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

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  453 ratings  ·  184 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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Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved Clarkson's emphasis on women and the pure treasure reading is for our emotional, physical, and mental well-being. I think what I most took away from this book was more for me as a mother. That the little seeds we are sowing everyday of beauty and good literature are crucial. Even if we don't see the harvest or we don't see anything "measurable" EVER, we still keep faithfully sowing into our children and those around us by faith.
If you are a bibliophile, the book lists and sentiments may
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
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
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,
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,
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.
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
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Before I was ever born, my mother read to me. While in her womb, she would read from classics by Beatrix Potter, A.A. Milne, and, of course, one of her favorite books Anne of Green Gables. Is it any wonder then that I was a born reader? For as long as I can remember, I have adored books. Before I could read them on my own, my mother would read to me. I would sit in her lap and look at the pictures as she read. Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, The Velveteen Rabbit, Blueberries for Sal, Sylveste ...more
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was not all what I was expecting, but I liked it. I did a lot skimming in this book because to me, it was more of a reference book (the endless book lists) for mostly classic-type books. But I really enjoyed some of the chapters—the one on imagination in books I felt like I had written! She put into words what I have been thinking for years. Overall, this book inspired me to read and treasure books, and reminded me of just how important they are and gave me some good recommendations. Though ...more
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Y'all. I've only gotten to read the first four chapters of this book as a part of its launch team, but I am in love. Sarah's writing style is gorgeous, but more than that this book feels like coming home. Sarah has beautifully expressed so many of the thoughts and feelings that I have had about books, plots, and characters. She has renewed the love of reading that often gets pressed down in the busyness of day-to-day life. She recommends countless books, many of which already hold a place on my ...more
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual
With chapter titles like "Books Can Stir You to Action" and "Books Can Foster Community" Sarah Clarkson's Book Girl is a joyful manifesto of all the good that books bring to our lives. Almost every chapter has a booklist too, so lots more titles to consider adding to your reading list!
K. L. West
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book gave voice to so many things I’ve sensed intuitively about stories my whole life. I want to press a copy of it into the hands of ever book lover I know and then demand they meet me for coffee after each chapter so we can talk about it. But for now, I’ll settle for recommending it to close friends and giving it this glowing review.

Even if Sarah didn’t have powerful, articulate, intelligent, and yet very readable chapters on the value of good stories, I would buy this book for the bookl
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.
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have been able to preview the first four chapters of this book before the release and absolutely devoured them. Honestly, I knew I would love the subject matter as a book girl myself and mother of book girls, but I didn't know if I would like the prose. In the past Sarah Clarkson's style has not always been my cup of tea. In this particular book her writing is a little more spare than usual and I found the style as pleasant as the content. And the content well-reasoned and interesting. My only ...more
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A book for reading and re-reading, a book of lists to delight the heart of every book lover, a book of prose about the meaning of reading in our lives. I loved every minute of this book and intend to read it again very soon as well as seek out the books she suggested that I have not yet read. What a treasure trove of book ideas.
Kelly Bridgewater
Sep 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Book Girl by Sarah Clarkson's synopsis sounded right up my alley. I define myself as an avid bookworm. I mean, who else besides bookworms finish 200 books every year. It is a lot of books, but I love reading. So the description sounded just like me. I really couldn't wait to get my hands on the book. Right away, the book filled me with good feelings as it appeared to be describing me as someone who discovered reading at a young age. I remember traveling to the library every week and coming home ...more
Lisa Suit
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2018
I was blessed to be able to read the first four chapters of this book in advance, and I cannot wait to read the rest! Not only does Sarah provide you with amazing booklists (my TBR pile is already growing) but she has written a delightful manifesto for the reading life that makes you feel like you're sitting right across from her with a cup of tea, chatting about the wonders of books and how they shape our very souls! Sarah is much more eloquent than I am, so I can't begin to do the book justice ...more
Oct 07, 2018 rated it liked it
I liked & appreciated all her suggestions, but wasn't a huge fan of the other chapters. Some had great points... I did end up skimming a bit.
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Clarkson begins by discussing discernment in reading, how to find time to read, and where to get started. Later chapters include book lists sorted by topic. I found many of my favorites in her lists and many to add to my to-be-read list. Her book lists make me feel like we are talking books over a cup of tea—simply delightful!

Clarkson’s previous books on reading inspired me in helping my children’s reading life, and Book Girl inspires me in my own reading journey. I think I will start with Pilgr
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
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
Jennie Nelson
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh my word. As if I needed more encouragement to read, this book did it! If you need some direction for your reading or encouragement to branch out, this book will help you find that. (I have only read the first third or so, but I am sure the rest will be the same.) Sarah Clarkson is an amazing writer and has only gotten better as she's studied at Oxford and added Mother to her resume. :)
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
Rachel B
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mindful
I liked that Clarkson referenced her faith in this book in a very natural way. She didn't just state "my faith is important to me and influences my reading, and vice-versa," but truly integrated her faith into the book's text. (This book is by a Christian, published by a Christian company, and it shows. I liked this, but there will undoubtedly be those who don't.)

I also appreciated that she touches on the importance of discernment in our reading but, while I realize she was trying to avoid playi
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was right, I loved it.

Book Girl was exactly what I thought it would be and exactly what I wanted it to be.

Thanks once again to Netgalley, I was able to read a review copy on my Kindle, but Book Girl is going on my list of printed books that I would like to own. It will be a pleasure to have this on my shelf.

Part memoir and part list, Sarah Clarkson tells us the story of her reading life, childhood days to Oxford days, cataloguing the books that have helped her through the various seasons of
Katherine Jones
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Now here’s a book for readers who are serious about reading. Book Girl is both a companion and continuing resource for, well, book girls. In other words, for book lovers and lovers of book lists (of which I am both) — as well as those who aspire to be either.

The depth and breadth of Book Girl is impressive, to say the least, and — for me, anyway — extremely resonant. Which is to say that any reasonably seasoned reader can compile a book list, but does it contain books I actually want to read? Th
Susan Mansfield
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I must admit, were it not for the fact that I've been reading Sarah Clarkson's words for over ten years (and have always been inspired and nourished by her) I probably wouldn't have bought this book. Books about books and books about reading have always seemed a bit like preaching to the choir to me. After all, the people who actually need to hear how wonderful books are...well they're hardly going to buy a book about it, if they don't like reading!

So, whilst I'm still unsure how to kindle the
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book added many other books to my to-read list. It was fun to see old favorites on Sarah's lists and be introduced to many others. The format is a little different than other book list books I've read before. Instead of all the recommendations at the end, they are interspersed between chapters, somewhat grouped by theme. Sometimes there are duplicates of recommendations in multiple categories, which is confusing when going to add them to Goodreads when I already did. Or maybe because I skim ...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
“the survey made a clear connection between the fact that people who read less were also far less likely to go to a concert or volunteer for charity or even take part in as traditional and common a thing as a baseball game.” 0 likes
“A woman who reads is a woman who knows she must act: in courage, in creativity, in kindness, and often in defiance of the darkness around her. She understands that life itself is a story and that she has the power to shape her corner of the drama.” 0 likes
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