Where the Wild Things Are Not
Booked at the Beach: Read-Aloud at CT's Sherwood Island

The Latest Book: Tolstoy and the Purple Chair

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading
by Nina Sankovitch
HarperCollins, 2011

I admire Nina Sankovitch, although I've never met her. Every day for an entire year, she sat down and read a book, and blogged about it all.  She even wrote her own book, afterward. I just finished the resulting Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading, a lovely collection of personal-and-literary essays. The author began her year as an antidote to the overwhelming sadness she was still feeling three years after the death of a beloved sister, and her conclusions about the value of memory and the backward glance inform every chapter.

Books like Sankovitch's always give me additions to my wish list. I wrote down these titles: The Open Door, by Elizabeth Maguire; The Crying of Lot 49, by Thomas Pynchon; A Lesson Before Dying, by Ernest J. Gaines; Hannah Coulter, by Wendell Berry; Little Bee, by Chris Cleve; Indignation, by Philip Roth; The Sunday Philosophy Club, by Alexander McCall Smith; and Pastoralia, by George Saunders.

Not surprisingly, Sankovitch was an avid reader as a child—Harriet the Spy was especially beloved—and she does include some children's and YA books on her list of 365. Among the titles are American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang; Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card; Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke; The Picts and the Martyrs, by Arthur Ransome; Silverwing, by Kenneth Oppel; Twenty Boy Summer, by Sarah Ockler; Wizard's Hall, by Jane Yolen; and The Wright 3, by Blue Balliett. 

If you need some lit-blogging inspiration, or just like to read about reading, don't miss Tolstoy and the Purple Chair.


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Sounds good, Susan. Adding it to my TBR pile :)!

Jama, I enjoyed it! Good inspiration for us book bloggers.

Oh, Sue, what a lovely post. Didn't know about Sankovitch, but anyone who loves Harriet the Spy is okay by me.

Thank you for your kind words, Meechelle! Was Harriet the Spy one of your favorite books, too? I LOVED it, and took notes on people for a while after reading it. Between that book, the TV show Family Affair, and the movie The World of Henry Orient, I got interested in seeing NYC! Finally got there (with Sarah and Bob) for a visit when I was 16. Every time I smell pretzels in NY, I think of that first stay in the city.

Have been enjoying this blog for some time---thank you for Tolstoy and the Purple Chair rec---excellent and fun!

I'm glad you liked Tolstoy & the Purple Chair. It made me want to read all day long!

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