Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
On the surface, this is a book about reading, but more than anything, this is a book about how Nina Sankovitch used reading to get through the loss of her sister at age 46. If you add that to the stories of Sankovitch's parents backgrounds, growing up in war-torn Poland and Belgium, this is not as light of a book as I was led to believe from the review I first read in a book blog. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it or resonate with it, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it to everyone, for the raw grief as well as some issues with the writing. At the same time, it does speak to the restorative power of reading.
In the end, I added a few books to my to-read list from her comments. And it is a quick read - in my own tribute, I read it in one evening.
"Talking about books allows me to talk about anything with anyone. With family, friends, and even with strangers who contacted me..., when we discuss what we are reading, what we are really discussing is our own lives, our take on everything from sorrow to fidelity to responsibility, from money to religion, from worrying to inebriation, from sex to laundry, and back again."
Nina Sankovitch runs the website Read All Day, which is worth checking out. It looks like she is reading as voraciously as ever, and influencing others to do the same.