Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading by Maureen Corrigan


  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (January 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375709037
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375709036

Maureen Corrigan has an impressive resume as long as my arm. Among other things, she’s the book critic for NPR’s Fresh Air. For most of us this would be enough, but not so Maureen Corrigan. She also writes a column for Book World, The Washington Post. If this doesn’t leave you feeling inadequate, you probably don’t want to know she also teaches literature at Georgetown University.

In my next life I hope to be Maureen Corrigan.

Her book about reading and her own bookish life is titled Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading. I bought this book from the former mail order bookseller A Common Reader, and if you aren’t mourning its passing you never received any of its catalogs. When it went under I was devastated. Not only did they sell fantastic books, but they sold an eclectic mix of fantastic books, some they published themselves at the A Common Reader/Akadine Press. They also featured a catalog that was such good reading in itself I’m surprised anyone had time to buy the books. Well, considering they went bankrupt maybe that’s just what DID happen. And that’s a huge shame.

The edition I bought had a bookplate signed by Maureen Corrigan. I’m a great collector of author-signed books, so when I saw this one I didn’t hesitate long. Little did I know this would be the last book I would ever buy from A Common Reader.

Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading is the current “book about books” I’m reading. I’d love to always have one of these on the go, but I usually tend to space them out enough I’ll be sure not to run out of them in this lifetime. I haven’t gotten very far into it yet. I tend to read these books very slowly, to savor them, especially when they’re as well written as this one seems to be so far.

I’ll report back when I’m done, but for now I’m cautiously optimistic this will be a great read. I’m also a little scared it will extend my reading list to epic proportions, as I madly scribble down all the titles Corrigan recommends. That’s the danger, and the blessing, of books like these.

6 thoughts on “Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading by Maureen Corrigan

  1. I hope you enjoy it better than I did, Lisa. When you’re finished, take a look at my review here. I’d love to hear if you agree or disagree with me. 🙂


  2. Les: I did see your blog post on this, and I’ll definitely let you know what I think once I’ve finished the book. I’m so star-struck with Maureen Corrigan but hopefully I can put that aside and look at the book based on its own merits. That’s one of the biggest challenges of reviewing, forgetting what you may know about the writer and judging impartially, but I will do my best!


  3. I agree–it was a pity that the Common Reader folded! I discovered all sorts of wonderful books from them. I have the Corrigan book, as yet unread–looking forward to hearing what you think about it!


  4. I thought it was interesting how Corrigan grouped different topics with different genres. For example, the hard-boiled fiction with the concept of work. I also enjoyed her essay featuring Marie Killea’s book KAREN. I read it when I was a kid, and hadn’t thought about it or seen it mentioned for many, many years.


  5. Bybee, I still haven’t gotten very far into the book, but I’ve read the intro and I’m intrigued. I’m suffering from annoying eye strain lately, which is frustrating my attempts to read the same quota I normally do. Grrr….


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