miley, winner of a Pulitzer prize and author of over a dozen books, took a year off from her own writing to read one hundred novels. But her break was only that and she soon returned to writing; this book is the result. In two parts, the first is a 13-part essay on novels — their history, their psychology and art — and on their writing — A Novel of Your Own. The second part is a discussion of each of the one hundred books she read.
The book is a delight in every sense. Smiley is acute and erudite; the ideal reading companion. She is opinionated without being polemic and easy to read but not simplistic. This is a book to have on the bedside table to pick up when you are in a fiction lull, unsure why you read novels or which one to turn to next.