Kristy's Reviews > Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch
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Feb 05, 2012

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I'd say this is a mixed review of this book. It's a memoir, this author decides to read a book a day for a year (and she actually does!) as a way of working through the grief of losing her sister to cancer. I liked the way she talks about grief and recovery, she also had great stuff to say about why we read and how fabulous books are (those parts would make excellent book group discussions). But, she reads a book a day for a year. She talks about sitting on the beach with her family (husband and 4 little kids) while they're all wanting her to play in the water with them and she won't get up from her book--for a year. Yikes. It seemed a little extreme to be mourning your sister to the extent that you give up all the time you could be spending with the family you have left. She talks about how life isn't really passing her by in this year, she's getting even more out of the books she's reading, not sure I agree with that. But who am I to judge someone else's grief. Just a word about the books she read--not much fluff there. She prints the list in the back of the book (and spends a lot of time talking about the books she's reading), and I have read about 5 books on her list and I've heard of about 5 more on her list. She picks some kind of obscure, heavy stuff to get through.
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