Michele's Reviews > Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch
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's review
May 03, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: memoir, non-fiction
Recommended for: Someone who has experienced a loss
Read on June 29, 2011 — I own a copy

Like many other readers, this book wasn't at all what I thought it would be. It is a personal memoir of the author's journey as she took a year to read a book every single day in order to work through the grief over her sister's untimely death from cancer.

It's not a bad book, not at all. But had I understood that it was less about the books and more about a memoir/working through grief, I would have passed on it.

And believe it or not, bibliophile though I am, I'm also a mother and a wife. And personally (although I make no judgments here), I can't imagine putting a book a day above my family. As I say, I don't judge the author for her decision to do so, but because I can't imagine it I had a difficult time connecting with the author here.

One more little problem I had: I am a stickler for NO SPOILERS. Now I understand that everyone has a different threshold for spoiler level here, but this book exceeded mine. She spoke of several books that are in my to-be-read pile and after reading her explain the entire plot, I guess I can toss those off my pile now. Grrrrr.

So now that I've told you all the not-so-good things, let me say this....I enjoyed the author's take on books. Books don't need to be accepted "classics" to have a great emotional impact on our lives. I like that she isn't a book snob and I wish her the very best in her recovery from such a grief-filled life.

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Reading Progress

06/29/2011 page 230
88.0% "Not as engaging as I'd hoped....."

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