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

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  1,665 ratings  ·  469 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
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by Tyndale Momentum (first published September 2018)
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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
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.
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
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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.
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.
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.
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,
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
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.
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.
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
Hannah Mead
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2019
This book... how do I even describe it... It's like sitting down with a kindred spirit at the end of a long hard week and being able to share our hearts together... This was just such a heart-warming, refreshing read, with so much wisdom and joy and beauty packed between the pages to be gleaned! As a reader, as a woman, as a writer - my heart needed this book. It came to me at a moment where I was feeling spiritually and creatively low. But as I journeyed through the pages, I felt that my heart ...more
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’ll be returning to this as a resource time and time again through the years, I’m certain.

A delightful combination of personal essays and reading recommendations.
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Just get it, read it, take it to heart. I got it from the library but I plan to buy a copy to have to refer back to. It was just lovely.
Peggi Tustan
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was a gift from my aunt, another "Book Girl." I'm still in the early chapters. So far, much of it reinforces what I already know. But I read this quote last night and was moved by its profoundness.

"A woman who reads is a woman who taps into the fundamental reality that she was created to learn, made to question, primed to grow by her interaction with words. A book girl is one who has grasped the wondrous fact that she has a mind of her own, a gift from her Creator, meant to be filled a
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I had very mixed feeling about this book which surprised me because I really thought I would love it. In theory, I should have since I consider myself a big reader and the author and I have much in common. Perhaps it was the pandering tone of “oh, and I got my degree at Oxford” that pervaded each chapter. Or, maybe it was the hint of superiority “I’m a book girl and you should be too”. Or it could have been the abundance of Tolkien and Lewis quotes. I get it! I like them too! But every chapter? ...more
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
Sep 22, 2018 rated it liked it
3 - 3.5 Stars
I'm a sucker for books about books so I enjoyed this, although it didn't bump my top five such books. I'd probably include it in my top ten or fifteen, but I'll have to think about it awhile and then hopefully come back and write a real review later. However I do know that since I'm not Roman Catholic, I strongly disagree about reading many (if not most) of the religious books she recommends. I loved most of her other booklists though, having already either read or listed many of t
Hallie Szott

I have so many more books to read now.
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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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