The Best 0.5 Book I’ve Ever Read: GPW Reader Request

So I’m trying this thing where I let my great friend GPW give reader requests for blog posts. I don’t know that he was serious about it, but what he ought to have known (and as you all do): I take reading questions altogether too seriously.

His challenge: best half of a book I’ve ever read?

Answer: Everything I’ve ever read by Timothy Findley (Not Wanted on the Voyage, The Wars, Famous Last Words, Pilgrim). I admit my memory of these books is spotty, but what I *do* remember is setting out thinking I was on the Best Journey of Incredible Reading only to discover I was going instead to Somewhere Altogether Mediocre. In all of these instances I finished the book, but as you know I’ve stopped reading books I think are rubbish instead of making the Odyssean effort to finish them for the sake of being a Good Reader. It does give me some worry to think the reverse sort of book might be true: one that has a wretched first half but a tremendous FTW second.

More recent 0.5 is the first book our book club read, Ali Smith’s How to Be Both, an obvious choice in that the book is deliberately divided into two parts, two protagonists, two points of view. I found (as did all of those at book club) that one half was much, much better than another. So let’s go with that as my final answer: Ali Smith’s How to Be Both.

Have your own question for this reader? I do take reader requests… (maybe too eagerly?) at  Stay tuned for the new GPW request. Or don’t.


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