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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Since she was a child, Anna Quindlen has been discovering the world and herself through reading: 'Reading has always been my home, my sustenance, my great invincible companion.'" From a lesser writer, such a tribute might be hyperbolic, but Quindlen has given as good as she's got. A Pulitzer Prize-winner for her New York Times column 'Public and Private,' Quindlen's three novels have been bestsellers, and her collection of 'Life in the 30's' columns, Living Out Loud, gave her a reputation as a voice for her generation, for her gender, and for thinking people everywhere.
In the short, entertaining book How Reading Changed My Life — part of Ballantine's Library of Contemporary Thought series — Quindlen uses her sharp observations and gentle humor to describe her inner life as a reader, a life that other confirmed bibliophiles will recognize with delight and not a few rueful smiles. Quindlen tells of her game attempts to be 'a normal child, who lived, raucous, in the world,' playing outdoors with the other children in the creek or laying pennies on the trolley track: 'But at base it was never any good. There was always a part of me, the best part of me, back at home, within some book, laid flat on the table to mark my place, its imaginary people waiting for me to return and bring them back to life.' In describing her childhood, adolescence, and adult years, Quindlen marks the passages of time with the self-awareness she gained reading different novels, from A Wrinkle in Time to Middlemarch
For those of us who, like Quindlen,couldgive up almost anything before we gave up reading, her book will feel like a party...to which the host has invited some of our oldest friends.