“Nina Sankovitch has crafted a dazzling memoir that reminds us of the most primal function of literatureto heal, to nurture and to connectus to our truest selves." Thrity Umrigar, author of The Space Between Us
Catalyzed by the loss of her sister, a mother of four spends one year savoring a great book every day, from Thomas Pynchon to Nora Ephron and beyond. In the tradition of Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project and Joan Dideon’s A Year of Magical Thinking, Nina Sankovitch’s soul-baring and literary-minded memoir is a chronicle of loss, hope, and redemption. Nina ultimately turns to reading as therapy and through her journey illuminates the power of books to help us reclaim our lives.
Nina Sankovitch launched ReadAllDay.org in 2008, and at the end of her year of reading, she was profiled in the New York Times. She continues to review books on ReadAllDay.org and for the Huffington Post. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and four sons.
Table of Contents
Prologue: On the Cliff 1
1 Crossing the Bridge 5
2 Return to the Bookmobile 18
3 Such Beauty in the World 32
4 In Search of Books and Time 46
5 Rearranging the Rhythms 53
6 The Only Balm to Sorrow 62
7 Looking for the Star 75
8 Finding Another Chance 88
9 To Welcome the Interloper 99
10 Hearing Words I'd Missed Before 108
11 Where Warmth Is Found 119
12 The Expansion of Experience 131
13 Bound to the World 140
14 Sex by the Book 149
15 The Man in My Dreams 157
16 Offering a Better View 164
17 Fireflies Dancing Across the Lawn 177
18 The Answers That Mysteries Provide 186
19 Discovering Purpose in Kindness 193
20 Coming off Loulou's Motorcycle 204
21 Tolstoy in My Purple Chair 212
Complete List of Books Read from October 28, 2008, to October 28, 2009 225
What People are Saying About This
“Tolstoy and the Purple Chair will transport you to a time before texts and tweets. Through the stories of her own family, Nina Sankovitch shows how books have the power to refresh, renew, and even heal us. I loved this memoir.”
“Nina Sankovitch has crafted a dazzling memoir that reminds us of the most primal function of literature—to heal, to nurture and to connect us to our truest selves.”
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
“Tolstoy and the Purple Chair masterfully weaves beloved and sometimes surprising books into central events in the writer’s life. There is much to learn from this moving book. Sankovitch writes with intelligence and honesty, leading us to respond in a similar manner.”
“Tolstoy and the Purple Chair is original, uplifting and very moving: a unique celebration of life, love and literature.”
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