Tolstoy and the Purple Chair

This week I’ve been reading a memoir about reading.  I’m all inside of books within books within books.  My mind is sort of a wonderful twist and tangle of titles and quotes and all the ways books relate to life and characters mirror friends.

Nina Sankovitch decides she is going to read a book a day for an entire year.  She has a purple chair and piles of books.  She writes about every single book she reads on her blog.  Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading chronicles her successful quest to do this.  It is the perfect escape project!  And for those of us who don’t have time for reading a book a day for a year, reading about Sankovitch’s journey is a lovely escape in and of itself.

Complete with a list of all the books she read and loads of wonderful quotes, this book is also a delightful resource for those of us who love to read.  The recommendations from her year of reading are sure to keep me in my own reading chair for many years.

She opens the book with these two wonderful quotes that perfectly sum up why we read!

We need the books that affect us like 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.

-Franz Kafka

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

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