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2014 Reading Adventures > Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch

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message 1: by Erin (new)

Erin | 104 comments Mod
Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch

1. One of Nina's favorite books from childhood, The Most Beautiful Woman in the World, can still bring tears to her eyes when she reads it today. What books did you love as a child that can still elicit strong emotions in you today?

2. How was a book allowed you to relive a difficult period in your life, or world history, and learn from that event? Do you believe, as Nina does, that experiences can lead to learning and improved chances for mankind?

3. "The giver of the book is not exactly ripping open her soul for a free look, but when she hands over the book with the comment that it is one of her favorites, such an admission is very close to the baring of the soul." Have you ever received a book as a present that you would never have chosen for yourself? Did you read the book? What did you discover in your reading?


message 2: by Jade (last edited May 13, 2014 05:04PM) (new)

Jade (jaderv) | 61 comments Mod
I don't think I've received a book recently as a present that I wouldn't have picked for myself. But after reading that part of the book, it made me think a little more about when I give a book as a gift!
My family just gives me gift cards to get my own books!

I really enjoyed this book! I just thought it was awesome that she spent a whole year reading! I could definitely see it as a one time thing, but it's neat.

I just recently read a brief article someone wrote critiquing another article that libraries aren't needed much anymore and I think this book really shows how important books can be for people. I know libraries aren't just about books, but we do house a lot of them here!
I can't recall a time when a book allowed me to relive a difficult time in my life but I definitely think it's possible to relive an experience and learn from it later on. After time has passed, you might be surprised at how you have changed or what you have learned from a previous difficult period in your life.


message 3: by Jade (new)

Jade (jaderv) | 61 comments Mod
Side note, she mentions "Inkheart" in the book and I thought it was funny that it's next after this one!


message 4: by julie (new)

julie (julochka) I have to admit that I was so distracted by how utterly vapid and self-absorbed Nina Sankovitch was that I couldn't get anything positive out of this book. It read like a series of blog posts which hadn't been properly edited (alas, I fear that's precisely what it was).

It's really a shame, because I DO believe in the transformative power of books and I do believe they can help us answer or at least gain perspective on the big questions of life.

It's also a shame because I had read good things about this book and had it on my "to read" list for a very long time. I think that made me all the more disappointed when I finally got it in my hands. I really couldn't have been more disappointed.


message 5: by Jacey (new)

Jacey | 23 comments I wasn't really sure what to think about this book. Initially I was really interested, but it seemed to get a bit repetitive near the end. I felt like she was just saying the same things over and over, but applying them to different situations.

I first read To Kill a Mockingbird in late elementary (probably ten). I liked it, but didn't really get why it was such a big deal. Then I read it again in high school, and I felt like I was reading a completely different book. I've read it several times since then, and I feel like each time I experience something new.

My family and friends generally just give me giftcards for books. If they buy me actual books, it's usually coffee table books, which I always love!


message 6: by Erin (new)

Erin | 104 comments Mod
The last book I remember receiving as a gift, rather than gift cards, was the latest biography of Beatrix Potter. It was a wonderful book, but means so much to me because my aunt, who gave me the book, had helped my brother and I learn to read by reading and re-reading our Peter Rabbit Treasury. My aunt has since passed away, but I still treasure the book. Sometimes, the thought really does count.


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