Summary and book reviews of The Readers Catalog by Geoffrey O'Brien

The Readers Catalog

An Invaluable, Lively, Erudite and Readable Resource for Book Lovers...

by Geoffrey O'Brien

The Readers Catalog by Geoffrey O'Brien X
The Readers Catalog by Geoffrey O'Brien
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Paperback:
    Feb 1997, 1382 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

The definitive source for readers looking to build a great library. This second edition, published in 1997, has annotations on over 40,000 titles.

With annotations on more than 40,000 of the best books in print, The Reader's Catalog is the definitive source for readers looking to build a great library. This second edition, published in 1997, is the work of writers, scholars, and critics who contributed their comments to this massive and authoritative reference.

BookBrowse selects from the best and most popular books and features a substantial excerpt of each, usually a full chapter.

The excerptions to this rule are a handful of 'reading guide' books (including this title). In this case, BookBrowse has included the book even though an excerpt was unavailable because we feel it has a contribution to make to this relatively specialized category.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Choice - D.G. Davis
Users of the 1989 version will note some small changes (sequence of the divisions and stylistic matters) and some major ones (layout of pages and the form of the indexes). . . . Like the first edition, this work is designed to sell books, but the titles in one division illustrate its dilemma. 'Religion, Spirituality & Philosophy' provides ample coverage of non-Christian religions, but while no mention is made of the most popular modern English Bible (the New International Version), there is an entry for William Tyndale's translation of 1525. The history of Protestantism lists only four titles (one of them The Book of Common Prayer), but there are six for alchemy (formerly under 'New Age' in the 'Practical Advice' division). Nearly all the titles were published by major commercial publishers, while denominational and smaller publishers are ignored. Emphasis rests on the exotic and bizarre at the expense of mainstream material. . . . This book industry index to the current taste of popular reviewers is significant as a cultural document but of limited use to academic libraries.

Newsday
The catalog is discriminating yet expansive, a feat of editing that anyone who has wasted time rooting out data in the weeds of the Internet will appreciate.

Union-Tribune San Diego
The idiosyncratic nature of The Reader's Catalog is what makes it so iresistible -- and valuable.

The New York Times - Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
The most attractively laid out and compactly informative guide that I know of to books that are currently in print.

Los Angeles Times
A catalogue that is both scholarly and accessible, that challenges the reader without overwhelming, that skirts the academic but refuses to pander to popular taste. By the manner in which The Reader's Catalog presents what is essentially an attractively annotated list of books, it must be called a triumph.

Author Blurb Geraldine Brooks
This best-books guide is an enlarged and updated version of a work first published in 1989. Arranged topically (e.g., 'Science-Mathematics-Number Theory'), the catalog covers all areas of knowledge, including fiction. . . . The titles listed have been selected by about 140 writers and academics.

Reader Reviews

simon peter

I have used this book as a guide to teach myself about the world and found it 's recommendations reliable in regard to interest and readibility. Its topical organization is also helpful. Good job.

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked The Readers Catalog, try these:

  • How To Read And Why jacket

    How To Read And Why

    by Harold Bloom

    Published 2001

    About this book

    More books by this author

    Bloom's engaging prose and brilliant insights will send you hurrying back to old favorites and entice you to discover new ones. His ultimate faith in the restorative power of literature resonates on every page of this infinitely rewarding and important book.

  • For The Love Of Books jacket

    For The Love Of Books

    by Ronald B. Shwartz

    Published 2000

    About this book

    More than one hundred famous writers have contributed original essays in response to the question: What books have left the greatest impression on you and why?

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Office of Historical Corrections
    The Office of Historical Corrections
    by Danielle Evans
    In The Office of Historical Corrections, the second story collection from Danielle Evans, readers ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Dutch House
    by Ann Patchett

    The Dutch House is my introduction to Ann Patchett, which, after reading it, surprises me. I had ...

  • Book Jacket: Nights When Nothing Happened
    Nights When Nothing Happened
    by Simon Han
    A quiet atmosphere of dread permeates Simon Han's subdued debut novel Nights When Nothing Happened. ...
  • Book Jacket: Take It Back
    Take It Back
    by Kia Abdullah
    In Kia Abdullah's novel Take It Back, sexual violence advisor Zara Kaleel becomes involved in a case...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Fortunate Ones
    by Ed Tarkington

    An engrossing story of class, love, and loyalty for fans of Kevin Wilson's Nothing to See Here.

    Reader Reviews
  • Book Jacket

    The Prophets
    by Robert Jones Jr.

    A stunning debut novel about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation.

    Reader Reviews
Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Waiting for the Night Song
by Julie Carrick Dalton
A startling and timely debut about friendships forged in childhood and ruptured by the high price of secrets.
Win This Book!
Win The House on Vesper Sands

The House on Vesper Sands by Paraic O'Donnell

Introducing a detective duo for the ages who unlock the secrets of a startling Victorian mystery.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

T T T Light F

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.