“Nina Sankovitch has crafted a dazzling memoir that reminds us of the most primal function of literatureto heal, to nurture and to connectus to our truest selves." Thrity Umrigar, author of The Space Between UsCatalyzed 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.
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
Complete List of Books Read from October 28, 2008, to October 28, 2009 225
What People are Saying About This
“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.”
“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.”
“Tolstoy and the Purple Chair is original, uplifting and very moving: a unique celebration of life, love and literature.”
Jessica LeCroix drops a bomb on her best friend, Ramie: “I’m a lesbian.” Ramie Grant
cannot believe her ears. Jess!? Her best friend, her teammate . . . a homosexual? Before long other girls on the basketball team find out, ...
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Alice Walker's iconic modern classic
is now a Penguin Book.A powerful cultural touchstone of modern American literature, The Color Purple depicts the lives of African American women in early twentieth-century ...
A gorgeous hardcover treasury of three favorite Harold and the Purple Crayon books, Harold's Imagination
is perfect for sharing at bedtime or in the classroom. The complete text and art from all three books is beautifully presented in this large-format ...
Lilly loves everything about school, especially her cool teacher, Mr. Slinger. But when Lilly brings
her purple plastic purse and its treasures to school and can't wait until sharing time, Mr. Slinger confiscates her prized possessions. Lilly's fury leads to ...
CIA technical specialist, Brodie Harris's life is about to radically change. Meeting cop Zane McCarron
is only the beginning. Brodie buys a mysterious old book, is introduced to the idea that magick is real and he has the ability to ...
Growing up in a small upstate New York town, Colleen experienced love, joy, peace, community,
charity, caring, and a sense of self-worth. Her expansion began at an early age as she donated her time and energy to assisting the less ...
A rare and beautiful gem of a cookbook, Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume celebrates the
succulent cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean, a land rich in multi-cultural Ottoman tradition. Popular British chef Silvena Rowe gives us a beautifully designed, lavishly photographed ...
A skull discovered in a lake leads FBI investigators Bryan Langston and Joe Mallory on
a dangerous search for answers to a thirty-year-old unsolved murder. What they don't know is that there is someone still alive who will do whatever ...