Hide Cookie Control notification

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

Close cookie details

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your experience at our website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been stored. You may remove and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to remove them, please see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue using this site, please click here.

  Main Nav
Books for Living
Cover of Books for Living
Books for Living
Borrow Borrow Borrow
From the author of the beloved New York Times best-selling The End of Your Life Book Club, an inspiring and magical exploration of the power of books to shape our lives in an era of constant...
From the author of the beloved New York Times best-selling The End of Your Life Book Club, an inspiring and magical exploration of the power of books to shape our lives in an era of constant...
Available Formats-
  • Kindle Book
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    2
  • Library copies:
    2

Recommended for you

 

Description-

  • From the author of the beloved New York Times best-selling The End of Your Life Book Club, an inspiring and magical exploration of the power of books to shape our lives in an era of constant connectivity.

    Why is it that we read? Is it to pass time? To learn something new? To escape from reality? For Will Schwalbe, reading is a way to entertain himself but also to make sense of the world, to become a better person, and to find the answers to the big (and small) questions about how to live his life. In this delightful celebration of reading, Schwalbe invites us along on his quest for books that speak to the specific challenges of living in our modern world, with all its noise and distractions. In each chapter, he discusses a particular book—what brought him to it (or vice versa), the people in his life he associates with it, and how it became a part of his understanding of himself in the world. These books span centuries and genres (from classic works of adult and children's literature to contemporary thrillers and even cookbooks), and each one relates to the questions and concerns we all share. Throughout, Schwalbe focuses on the way certain books can help us honor those we've loved and lost, and also figure out how to live each day more fully. Rich with stories and recommendations, Books for Living is a treasure for everyone who loves books and loves to hear the answer to the question: "What are you reading?"
    From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpts-

  • From the book The Importance of Living
    Slowing Down


    Every now and then the universe tells you what book you need to read; it does this by placing the name of that book and author in front of you in various contexts, until you can't help but take note. You ignore book recommendations from the universe at your peril. So when I was in my thirties, after a decade of sporadically encountering the name Lin Yutang but still knowing nothing about him, I decided to investigate.

    Starting in my teens, I had become obsessed with the writers of the 1930s, prompted initially by my fascination with the 1972 movie Cabaret and its boyishly handsome star, Michael York. Cabaret was based on two novellas by Christopher Isherwood, thinly fictionalizing his life in pre-­Nazi Berlin. I read everything I could by Isherwood and about Berlin and about that decade and its writers; and the more I read, the more I came across the name Lin Yutang, alongside mentions of his second book, The Importance of Living.

    So, finally, when I was in my twenties, off to the library I went to learn more about Lin Yutang. This was all, of course, pre-­Internet.

    I found out that The Importance of Living had been published by John Day publishers in 1937. Lin had become a friend of author Pearl Buck in Shanghai—­and she had helped arrange for his books to be published. Buck was by then one of the world's bestselling authors. Her novel The Good Earth, set in a Chinese village, had won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932, and she would go on to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1938. She was also married to the founder of John Day publishers. Pearl Buck introduced Lin to her husband, who promptly offered him a contract.

    By the time I went to investigate, The Importance of Living had been out of print for decades. But my local library had a well-­worn copy ready for loan. It took some time to adjust to the chattiness of the book and its meandering digressions. When I first began to read it, it seemed charming but dated, a bit precious, verbose, contrarian for the sake of being contrarian, scattered, and peculiar. But soon I realized that beneath the chatter was profound wisdom and a radical rejection of the philosophy of ambition, which is so much a part of our culture.

    The Importance of Living is a book that makes a case for loafing, for savoring food and drink, for not striving too much. Lin wanted an antidote to the raw competitiveness and frenetic activity he saw all around him in the early 1930s—­not just in China, where he had grown up, but also in France and Germany, where he had worked and studied, and in the United States, where he had briefly attended college as a young man and where he was living when he wrote this book. Lin was eager to give people a framework for enjoying life, and he built it using the wisdom of ancient Chinese literature as well as a large helping of common sense.

    Lin's book quickly became a success of epic proportions in the 1930s—­one of those books read seemingly by everyone all over the world, translated into multiple languages, and one of the biggest bestsellers of its time.

    Lin described his book as "a personal testimony, a testimony of my own experience of thought and life." He proudly proclaimed that he is not original and that the ideas he expresses "have been thought and expressed by many thinkers of the East and West over and over again." As for his methods, he wrote, "It is my habit to buy cheap editions of old, obscure books and see what I can discover there. If the professors of literature knew the sources of my ideas, they would be astounded at the...

About the Author-

  • WILL SCHWALBE has worked in publishing; digital media, as the founder and CEO of Cookstr.com; and as a journalist, writing for various publications, including The New York Times and the South China Morning Post. He is the author of the New York Times best seller The End of Your Life Book Club and coauthor, with David Shipley, of Send: Why People Email So Badly and How to Do It Better.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from October 17, 2016
    The right book at the right time can change your life, Schwalbe (The End of Your Life Book Club) argues as he distills a lifetime of reading recommendations down to this personal list of books for many moods and occasions. The first book that Schwalbe recommends is Lin Yutang’s The Importance of Living, an interesting work of practical philosophy that Schwalbe returns to over and over. Schwalbe also includes essays on children’s books, YA, classics, and recent book such as A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara’s 2015 novel. He uses these brief essays as springboards into other topics, such as worry over our Orwellian addiction to smartphones, the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, and why napping should be deemed a human right. His experience taking a class in ancient Greek and reading The Odyssey turns into a memoir about a teacher who inspired him. When he reflects on Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin, he thinks of the high school librarian who subtly provided him with books by gay writers. Schwalbe’s tremendous experience with reading and his stellar taste make for a fine guide to the varied and idiosyncratic list of books for which he advocates. By the end of the book, all serious readers will have added some titles to their to-read lists. Agent: John Brockman, Brockman Inc.

Title Information+

  • Publisher
    Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Kindle Book
    Release date:
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • EPUB eBook
    Release date:

Digital Rights Information+

  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

Close

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Close

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You have reached the maximum number of titles you are allowed to recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 99 titles every 1 days.

Close

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend this title for your digital library.

Close

Enhanced Details:

Close
Close

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Close

Permissions

Close

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Close

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Close

Holds

Total holds:


Close

Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

Close

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Close

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

Close

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

Close

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

Close

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

Close

Close

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Close
Recommend this title for your digital library
Books for Living
Books for Living
Will Schwalbe
Optional:
Close
Buy it now
and support our digital library!
Books for Living
Books for Living
Will Schwalbe
A portion of your purchase goes to support your digital library.
Close
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel

Close

Renewing this title won't extend your lending period. Instead, it will let you borrow the title again immediately after your first lending period expires.

Close

You can't renew this title because there are holds on it. However, you can join the holds list and be notified when it becomes available for you to borrow again.

Close