Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman (published in the UK by Penguin, 2000)
A stack of vellum books, a stack of pancakes and a book about books. I have a passion for vellum, a passion for pancakes and, as Kinsella said in the Irish Times, Fadiman’s Ex Libris is ‘A perfect book for anyone who is passionate about books’.
Ex Libris was recommended to me and I did enjoy it though I am aware that the intellectual snobbery of the Fadiman family could overwhelm a British audience though it is related with a joyful honesty and self awareness. Books like this make me realise there are interesting differences between Americans and British. I am a dual national but I was brought up in the UK where being an intellectual is generally something to be played down whatever your background is.
The fluffy American pancakes provide a sponge for maple syrup and are very good when topped with my latest favourite breakfast food – the Greek set yoghurt from Rachel’s Organic (a healthy version of clotted cream) and frozen berries.