Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen

Title: How Reading Changed My Life

Author: Anna Quindlen

# pages: 82

Date published: 1998

Genre: non-fiction (essays)


(very good)

First Sentence:

“The stories about my childhood, the ones that stuck, that got told and retold at dinner tables, to dates as I sat by red-faced, to my own children by my father later on, are stories of running away.”

What Is It About? In the four short essays that make up this book, Quindlen celebrates the joy of reading. She writes of the books that she read as a young girl and how they formed the woman that she has become today. She also discusses how readers connect through the books they read, explore alternate realities, and challenge boundaries. Overall, this is a book about the sheer pleasure of reading books! Very enjoyable.

Random Thoughts: I could certainly identify with the little girl who would rather read than play outside. That was me, too. It’s not that I’m anti-social. I’m not. I enjoy being around people—mostly. But I do reach a threshold of social interaction where I just want to go sit quietly somewhere with my books. I enjoy the people that populate my books just as much, and sometimes more than, the people I meet in real life. Can anyone else relate to this? Or is it just me?

Favorite quote(s):

“It still seems infinitely mysterious to me that there are some of us who have built not a life but a self, based largely on our hunger for what are a series of scratches on a piece of paper.” (p. 15)

“[It] seemed to me, listening to members of various book clubs ruminate about what they do and why, that, like so much else, women seem to see reading not only as a solitary activity but as an opportunity for emotional connection, not just to the characters in a novel but to those others who are reading or have read the same novel themselves.” (p. 30)

Fun tidbits:

  • Anna Quindlen’s Website
  • She won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1992.
  • Two of her books, Black and Blue and Blessings, were made into TV movies. Black and Blue starred Mary Stuart Masterson and Anthony LaPaglia. Mary Tyler Moore played the lead character in Blessings. I’ve read Black and Blue—loved it. Blessings in on my TBR pile.
  • Another of her books, One True Thing, was made into a feature film starring Meryl Streep, Renée Zellweger, and William Hurt. Anyone seen this one? I haven’t read the book, but it sounds great.

Let’s give people a variety of opinions! If you've reviewed this book (or a book by this author), leave me a link to your review in the comments and I'll link to your review, too!

1 comment:

Beth F said...

I saw One True Thing when it first came out. I remember liking it -- though the themes were difficult