Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Book Girl: A Journey Through the Treasures and Transforming Power of a Reading Life” as Want to Read:
Book Girl: A Journey Through the Treasures and Transforming Power of a Reading Life
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  745 ratings  ·  260 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)
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 Book Girl, please sign up.
Recent Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  745 ratings  ·  260 reviews

Sort order
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
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 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
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,
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
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, I
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
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
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,
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
Ashley McKnight
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
There was so much I loved about this book.
Her rich, warm writing about her own life and love of books invites you into her magical world of words, stories, characters and how meeting them shaped and informed her every day life.
I loved the passion with which she shared how stories shaped our imagination, and why both adults and children need good stories, especially as Christians.

There are so many wonderful books she has intrigued me to read (both fiction and non-fiction) which I may never hav
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
Feb 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Unfortunately, I did not love this book as much as I thought I would. So many of the books mentioned in the author's books lists, are not books I really care to read... I also find myself scratching my head wondering what exactly the author believes in terms of theology. However, I still enjoyed parts of this book and did find some title suggestions I hope to read in the near future. I was just a little disappointed in the book as a whole.
I enjoyed it. It mainly consists of list of books with brief synopsis of each. The lists are classified by subject. It started out great, but by the end every list had most of the same authors and some of the same titles. I get it. She loves Lewis and Tolkien. I did pick up ideas for a few books I would like to read that I haven't already read.
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don't normally re-read books, but this will definitely be one that I will keep re-reading. So much for the avid reader to "yes" in this book.
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
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
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing-reading
I love books about reading, and this was one of my favorites. Sarah Clarkson writs beautifully about how reading has enriched her life, family, parenting, and faith. She also includes lists of her favorite books in a variety of topics and genres, with delightful commentary. She's a theology student at Oxford, and she writes well about the intersection of art and faith. I totally recommend this book if you, like me, love books and theological discussions on stories.
Christina Hubbard
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A book for any woman who wants to rediscover her bookishness, intellect, and imagination. In the chapters I've previewed, I am struck by how important books are to who we become. Sarah has helped me to reflect on my own love affairs with certain books and ask how they have shaped me (and continue to). Reading matters. It develops empathy and understanding, which are marks of true greatness. The book is full of great reading suggestions for any woman, especially the one who desires to learn how t ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me
  • Mere Motherhood: Morning times, nursery rhymes, and my journey toward sanctification
  • Girls' Club: Cultivating Lasting Friendship in a Lonely World
  • Even Better Than Eden: Nine Ways the Bible's Story Changes Everything about Your Story
  • The Christian Imagination: The Practice of Faith in Literature and Writing
  • Just Open the Door: How One Invitation Can Change a Generation
  • Growing in Gratitude: Rediscovering the Joy of a Thankful Heart
  • War of Words: Getting to the Heart of Your Communication Struggles
  • War Animals: The Unsung Heroes of World War II
  • Made Like Martha: Good News for the Woman Who Gets Things Done
  • Praying Together: The Priority and Privilege of Prayer: In Our Homes, Communities, and Churches
  • A Curious Faith: Rediscovering a Good God with Childlike Wonder
  • Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest
  • Honey for a Woman's Heart: Growing Your World through Reading Great Books
  • The New How to Study Your Bible: Discover the Life-Changing Approach to God's Word
  • Better Together: Strengthen Your Family, Simplify Your Homeschool, and Savor the Subjects That Matter Most
  • Shopping for Time: How to Do It All and Not Be Overwhelmed
  • The Lifegiving Parent: Giving Your Child a Life Worth Living for Christ
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
More quotes…