Monday, March 11, 2013

Book Review - Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading, Nina Sankovich

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading


Nina Sankovich

Category: nonfiction, memoir, reading/books, grief

Date finished: 21 January 2013

Synopsis: After her sister dies of cancer, Sankovich leads her life at a breakneck pace. Three years later, she decides it’s time to slow down again, and she sets out to read a book each day for a year.

Rating: ****

Comments: I enjoyed this, but what I enjoyed most was the “memoir” portion, not necessarily when she talks about the books she’s read. She seems to only discuss the fiction she reads—none of which I’ve heard of. And she only discusses a small fraction of what she’s read in the year. The parts about her sister (dead for several years when she begins reading the books) got tedious. I understand that she’s working through grief, but it seems as fresh three years later as it would be right after her passing. This didn’t seem healthy to me. At any rate, she and her family have some great stories, and they were enjoyable to read. I kept wondering, though, if some people are just born fast readers. She reads a 250-300 page book in four hours. I’d read it in twelve. Do I want to read that fast, though? What’s lost when you read a book that quickly? It’s like eating a full meal in one big bite. Is it good for you? Is it respectful to the cook? Is it any good for digestion? My husband made fun of her book-a-day project, wondering if she got anything out of the books or even enjoyed them. But some folks just don’t understand what “insatiable reader” means.

Would you recommend this to a friend?
Probably not. The people who would be interested in this book would likely already know about it.

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