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Book Girl: A Journey Through the Treasures and Transforming Power of a Reading Life

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4.09  ·  Rating details ·  2,214 ratings  ·  583 reviews
When you hear a riveting story, does it thrill your heart and stir your soul? Do you hunger for truth and goodness? Do you secretly relate to Belle's delight in the library in Beauty and the Beast?

If so, you may be on your way to being a book girl.

Books were always Sarah Clarkson's delight. Raised in the company of the lively Anne of Green Gables, the brave Pevensie childr
...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by Tyndale Momentum
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Kate I loved the list of Novels that Help Me Cope With a Broken World. I added almost all of the books in that list to my TBR.

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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  2,214 ratings  ·  583 reviews


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Danielle
Jul 24, 2021 rated it liked it
I’m not familiar with this author. So, I’m not sure if she’s always so religious in her writing or not. 🤷🏼‍♀️ This was just something I picked up from the library based upon the title. I liked the notes about becoming an insightful reader. 🤔 While I’d never be one to highlight or write in a book, keeping a separate notebook on hand and jotting down things I liked or want to remember is a great thing. 🤗 I also 100% agree, that the best of friends I’ve made through life is through book clubs and s ...more
Lisa
Nov 12, 2019 marked it as unable-to-finish
Shelves: books-bookstores
After reading a few pages I realized this is a book with a focus on Christian spirituality and deepening your faith through reading a narrow list of white European/American writers. I wish it had been more clearly labeled. Not for me - back to the library.
Jami Balmet
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I immensely enjoyed certain parts of this book and didn’t love a few other parts. Overall it was an enjoyable read and will be a reference books for years to come! I added over 100 titles to a new Goodreads list I started (you can go see it as “book girl recommendations” and there are dozens of books on that list I’m really excited to read (and several that I know I should read at some point)! I would rate this book higher, but I disagree with most of her theological/Christian recommendations. W ...more
Megan
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don’t review a lot of non-fiction books on my blog, but when I saw there was a book about books, the reading life and bookworms, I knew I needed to read and share it! This book is not only a wonderful read, but an amazing resource, filled with book lists for different seasons of a reader’s life!

In Book Girl: A Journey Through the Treasures and Transforming Power of a Reading Life by Sarah Clarkson, Clarkson begins each section with a little essay of her own, and then proceeds to give us some
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Reading_ Tamishly
Apr 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Me: If I were to write a book about books, I would include all my favourite Manga, contemporaries, young adult and LGBTQ reads.

(And not include the classics or the world's greatest books. Because everyone knows that list by now.

Of course, I have read and loved a few classics and such books. And I will keep reading such recommended reads.)


I enjoyed this book. It's well written but sometimes I just couldn't help feeling why the chapters were so long. But it's still okay. It's a memoir. I liked it
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Jessica
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
"To be a book girl is to take up membership in the ranks of women who read and, by their reading, live to the brave and courageous full."

I wanted to love this book. I wanted this book to be about the celebration of books and the love of books that we share. But what it felt like, for me, was mostly convincing me that I should love books. (Even though I think only a true book girl would pick up a book entitled "Book Girl.") And even more, convincing me what books I should love.

I don't know that t
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K.M. Weiland
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sarah Clarkson speaks to me. In both the books I’ve read from her (Caught Up in a Story and this), it’s like someone has looked into my head and described my experiences to me with a greater emotional understanding than I had heretofore had for myself. In both instances, her books have come to me at opportune moments, when my life was in flux, with me standing at a crossroads of sort. I read this one after a significant move—and, just as significantly, after several years of struggling with the ...more
Julie  Durnell
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book!
Book Girl is an amazing book-on-books, probably the best I've ever read. Sarah Clarkson, as a young woman, wife,( and new mother poised to transform her own daughter into a "book girl"), and Oxford theology graduate, writes extremely well on a subject that is truly dear to her heart as well as her readers. She is perceptive, discerning and having grown up with books from birth is exceedingly well read. I had to suspend reading my library copy, return it and buy one for myself,
...more
Regina
Mar 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
Book Girl, or Christian Woman Wants You* to Read Classics** Written by White People about White People***

*only if you’re also a woman
**including those written by her and her mother
***and hobbits
Annette
Oct 10, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
too christian and author tells you she went to Oxford approximately 1 zillion times
Celeste
Oct 13, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a sweet book. Books mean the world to me, and it’s wonderful to see that same love written out on the page for the world to see. Reading recommendations are among my favorite things, whether I’m giving or receiving them. I loved the lists provided by this book, and that fact that the author explained what each book meant to her, as well as why she had crafted these lists regarding particular topics. I believe that stories are one of the ways God speaks to us the most deeply, and that sa ...more
The Hofs
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
DEVOURED this book! Cheers to Sarah Clarkson who truly is a kindred spirit! I found myself resisting the urge to mark this book and then about 25 pages in, I grabbed a pencil and went back to the beginning and marked away! This is so well written and such an encouragement for those of us who love books and I hope, motivating for those who have yet to discover their inner “book girl”. So many excellent quotes, book suggestions to mention. I wish that I could sit and chat with Sarah for a bit. We ...more
Callie
Jan 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
I'm going with 3 stars for this one.

I received this book for review a few months ago, and to be honest, I wanted to give up on it after the first few chapters. I was a little worried when I requested this book from the publisher because of my previous experience with Sarah Clarkson's writing in my attempt at The Life-Giving Home. Her writing has come off stilted and pretentious to me in the past. I had hopes that this book (about books! one of my favorite subjects) would be one I would enjoy, bu
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Jenny Preston
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
“Emma has been meaning to read more ever since she was twelve years old. I have seen a great many lists of her drawing up at various times of books that she meant to read regularly through–and very good lists they were–very well chosen and very neatly arranged–sometimes alphabetically and sometimes by some other rule. The list she drew up when only fourteen–I remember thinking it did her judgement so much credit that I preserved it some time; and I dare say she may have made out a very good list ...more
Becca Harris
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
As I read this book I kept thinking, "I wish I could have read this in my late teens/early twenties." But books come to you when they're meant to enter your life & I'm glad this book entered my life! While I've become a reader in my 30s, I still struggle a bit with what to read. This book has so encouraged me to read the really good books from the past (although the author does have some recently published recommendations.) I know my reading life will be changed because of these lists.

I listened
...more
Hope
Dec 31, 2018 rated it did not like it
I can't finish it. I wanted to like it. The author is very impressed with herself and reminds the reader over and over that she's Oxford educated and blahhhhhh.... she's made me not even care enough to finish this review. ...more
Carol Bakker
You were made to be a learner.

Book Girl was a joyous, head-nodding, affirming, geek-inducing read. As she wrote about the books that formed her, memories cascaded over me: where I read My Name Is Asher Lev, the grief I wore like a sweater while reading Cry, the Beloved Country, or the mountain curve that accompanied Sissy Spacek's narration of To Kill a Mockingbird.

We both have been nourished by a glorious alphabet of authors: Austen, Berry, Cather, Dickens, Eliot, Fitzgerald, Goudge, Hugo,
...more
Kalena
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Non-fiction/Book love. This is the BEST book I have read about the love and importance of reading life. While I am autodidactic by nature (so I loved all the lists!), it was more than that. Mrs. Clarkson voices so many of the feelings in my heart regarding how reading has contributed to my salvation (in multiple ways). It is important people understanding she is a Christian and discusses how her reading added to how she walks her Christian life, overcomes struggles, questions the world as we kno ...more
Katie
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book is such a disappointment to me. The tag line for this book is “A journey through the treasures and transforming power of a reading life.” I expected a book about reading and how reading can enrich your life. And this book only just reaches that mark.

The author talks about reading widely and reading great books that “if you read every title in this book, you’d have a rich exposure to some of the best writers around.” The problem I have with this is that there is very little about Clark
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Crystal Hurd
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book. Sarah Clarkson is such a treasure. My full review will be posted at Englewood Review of Books within the next few weeks.
Casey
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: my-2018-list
Got about halfway through then skimmed the rest. I usually enjoy books about books, but not this one.
Monica
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Like many book bloggers, reading is one of my biggest hobbies. Talking about my latest read or your favorite book is one of my favorite pastimes. Book Girl by Sarah Clarkson is all about her love of books and reading.


In Book Girl, Sarah Clarkson starts about by sharing how she got her love of reading and books. She then shares how books have shaped her life and how she created book lists. She then shares some of her book list categories: books that broaden your world, books can shape your story,
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Kris
Aug 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Part memoir, part book recommendations, part... spiritual observations? Her book lists are good, with many titles I already know or love. But she repeats recommendations several different times across the chapters, which felt a little strange. I'd like to flip through a hardcopy, to see the format and try to understand the overlap and repetitions. I'm pretty sure in one chapter she said it took her six months to work through The Brothers Karamazov, and in the next chapter she said it took her si ...more
ryan elizabeth
3.25/5

This was a cool book, but I wasn't expecting it to be so focused on classics. I was hoping for some modern gems that I haven't heard of before (since this is basically a book of recommendations), but I've heard of almost all of the books mentioned (outside of the theology sections...and I just skimmed for the most part because they sounded so boring tbh). Also, I got this vibe that the author thought that her favorites are superior to any other books. Of course I understand it's pretty muc
...more
Samantha B
Jan 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rereads
This is such a lovely book for anyone who has ever loved a book, and anyone who has ever wondered if there were other people who loved books as much as they did. (This is not something that most of the book blogosphere wonders, methinks, but it was something I was wondering when I read it for the first time a couple of years ago).

It's composed of essays about being a "book girl", with book lists that go along with the essays. Both the lists and essays are delightfully cozy, and bring you into t
...more
Trace
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-booklist
The title of this book and even the cover seem to hint at a very light hearted look at the reading life. It was my trust in the Clarkson family that urged me to read it.

Instead of a frivolous look at books - it is a very serious argument for the reading life with an extremely worthwhile reading list. Reading the books suggested in this book would provide a deep and well-rounded classical education.

Excellent book that I highly recommend. I had listened to this on Audible but will be purchasing
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Lauren
Rather interesting read. Provided a lot of interesting information and I have to agree with her on some points. Ms. Clarkson also provides some suggestions on books that I look forward to reading.
Katie
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a treasure of a book. She articulates, with a Biblical perspective, what we already know about the importance of reading and passing this love of reading to our children. It also includes over 20 book lists from which I added to my "to read" list. ...more
Kathryn
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
This book feels as though it was for me and to me. I want to improve my reading life. I want to remember what I have read. I want to be able to tell someone my favorite books. I want to know and begin to understand better quality writing. Sarah Clarkson's focus in this book does all of these things and more. She offers book lists from people she respects as readers and friends, she makes me feel comfortable and okay with where I am in my reading and this book will gently guide me to better readi ...more
Karen Hogan
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
I absolutely adore books about books and reading, but I have to admit this one was a disappointment. It is very geared toward religious books and children's books. Don't get me wrong, I read spiritual books every day, but because so many of the author's book recommendations were theological, it presented a very narrow, limited view of all the wonderful books out there. I realize this is the author's memoir of her reading life as a "Book Girl", but I felt very disconnected from her reading prefer ...more
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Sarah Clarkson is an author, a blogger, and a student of theology. She graduated from Wycliffe Hall, in Oxford, with a bachelor's degree in theology and is currently at work on a Master's degree in modern doctrine. She's the author of Read for the Heart (a guide to children's literature), Caught Up in a Story (on the formative power of story), and The Lifegiving Home (on the gift of creating a pla ...more

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