiction collection, Someone Like You, for its genuine humor and precise character descriptions. John Cheever is lauded for his “clinical, yet sympathetic depiction of life in leafy suburbia” and Maxine Hong Kingston’s memoir The Woman Warrior receives special notice as one of the first books to bring public attention to the causes of feminism and multiculturalism. In re-reading J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, Yardley takes a rare caustic stance toward an American favorite, sighting Salinger’s “execrable prose and Caulfield’s jejune narcissism,” though he begrudgingly acknowledges the book’s place in the American literary canon. After finishing Second Reading, my resolve to re-read favorites was outpaced by the length of my to-read list, to which Yardley contributes mightily. Lacey Dunham

Second Reading: Notable and Neglected Books Revisited By Jonathan Yardley Cover Image
ISBN: 9781609450083
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Europa Editions - June 28th, 2011