Thursday, December 23, 2010
In My Reading Life, Conroy revisits a life of passionate reading. He includes wonderful anecdotes from his school days, moving accounts of how reading pulled him through dark times, and even lists of books that particularly influenced him at various stages of his life, including grammar school, high school, and college. Readers will be enchanted with his ruminations on reading and books, and want to own and share this perfect gift book for the holidays. And, come graduation time, My Reading Life will establish itself as a perennial favorite, as did Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go! -- Nan A. Talese/Doubleday
I was so excited when I found out that one of my favorite authors Pat Conroy was writing a book about his love of reading titled MY READING LIFE. I had a feeling that I'd appreciate discovering what books he holds close to his heart, and I always enjoy reading his prose. I figured this was the book for me!
And in some ways, MY READING LIFE was exactly what I had hoped for; however, I have to admit that for the most part, this book didn't live up to my expectations. (Of course, my expectations were so high that it probably wasn't fair to begin with!) I felt that it was an okay read and I'm definitely glad that I read it because I did get some insight into Mr. Conroy. I just didn't love it like I had hoped.
MY READING LIFE is basically Pat Conroy's life in books. He talks about many of the special people in his life and how they influenced him. There are also some parts about his tempestuous relationship with his father which I found interesting yet tragic. He also shared some stories about his mother, librarian, teacher, and friends and how their love of reading affected his life. I think I most enjoyed those specific chapters, but the one about his high school teacher was my favorite by far -- it actually brought tears to my eyes. It was apparent just how much this man meant to Mr. Conroy and I loved how he paid tribute to him in such a beautiful way.
MY READING LIFE would make a very interesting (and very unique) book club experience. I can't say that I actually thought about it as a book club selection while I was reading it, but once I saw the reading guide, I realized that it would be a great book to discuss. Some of the topics you might want to further explore include how (and what) books influenced Mr. Conroy's life as well as his writing and how books influence your own life. In addition, you could discuss the value of rereading books and discussing them with friends!
Overall, I feel that MY READING LIFE is a worthwhile read for fans of Pat Conroy as well as book lovers. It just wasn't my favorite book of the year.
Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book.