Dead Good Books


I’ve been reading James Salter’s “A Sport and a Pastime” this week. Well written but the characters don’t grab me at all. Something in the blurb did though. I came across this sentence: “He (Salter) has written three books that everyone should read before they die…” Quite a fashionable saying this. You know the score with those lists that say things like Ten Books You Must Read Before You Die, etc. This implies that there are more books to be read after death. Otherwise we’d just say 100 Books You Must Read or Ten Must Read Books, and life would sound a whole lot simpler (as well as slower and less melodramatic of course). It’s a comforting thought. Perhaps RIP really stands for Read in Peace. So if you could have a handful of books in your coffin to take with you to the great library in the sky, which ones would you choose? For those who prefer cremation it gives a whole new meaning to Fahrenheit 451.

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