Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Beginner's Book of Dreams” as Want to Read:
The Beginner's Book of Dreams
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Beginner's Book of Dreams

by
3.81  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  3 reviews
This celebrated coming-of-age novel moves from Manhattan during the early days of Mad Men to the swinging, chaotic 1970s: A sensitive girl burdened with her mother's drinking and long string of husbands becomes a special young woman when her best friend's family opens her eyes to art

Esme Singer is a resilient girl from Los Angeles, new to Manhattan, who takes better care
...more
ebook, 3rd, 325 pages
Published August 6th 2013 by Open Road Media (first published March 12th 1988)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Beginner's Book of Dreams, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Beginner's Book of Dreams

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  59 ratings  ·  3 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Ronald Wise
Aug 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A coming-of-age story about Esme Singer, as she grows up in New York City with her mother and a series of step-fathers, and while her natural father travels the country pursuing his dreams. Esme struggles to establish her personal legitimacy while determined to not be like her parents. I learned of this novel through a tibute to Benedict's birthday on Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac.
Maria
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
A coming-of-age story set in 70's New York, about Esme Singer, who wants to be "different from her parents." She observes her mother's love affairs, her father's get-rich-quick schemes, while trying to define her own identity.

I picked up this book when I was 12 at a used books store. I really love these sort of coming-of-age stories, so perhaps I'm predisposed to like them, but it was pretty well-written; the peripheral characters are memorable; I love the dialogue and years after, reading this
...more
Elizabeth Benedict
Oct 01, 2014 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
“Splendid . . . a bold, expressive view of growing up absurd in New York City . . . a reminder of the capacity of the wounded human spirit to rise to the occasion, which is life.” —The New York Times Book Review "The wonder is that such a sad book could be such a joy to read." Anne Tyler, Chicago Tribune ~~~~ My second novel, THE BEGINNER'S BOOK OF DREAMS (published by Knopf back in the 20th century), is being offered at $1.99 on a ebook promo by the publisher, in a campaign of novels about art. ...more
Marie
rated it liked it
Apr 24, 2014
Shelly
rated it really liked it
Apr 23, 2014
Steph
rated it really liked it
Sep 10, 2012
Erin
rated it liked it
Aug 12, 2016
Richard
rated it it was amazing
May 06, 2013
Julia
rated it liked it
Feb 11, 2008
Jessica Bram
rated it it was amazing
Mar 25, 2015
Litbitch
rated it liked it
Sep 11, 2007
Genaphur
rated it it was amazing
Mar 13, 2008
Carol Ann Jellison
rated it liked it
Jan 14, 2014
dejamo
rated it liked it
Apr 19, 2008
LAF
rated it liked it
Feb 17, 2013
Larisa
rated it really liked it
Apr 10, 2013
Jessica McFarland
rated it liked it
Apr 06, 2016
Joanna Honig
rated it it was amazing
Jul 09, 2014
Andrea
rated it really liked it
Dec 31, 2008
Alice
rated it liked it
Aug 01, 2008
Lisa Holmes
rated it it was amazing
Nov 16, 2012
Connie
rated it really liked it
Aug 11, 2011
Princess Diane
rated it it was amazing
Nov 26, 2015
Savannah Kain
rated it it was amazing
Nov 16, 2008
Wendy
rated it liked it
Dec 10, 2011
Cee
rated it it was amazing
Sep 06, 2015
Raluca
rated it liked it
Nov 25, 2011
Lisa I.
rated it it was amazing
Jun 11, 2013
Emily Crow
rated it liked it
Aug 14, 2013
Cin Masson
rated it really liked it
Jan 27, 2008
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Elizabeth Benedict is bestselling novelist, journalist, editor, writing coach, and teacher of creative writing. She's the author of five novels and of THE JOY OF WRITING SEX: A GUIDE FOR FICTION WRITERS, and editor of three anthologies: the just published ME, MY HAIR AND I: 27 WOMEN UNTANGLE AN OBSESSION, the NYTIMES bestseller, WHAT MY MOTHER GAVE ME: 31 WOMEN ON THE GIFTS THAT MATTERED MOST and ...more