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My Ideal Bookshelf    edited by Jane Mount & Thessaly La Force order for
My Ideal Bookshelf
by Jane Mount
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2012 (2012)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

'Select a small shelf of books that represent you the books that have changed your life, that have made you who you are today, your favorites.'

That's the challenge. Jane Mount asked more than 100 creative people to tackle this task. The individual was also asked to write about a page of commentary on who they were, why these titles were selected and what they meant to the person.

The eclectic group includes chefs, architects, writers, fashion designers, filmmakers and dancers. The odds are you won't recognize many, if any, of these names. That creates an interesting dilemma. Do we care what another person reads if that person is not, in some way, famous or noteworthy? Each person who picks up this book will have a different reply to that question!

What will make a person page through this book is the art that accompanies each subject's list of titles. A full page, opposite the person's narrative, is devoted to showcasing the actual books in a bookshelf arrangement. You'll see primarily the spines with the titles showing, but it is the bright colors that will attract your gaze. In a strange way this is rather pleasing and more attractive than just photographing the books.

As Jane Mount explains in the book's preface, 'So much depends on where you, the reader, are physically and metaphorically when you decide to pick up a book and give it a chance. Which explains why there's no such thing as one ideal bookshelf; there is no ur-book-shelf. It would be a mistake to try to read this book with that goal in mind. In the end, the one element that links all the ideal bookshelves in these pages is the never-ending search. We're all still hunting, still hoping to discover one more book that we'll love and treasure for the rest of our lives.'

Obviously, Mount hopes this will be that book and you'll place it on your own shelf and keep for years to come!

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