Review Roundup: Big Reader by Susan Olding

“Susan Olding’s essay collection, Big Reader, is a bibliophile’s delight. . . . Olding writes a take on self-doubt that I found against the grain of our current moment and also absolutely refreshing—that our self-doubt can serve us as writers. Who would we be without it?” — Kerry Clare, Pickle Me This

“It’s with some delight that I encounter a kindred spirit in Susan Olding whose latest collection of essays, Big Reader, celebrates the reading life. . . I think all committed readers have similar moments when our living overtakes and overwhelms our younger reading selves.” — David Barker, Nouspique

“Although this book threads through Olding’s own life as a reader, she invites and draws us along on her journey with engaging, poetic, and imaginative prose. . . Each piece in this book of essays has its own beauty and melancholy, its own discoveries and epiphanies.” — Kim McCullough, Cloud Lake Literary

“But in this case, it felt important to create some sort of cohesive experience for a reader. Some of that pressure comes from outside, perhaps. It’s hard to market unrelated collections of essays—just as it is hard to market unrelated collections of short stories. But it also reflects my aesthetic goals. I like making connections between ideas, stories, images, experiences. That’s part of the reason I write essays in the first place. The essay as a form is uniquely suited to exploring connections.” — Susan Olding in conversation with Nancy Pearson, Victoria Festival of Authors.

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