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The Books They Gave Me: True Stories of…

The Books They Gave Me: True Stories of Life, Love, and Lit (edition 2012)

by Jen Adams

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718168,809 (3.69)1
Title:The Books They Gave Me: True Stories of Life, Love, and Lit
Authors:Jen Adams
Info:Free Press (2012), Kindle Edition, 258 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Memoir, Books on Books

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The Books They Gave Me: True Stories of Life, Love, and Lit by Jen Adams



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This book is unique because it is a collection of 200 stories from 2oo people. Each story showcases a book they were given by someone and the connection they had to that person and the book. These stories came from the author’s website called TheBooksTheyGaveMe.com. This book doesn’t have to be read cover to cover in one setting. Instead this is the kind of book you pick up and read a few at a time. As you read about the books that others have received and the emotion, connection or thoughts that accompany them you begin to reflect on books you have been given and how they made you feel. I didn’t love them all. I don’t think everyone will love them all. However, I do believe it will get you to thinking about the books you cherish the most and the person who gave it to you. Why is that book so special? Is it because the person spent so much time picking it out? Is it because the person who gave it to you is long gone and it is all you have of them? Maybe it is because you both shared the love for the same author or type of writing. Whatever the reason, this is a book I would encourage you to read for you.

I received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest review. ( )
  skstiles612 | Jun 30, 2014 |
Full disclosure: I'm one of the contributors to this fine collection.
But that doesn't mean I'm biased. I would love this collection just as much without my contribution popping up next to two other wonderfully related (except marvelously different) tales. It's all about the joy/pain/nostalgia/heartbreak/happiness/love/sorrow/communion-with-another-person that comes from giving (and receiving) a book. Not just any book but a book that is then forever locked in time and space to a particular moment. It may stay with you and change meaning as the years go on (or, it may not - that's okay too) but it always has that association in your mind. This book is about those associations. It is wondrous.
More about the book, giving books, receiving books, and the memory of paper at RB: http://wp.me/pGVzJ-sG ( )
  drewsof | Jul 9, 2013 |
Jen Adams is wonderful with words! She says everything I would want to about books (in the introduction). This is a compilation of authors talking about the books that were given to them. Some of the stories are hilarious, some are heartbreaking. I was left with a list of books that I need to read and an appreciation for the written word. ( )
  TFS93 | Apr 11, 2013 |
I loved how the author took each story and made it her own. I think it's a great concept of a book within a book and there are definately more books that I want to read since reading her book. Great coffee table read! ( )
  rayneofdarkness | Dec 24, 2012 |
The author of The Books They Gave Me functions mostly as an editor for the blog entries to this compilation. It is an excellent sampling of different books and different people whose association with the book is either happy or sad. There are acknowledgements at the end of the book who presumably are the alphabetized contributors. I really appreciated the quality construction of the book, its font and layout. Really a nice book to see and presented in such a way that it would be a beautiful gift for another avid reader. I liked the positioning of the actual book cover on the same page as the text. It did not overwhelm the page and made it an addition to the book photo. It is text as a gloss not to a page, but to an indiviual book. Adams work here is very well done, and unique among the Books on Books category. ( )
  sacredheart25 | Dec 12, 2012 |
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"This beautiful full-color treasury of stories about gift book-giving celebrates the enduring power of literature: stories of significant books people have received and what those books mean to them. The Books They Gave Me collects 200 poignant, funny, and provocative stories that together comprise a love letter to literature and the physical book. Some of the stories are disastrous, some touching, but all are illuminating, revealing volumes about the relationships. There's the couple who tried to read Ulysses together over the course of their long-distance relationship and ultimately never finished it. There's the girl whose school library wouldn't allow her to check out Fahrenheit 451. At Christmas she found a copy waiting for her with the note, "Little Sister: Read everything you can. Learn about all the ideas that this world has to offer. Subvert Authority! Love always, your big brother." There are stories of people falling in love, regretting mistakes, and finding hope. Illustrated in full-color with the jackets of beloved editions, these stories convey vivid memories of insights and revelations, disappointments and joy, illuminated with the wisdom the passing of time brings and enabled by the enduring influence of the books we love"-- "A gift book treasure--romantic and nostalgic, funny and surprising, and often moving--in the tradition of the bestselling PostSecret, THE BOOKS THEY GAVE ME collects stories of significant books people have received and what those books meant to them"--… (more)

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