Writers Between the Covers by Joni Rendon and Shannon McKenna Schmidt

writers-btwn-coversDo you secretly read the covers of gossipy magazines while standing in line at the grocery store, yet consider yourself too highbrow to actually buy one? Do you like to give the impression that you are a connoisseur of literary taste, but relish in the scandals of Hollywood’s stars? Then maybe Writers Between the Covers is just the book for you. It contains all the literary heavy hitters – Dickens, Flaubert, Tolstoy – as well as the writers we have come to expect with scandal – Woolfe, the Fitzgeralds and Mailer. It is the perfect mix of literary insight and salacious rumor mongering. Needless to say, Writers Between the Covers was right up my alley.

In Writers Between the Covers the authors have divided the book into many bites sized pieces, giving you short snippets of the indiscretions of various writers. Rather than reading the book sequentially, I tended to skip around a fair bit. I read the great poets (Browning, Byron, Dickenson) all at once, followed by feminists (Stein, de Beauvoire, Parker) and then scions of the lost generation (Hemingway and the Fitzgeralds). Although the book does include more men than women, the authors have made an effort to include as many women as possible. Could it be that men are just more scandalous than women?

Who would like this book? This book is for your literary connoisseur who also loves a good tidbit of gossip. Writers Between the Covers is not likely to change the readers perceptions of their favorite writers because what is written about, for the most part, tends to be well know secrets. However, the indiscretions chronicled do give good insight into the behind the scenes lives of famous writers and that in and of itself is rather fascinating.

This book was provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


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