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Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading

by Nina Sankovitch


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“Nina Sankovitch has crafted a dazzling memoir that reminds us of the most primal function of literature--to heal, to nurture and to connectus to our truest selves." --Thrity Umrigar, author of The Space Between Us

Catalyzed by the loss of her sister, a mother of four spends one year savoring a great book every day, from Thomas Pynchon to Nora Ephron and beyond. In the tradition of Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project and Joan Dideon’s A Year of Magical Thinking, Nina Sankovitch’s soul-baring and literary-minded memoir is a chronicle of loss, hope, and redemption. Nina ultimately turns to reading as therapy and through her journey illuminates the power of books to help us reclaim our lives.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061999857
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/19/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 664,774
Product dimensions: 5.38(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.64(d)

About the Author

Nina Sankovitch launched ReadAllDay.org in 2008, and at the end of her year of reading, she was profiled in the New York Times. She continues to review books on ReadAllDay.org and for the Huffington Post. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and four sons.

Table of Contents

Prologue: On the Cliff 1

1 Crossing the Bridge 5

2 Return to the Bookmobile 18

3 Such Beauty in the World 32

4 In Search of Books and Time 46

5 Rearranging the Rhythms 53

6 The Only Balm to Sorrow 62

7 Looking for the Star 75

8 Finding Another Chance 88

9 To Welcome the Interloper 99

10 Hearing Words I'd Missed Before 108

11 Where Warmth Is Found 119

12 The Expansion of Experience 131

13 Bound to the World 140

14 Sex by the Book 149

15 The Man in My Dreams 157

16 Offering a Better View 164

17 Fireflies Dancing Across the Lawn 177

18 The Answers That Mysteries Provide 186

19 Discovering Purpose in Kindness 193

20 Coming off Loulou's Motorcycle 204

21 Tolstoy in My Purple Chair 212

Acknowledgments 223

Complete List of Books Read from October 28, 2008, to October 28, 2009 225

Permissions 237

What People are Saying About This

Julie Klam

“Tolstoy and the Purple Chair will transport you to a time before texts and tweets. Through the stories of her own family, Nina Sankovitch shows how books have the power to refresh, renew, and even heal us. I loved this memoir.”

Thrity Umrigar

“Nina Sankovitch has crafted a dazzling memoir that reminds us of the most primal function of literature—to heal, to nurture and to connect us to our truest selves.”

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

“Tolstoy and the Purple Chair masterfully weaves beloved and sometimes surprising books into central events in the writer’s life. There is much to learn from this moving book. Sankovitch writes with intelligence and honesty, leading us to respond in a similar manner.”

S.J. Bolton

“Tolstoy and the Purple Chair is original, uplifting and very moving: a unique celebration of life, love and literature.”

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