Today’s post comes from Barbara in Rivertown
When working at my first bookstore job at the (now defunct) Bookstore of Edina in 1987, one of our novelty items was a set of audio tapes: (something like) “Eight-minute Classics”. I have not yet found the exact title online, but they were very much like this.
I am reminded of them by an email received today from a reading friend in California, who sends this gem:
“39 popular books summarized in 3 sentences or less”
by James Clear
In short, James Clear states “This page shares a full list of book summaries I have compiled during my reading and research… ¶ I have tried to summarize each book on this page in just three sentences, which I think is a fun way to distill the main ideas of the book. If a particular book sounds interesting to you, click on the full book summary and you can browse all of my notes on it. Enjoy!”
I’ve looked through his book list and found one or two that I have actually read. One is Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, which James Clear summarizes thusly:
“To become a better writer, you have to write more. Writing reveals the story because you have to write to figure out what you’re writing about. Don’t judge your initial work too harshly because every writer has terrible first drafts.”
He also provides quite an extensive book list, which I have not yet had time to peruse, but what I’ve seen so far is impressive.
I have been inspired to summarize one of my favorite books, Jane Eyre (but the sentences will not be quite so thorough as his):
“A mistreated orphan becomes a governess. She falls in love with a married man, who is also her employer. She flees a difficult situation, but eventually returns and marries him.”
Give us a summary of a favorite book, or one you’ve recently read, in about three sentences.