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My reading life
Pat Conroy
Adult Nonfiction PS3553.O5198 Z467 2010

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From Publishers' Weekly:

The strengths and weakness of Conroy's novels-both his beguiling narrative voice and his often overly emotional language-are present in this slim paean to the books and book people that have shaped his life. Conroy attributes his love of literature to his mother, who nurtured his passion for reading and at the same time educated herself by studying his school books. "I tremble with gratitude as I honor her name," he writes. Conroy's favorite novel was Gone with the Wind, which his mother read to him when he was five years old, and it made a novelist of him, he asserts. Conroy pays tribute to the men who were substitute father figures and mentors, among them a legendary book rep who chastised him for his "overcaffeinated prose." Breakneck contrasts exist throughout: on the one hand, Conroy sketches concisely the venom of Southern white bigotry; on the other hand, he allows humor to bubble up through dialogue, and riffs the English language. While some readers will not progress beyond the fustian prose, Conroy's legion of fans will doubtlessly bond with the author as he earnestly explores the role of books in providing him with inspiration and solace. (Nov. 2) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Novelist Conroy (The Prince of Tides) is first and foremost a storyteller, but the foundation of his storytelling ability is his love of reading. Here, he tells the story of how reading shaped his life and made him who he is today. His memoir is partially a love letter to those who introduced him to life-changing works. While books about the power of reading abound, Conroy's stands apart because he simply tells a good story, one of a Southern boy whose mind was molded by mentors and great authors, and whose life was transformed accordingly. Economical prose is, Conroy admits, not prevalent in his work. His writing is lush, hyperbolic, and supremely Southern; to anyone not acquainted with the style, it can seem bombastic, but when he overreaches with language, he does it purposefully. VERDICT Readers who enjoy Conroy's work, Southern literature, contemporary memoirs, or books about reading will like this personable and accessible book, which will surely get a boost from good word of mouth and would make a good book club pick.-Audrey Snowden, Cleveland P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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