Book cover of Rick Gekoski's 'Outside of a Dog: A Bibliomemoir'

Outside of a Dog: A Bibliomemoir
By Rick Gekoski
Constable £14.99, 302 pages
FT Bookshop price: £11.99

Rare-book dealer and academic Gekoski “howled, hooted and imprecated” when his ex-wife refused to hand over his precious bookshelf and the 1,000 or so tomes it contained. But with the passing of his ire came a feeling of liberation, a realisation that what he had read since childhood had shaped him – and remained with him.

Gekoski has picked a modest 25 titles for his “bibliomemoir”, in which he describes how he came across these books and what effect they had on him, then and now.

Early childhood is experienced through Dr Seuss. Pubescence is hurried along with Hirschfeld’s Sexual Anomalies and Perversions; teenage angst validated by The Catcher in the Rye. And so continues a life of reading that takes in Germaine Greer, DH Lawrence and Freud, to name a few.

A funny, irreverent mélange of literary criticism and autobiography.

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