Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair review

There's nothing like a good book about reading to make a book lover happy! I knew I was in for a treat when I first received this book in the mail, but it truly was a complete delight from start to finish, even with the heavy subject.

Author Nina Sankovitch's sister passed away after a short, yet terribly painful battle with cancer. Not quite sure how to deal with the grief of losing her sister and get back into every day life, Sankovitch decides to "take a year off" and do something that not only provides pure pleasure, but also allows her to feel connected to her sister in a way unlike any other. Thus begins her journey of reading a book a day for an entire year. 

Being a both a wife and mother to four boys, I thought Sankovitch quite crazy for believing she would be able to pull off a feat as large as 365 books (especially after seeing some of her titles of choice). I can't even manage to read a book a day and I don't have ANY children in my home! The author, however, successfully manages to read book a day, using the literature as her means of comfort and escape from her sadness, all done in her cozy purple chair. 

I was able to feel the emotion on every page, as Sankovitch read through different types of literature and used it to bring to light her feelings on her sister's death, their childhood, and her current state of being. She muses thoughts on the books she reads (adding more than a few to my TBR pile), as well as her family, her emotional state, and her method of truly allowing herself to slow down and live in the moment. We all could learn a thing or two from this woman!

I savored the pages of this memoir and would definitely recommend it for any book lover. Beautifully done!

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading
Nina Sankovitch
256 pages
June 2011
Review copy provided by publisher


Tina's Blog said...

This is one I have been wanting to read, but have been worried that perhaps it is too sad. Thoughts on that? Aside from being worried about that, it looks like a book I will love.

Amanda said...

Tina, it's not a book I would classify as being "sad," it's more reflective of a relationship and the process of grieving. She definitely focuses a lot on the literature and uses a lot of fun book quotes. A bit melancholy at times though!

Madigan McGillicuddy said...

This book sounds amazing! I've never heard of it before! Is that the actual chair? It does look really comfortable.

I can't imagine reading a book a day... unless it was a picture book a day. Sometimes I do read a whole novel (or more!) in a day but usually it's only if the mood strikes me, or the writing in the book really flows. Other times I'll have a book that I'll slog through taking a month or more to finish.

Lisa said...

I picked this one up on a whim at the library this week, happy to see it on your best of list!