I’ve been dipping into these books frequently since I found them at bookshops where I wasn’t supposed to by buying anything. “I’m just going to look, for future reference,” is a thought I like to entertain but don’t, usually.
But after all, both are reference books, books that every good library collection needs. I have always wondered why J. D. Salinger wrote A Catcher in the Rye, and Jenny Bond and Chris Sheedy claim to know. And how could I pass up a book that contained a “walking tour” of Mrs. Dalloway’s London as well as maps of the city in Shakespeare and Dickins’s time? I mean, look at this:
So far both books are worthwhile, although the histories and stories in Who the Hell is Pansy O’Hara are a little simplistic and nothing that you couldn’t find on the Wikipedia site. I like having it on hand though, so that I can find out in a quick hurry how the writing of Bridget Jones’ Diary came about! Literary Landscapes, etc. is fabulous though, and a map geek and book dork’s dream.
I will admit that both books are a bit of a distraction, when Proust gets exhausting and I can’t take a moment more of Dona Flor’s dramatics!