My Reading Life

My Reading Life

Book - 2010
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Bestselling author Pat Conroy acknowledges the books that have shaped him and celebrates the profound effect reading has had on his life.

Pat Conroy, the beloved American storyteller, is a voracious reader. Starting as a childhood passion that bloomed into a life-long companion, reading has been Conroy's portal to the world, both to the farthest corners of the globe and to the deepest chambers of the human soul. His interests range widely, from Milton to Tolkien, Philip Roth to Thucydides, encompassing poetry, history, philosophy, and any mesmerizing tale of his native South. He has for years kept notebooks in which he records words and expressions, over time creating a vast reservoir of playful turns of phrase, dazzling flashes of description, and snippets of delightful sound, all just for his love of language. But for Conroy reading is not simply a pleasure to be enjoyed in off-hours or a source of inspiration for his own writing. It would hardly be an exaggeration to claim that reading has saved his life, and if not his life then surely his sanity.
In My Reading Life , Conroy revisits a life of reading through an array of wonderful and often surprising anecdotes: sharing the pleasures of the local library's vast cache with his mother when he was a boy, recounting his decades-long relationship with the English teacher who pointed him onto the path of letters, and describing a profoundly influential period he spentnbsp; in Paris, as well as reflecting on other pivotal people, places, and experiences. His story is a moving and personal one, girded by wisdom and an undeniable honesty. Anyone who not only enjoys the pleasures of reading but also believes in the power of books to shape a life will find here the greatest defense of that credo.
Publisher: New York : Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, c2010.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780385533577
Branch Call Number: 921 Conroy
Characteristics: x, 337 p. : ill. ; 19 cm.


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Jul 21, 2020

Pat Conroy, author of The Great Santini and The Prince of Tides, shares his lifelong reading habits with the reader. From his forays into the public libraries of whichever town his military family currently lived in to his first published work detailing his experience at the Citadel to living in Paris to write a novel, Conroy shares the authors and books that have shaped his life and writing career. With his self-deprecating humor, Conroy skewers everyone, including himself, with his sharp and wry observations. I'll never forget his Japanese "friend" in Paris who was convinced that the French had invented the fork because they hate Japanese people.

Oct 30, 2018

What drew me to read this book was simply its title. I love books and I was curious what a successful writer had to say about them. I have not read any of Conroy's works, though saw a few of films based on his books. I was not disappointed by this book. His journey to become an author was very interesting. I enjoyed reading how the various people, events and places in his life such as his parents, teachers, professors, friends, being an military brat and from South Carolina played roles in his decision to become a writer. He also writes about the various books, poems, authors, and poets that he loves. He really captures the emotions books give we readers. After reading this book, I felt I had come to know the man himself, not just what made him a writer. My favorite chapter is "Being a Military Brat" because of its honesty and power. Some of my favorite quotations from that chapter are: "I'm a stranger everywhere and a stranger nowhere." Of his fighter pilot father, Conroy writes "His job was to kill people when his nation asked him to, pure and simple. And the loving of his kids was never written into his job description." I walk away with a great admiration of Conroy's journey and writing.

May 02, 2016

I was inspired to read this after reading and enjoying The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy. In this book, Conroy talks about his life and a few of the special people in it that taught him about the value of literature. He also discusses a few specific books and authors that also made an impact on him. A book that would appeal to lovers of great books.

Jun 23, 2015

Every time I read a Pat Conroy book, I'm reminded of what comfortable reading it is. Then I forget about him, not going out of my way to reach for the next Conroy.I found this as an ebook loaner from the local library while browsing for something digital and available.

I loved it. This is personal, reflective Conroy. This is a Conroy retrospective on his evolution as a writer. He touches on details of his life that are familiar from his other writings, but focuses on those people and authors who largely influenced his literary development.

If you are looking for further reading material, as recommended by a fine, American author, this book will provide thread after thread to explore.

Recommended for:
Conroy fans, of course
fans of Southern American writers
Military Brats
Citadel grads
aspiring writers

rlbecker Feb 10, 2011

I like to read Pat Conroy. I enjoy his outgoing, southern style of writing. This book explains some of his influences. He shares which authors he has enjoyed reading at various stages of his life. He tells us how his mother's love of reading transferred on to him and what influence his bullying father had. He relates the love he has for certain teachers, bookstore owners and others who fed his reading habit and started or kept him writing. You can almost see the places he discusses too...Beaufort, Charleston, Atlanta and Paris, France , among others. Good information and good humor can be found here.

debwalker Nov 07, 2010

Bestselling author Conroy shares his passion for books and reading.


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Mar 22, 2014

My favorite quote (so far) from the book is when Conroy states that Margaret Mitchell's "Gone With the Wind" is"The Iliad" by Homer with a southern accent.

Loved it!


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