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Monday, January 14, 2013

Book Review: My Reading Life

Pat Conroy is probably my all-time favorite author, with The Lords of Discipline as my most cherished of his works.  He is a supreme storyteller with the most fluid syntax that drapes the reader with enchantment.  I believe you can tell a lot about someone based on their favorite author.  If you judged me by my favorite writer, you would probably assume I have had a love affair with the Lowcountry and identify with slightly damaged characters that still maintain their strong moral fiber.  And guess what?  You would be totally right.

While getting a glimpse into your friend's life through her bookshelf is interesting, what we really want is to know what makes the writers themselves tick.  What inspires those who inspire us?  Conroy's latest book, "My Reading Life," describes the who, what, when, where, and why of his most powerful literary inspirations.  Though Conroy's works of fiction are admittedly influenced by his own life's events, there is something different about a writer saying "this is me and here's why."  Without writing a memoir, Conroy lays himself bare.  In this collection of essays, he describes the nurturing teacher who encouraged him for years because he wanted to see him succeed as well as the bitter librarian who didn't.  He pulls inspiration from his mother, a high school classroom, an old bookstore, and Paris.  Conroy reads the way other people breathe, as a way of life and it is restoring to see someone with such love for the written word.

3 out of 5 stars for the book in general,but if you're a huge reader or fan of Conroy, bump it up to 4.

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