Sunday Best: 80 Great Books from a Lifetime of Reviews

Sunday Best: 80 Great Books from a Lifetime of Reviews by John Carey

Title:  Sunday Best: 80 Great Books from a Lifetime of Reviews
Author:  John Carey
Publisher:  Yale University Press
Genre:  Essays & Collections
Format:  Kindle 
No. of Pages:  312
Date of US Publication:  15 November, 2022
My Rating:  4 Stars

My Thoughts

Thank you so much, Professor Carey, as now thanks to you, I’ve read about fascinating books, 

some of which I’ve already borrowed from my local library. 

After reviewing books each month for the London Sunday Times, over the past three decades, Sunday Best: 80 Great Books from a Lifetime of Reviews is just that, and it’s wonderful. 

This is a book to go back to, time and again, for reading inspiration. 

I view lists like this, not as something to be disappointed by, since I’ve read only a minute number of the books here, but more as something to learn from, in that, hey, I’ve found a ton of books I’ve never heard of or considered before, read intelligent and thoughtful reviews of, and was able to add a lot of books to my TBR list. 

Carey’s writing is honest, brutal, wonderfully caustic in places, and gives so much of the gist of many books, that often like with a film trailer, you’re getting the most salient and important bits. I enjoyed this one a lot.

eARC kindly provided by Yale University Press and NetGalley. Opinions shared are my own.


A collection of John Carey’s greatest, wisest, and wittiest reviews—amassed over a lifetime of writing

In 1977, newly installed as a professor of English at Oxford, John Carey took the position of chief reviewer for the 
Sunday Times. In a career spanning over 40 years and upwards of 1,000 reviews, Carey has kept abreast of the brightest and best books of the day, distilling his thoughts each week for the entertainment of Sunday readers.

Contained in this volume is the cream of that substantial crop: a choice selection of the books which Carey has most cherished. Covering subjects as diverse as the science of laughter, the art of Grayson Perry, the history of madness, and Sylvia Plath's letters, this is a collection of treats and surprises, suffused with careful thought, wisdom and enjoyment. The result is a compendium of titles which have stood the test of time, offered with Carey's warmest recommendation. 


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