4 Sep 2016

The New Torchlight List: The Need to Read

From Sunday Morning, 8:40 am on 4 September 2016

How can today’s book lover decide what to read? With a vast array of choices… what to choose?

Jim Flynn is here to help. The stoic 82 year old is a world expert on human intelligence, but claims no credentials as a literary critic – he just loves to read a good book.

Over the last six years Jim Flynn read and rated 400 books – mostly by modern novelists – for The New Torchlight List: In Search of the Best Modern Authors.

In this 10-part series, Wallace Chapman quizzes Jim Flynn and takes him to task on his selections.

Reading sharpens the mind and helps us understand the world, Jim says, and he is disturbed that fewer and fewer adults and young people read for pleasure.

He first thought this may have been because literature has declined in quality over the last 40 years, but to his "partial surprise" he discovered the literature is just as good.

“I am interested in an author if the characters are sharp, if the dialogue, conveys a story that transcends the human condition, that makes you feel that this story is timeless. And I want a style that excites you or flows. An author can suggest another world by the prose they have about this world” - Jim Flynn.