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Bookworm: A Memoir of Childhood Reading by…

Bookworm: A Memoir of Childhood Reading (2018)

by Lucy Mangan

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1744107,655 (4.23)23
A love letter to the joys of childhood reading from Wonderland to Narnia. 'Passionate, witty, informed, and gloriously opinionated' Jacqueline Wilson 'I felt like this was written just for me, and I think everyone will feel this way' Jenny Colgan 'Beautiful and moving... It will kickstart a cascade of nostalgia for countless people' Marian Keyes When Lucy Mangan was little, stories were everything. They opened up new worlds and cast light on all the complexities she encountered in this one. She was whisked away to Narnia - and Kirrin Island - and Wonderland. She ventured down rabbit holes and womble burrows into midnight gardens and chocolate factories. She wandered the countryside with Milly-Molly-Mandy, and played by the tracks with the Railway Children. With Charlotte's Web she discovered Death and with Judy Blume it was Boys. No wonder she only left the house for her weekly trip to the library or to spend her pocket money on amassing her own at home. In Bookworm, Lucy revisits her childhood reading with wit, love and gratitude. She relives our best-beloved books, their extraordinary creators, and looks at the thousand subtle ways they shape our lives. She also disinters a few forgotten treasures to inspire the next generation of bookworms and set them on their way. Lucy brings the favourite characters of our collective childhoods back to life - prompting endless re-readings, rediscoveries, and, inevitably, fierce debate - and brilliantly uses them to tell her own story, that of a born, and unrepentant, bookworm.… (more)



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Showing 4 of 4
Loved it! Only the lack of a proper index stopped me giving it 5 stars. More here: http://annabookbel.net/in-short-some-recent-reads ( )
1 vote gaskella | Jul 18, 2019 |
The back cover of Bookworm has a blurb by Jacqueline Wilson that includes the phrase “gloriously opinionated”. It is highly apt. Bookworms of all kinds have strong opinions about the books that shaped them, and Lucy Mangan is no exception. Being somewhat familiar with many of the books she read, I found it interesting to read how her experiences matched (or didn’t match) mine. Inevitably, there were some we differed on, and we made the leap to adult fiction at different times (I think I started at 8 or 9, with Agatha Christie; many of the teen books she talked about I didn’t bother with). But overall I enjoyed this and related a lot to the young Lucy’s mindset.

The book also includes a list at the end with all of the books she discussed in each chapter. Very handy for stocking your own library if you so choose.

This is recommended for people who like to chat about books they’ve loved and revisit them from a different stage of life. ( )
1 vote rabbitprincess | Oct 7, 2018 |
I think you need to have been a childhood reader, or now love children’s literature to enjoy this book. Luckily for me I tick both boxes and as such found this a delight to read.

Mangan takes a chronological approach, starting pretty much at birth and finishing in her teenage years. Her style is informal and witty – it feels as though a good friend is talking to you. Whilst she shares a fair amount of family history, often in a way that had me laughing out loud the star of the show here are the books she escaped into. On the books themselves she provides a careful mix of nostalgic recollections, analysis and in some instances historical context so that each chapter is more than a retelling of the story.

I found the back stories to some of my favourites fascinating (for example the who and wherefore of the writing of the Secret Garden) and mentally cheered when I found references to books I had forgotten I loved (Topsy & Tim for example, although I was shaken to find this is now a children’s tv show!) or opinions I shared (Mangan’s thoughts on Laurie in Little Women, the occasionally problematic nature of some of Blyton’s work).

I think this will most appeal to people who have a significant overlap with Mangan’s chosen favourites but even where I did not (never really understood the fascination with pony books for example) there is still plenty to enjoy. The inclusion of a detailed book list at the end is both inspired and likely to be expensive. ( )
1 vote itchyfeetreader | Apr 27, 2018 |
An ARC from netgalley.

One of those books about books that involved a lot of head nodding, both about the books and about growing up a reader in a house with siblings who Did Not Get It! Fun. Mangan talks about the finegrain detail of book memories, from which teacher read which book aloud in school to the books stocked in the local library. She also includes detail about children's book origins, although I suspect most of this will not be news to those professionally involved, was interesting to me.

Mangan has spent years writing (very funny) columns and I think in places it shows here - she goes for the joke at a pace, when perhaps it isn't always needed when reading chapter by chapter instead of week by week. But I would look for my own copy of this, as it's a lovely trip down memory lane. She even includes The Summer of My German Soldier a book that broke my heart when I was about 12.

I really like that she includes a list of all the books referenced at the end, very handy. ( )
1 vote charl08 | Mar 30, 2018 |
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For Alexander, whom I love more than books.
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"People say that life is the thing but I prefer reading. (American essayist and entirely correct person Logan Pearsall Smith.)
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