HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of…
Loading...

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Nina Sankovitch

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4243624,938 (3.55)44
Member:almigwin
Title:Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading
Authors:Nina Sankovitch
Info:Harper (2011), Hardcover, 256 pages
Collections:Your library (inactive)
Rating:
Tags:reading, memoir

Work details

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch (2011)

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 44 mentions

English (34)  Dutch (1)  All languages (35)
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
A great book for readers: everyone will find Sankovitch’s thoughts on how books relate to one’s life ring close to home. What was especially interesting here was her juxtaposition of her reading life with her mental life, as reading allowed her time to quiet down and process the death of her sister. All readers who love literature will relate to Sankovitch’s love for books; everyone will also come away from this wanting to read many books Sankovitch details and which may have passed one’s radar or been long-forgotten in a pile somewhere. The one thing that permeated the entire book, and which I found especially classist (as if this book were directed only toward those privileged enough to be in circumstances like Sankovitch’s), was that this is not a book for all people who love to read. This is solely the story of one woman who can afford to live on her husband’s income for an entire year to read a book each day, and to also relinquish her two children to her husband’s care to not “disturb” her book-a-day project. For that alone -- and this is an attitude and sentiment that runs throughout the book, this sense of privilege and socioeconomic stability -- the book may feel alien and too much like an unlivable fantasy to many avid readers who are not as lucky and financially secure as Sankovitch. ( )
  proustitute | Jul 17, 2014 |
A great book for readers: everyone will find Sankovitch’s thoughts on how books relate to one’s life ring close to home. What was especially interesting here was her juxtaposition of her reading life with her mental life, as reading allowed her time to quiet down and process the death of her sister. All readers who love literature will relate to Sankovitch’s love for books; everyone will also come away from this wanting to read many books Sankovitch details and which may have passed one’s radar or been long-forgotten in a pile somewhere. The one thing that permeated the entire book, and which I found especially classist (as if this book were directed only toward those privileged enough to be in circumstances like Sankovitch’s), was that this is not a book for all people who love to read. This is solely the story of one woman who can afford to live on her husband’s income for an entire year to read a book each day, and to also relinquish her two children to her husband’s care to not “disturb” her book-a-day project. For that alone -- and this is an attitude and sentiment that runs throughout the book, this sense of privilege and socioeconomic stability -- the book may feel alien and too much like an unlivable fantasy to many avid readers who are not as lucky and financially secure as Sankovitch. ( )
  proustitute | Jul 17, 2014 |
completed 4/19/14. 3 stars ( )
  bookmagic | Apr 23, 2014 |
I believe I'll start this one next.
  blkhart13 | Apr 6, 2014 |
Inspiration for the healing powers of reading. Wish my job could be reading. ( )
  sar96 | Jan 2, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Original title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
We need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the ax for the frozen sea inside us. -- Frank Kafka, letter to Oskar Pollak, January 27, 1904
A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counselor, a multitude of counselors. -- Henry Ward Beecher, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit
Dedication
In memory of Anne-Marie Sankovitch and for our family
First words
In September 2008 my husband, Jack, and I went away for a weekend, leaving our four kids in the care of my parents.
Quotations
It is that search for order that drives my hunger for reading mysteries. Sure, I find sparks of wisdom in a good mystery, but what I am really looking for are solutions. I'm searching for an order in the universe. In a world where, sometimes, very little makes sense, a mystery can take the twists and turns of life and run them through a plot that eventually does make sense. A solution to a question is found. The sense of satisfaction is huge.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
This celebration of the richness of reading will reward anyone who loves to read. Editor Review (reviewed on April 1, 2011)
This celebration of the richness of reading will reward anyone who loves to read.

This is a far better book than one might expect from the categories into which it seems to fall. It initially seems like a book in which the author commits to reading the encyclopedia, the Bible or some other exhaustive work, only in this case the challenge is to read, and review, a book per day for a full year. Yet the impetus fits this into a separate category of mourning memoirs, for it was the death of the author's sister that inspired her regimen. Ultimately, the results transcend categories, comparisons and matters of marketing, because what Sankovitch has accomplished in her first book is not only to celebrate the transformational, even healing, powers of reading, but to give the reader a feeling of reading those books as well, through the eyes of an astute reader. Her choices are eclectic, international, unpredictable (even by her), the main mandate being that each is manageable enough to be read in a day. Avoiding the tedium of a diary, the author deals with the books thematically in chapters that focus on love, death, family, even the joys of reading, as she skillfully interweaves a memoir of growing up in a bookish immigrant family and developing a complicated, loving relationship with her oldest sister. After cancer claimed her sister at the age of 46, Sankovitch plunged into relentless activity—"I was scared of living a life not worth the living." But hyperactivity failed to ease her mourning, so on her own 46th birthday, she dedicated herself to reading, not as a simple escape, but "as an escape back to life." Intelligent, insightful and eloquent, Sankovitch takes the leader on the literary journey, demonstrating how after "trying to anaesthetize myself from what I'd lost…I'd finally stopped running away."

As a bonus, even the well-read reader will be inspired to explore some of the books from this magical year.

Agent: Esther Newberg/ICM Kirkus Review http://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-rev...
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

Torn apart by grief after losing her sister, the author, a mother of four, turned to literature for comfort, devoting herself to reading one book a day for a year, which brought much needed joy, healing, and wisdom into her life.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

LibraryThing Author

Nina Sankovitch is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

profile page | author page

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
184 wanted2 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.55)
0.5
1 2
1.5 1
2 11
2.5 4
3 25
3.5 17
4 38
4.5 4
5 15

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,769,769 books! | Top bar: Always visible