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The books I forgot to remember

To introduce our pick of summer books, satirist Craig Brown tries—really tries—to recall some of his all-time favourites

By Craig Brown   August 2009

What happens to books after we have read them? Where do they go? Do they drain from our memories like water down a plug-hole? I have heard it argued that there’s no point reading any book at all because a year later you’ll only be able to remember what you could read on the blurb for nothing.

It’s an observation that carries a depressing echo of truth. The moment I finish a book, my memory ejects the names and professions of the main characters, their relation to one another and their causes for celebration or complaint—all those areas which those…

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