Latest Readings, by Clive James

When literary critic and poet Clive James discovered in 2010 that he had terminal cancer, he decided that “if you don’t know the exact moment when the lights will go out, you might as well read until they do.” This book is the result of that decision. In part the inspiration came from reading James Boswell’s The Life of John­son, which he had only partly read before his leukemia diagnosis. James comments on books that he had read before, including classics, and those he discovered or read for the first time. “Finally you get to the age when a book’s power to make you think becomes the first thing you notice about it,” says James. “You can practically sense that power when you pick the book up.”