My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues
Imagine keeping a record of every book you’ve ever read. What would this reading trajectory say about you? With passion, humor, and insight, the editor of The New York Times Book Review shares the stories that have shaped her life. Pamela Paul has kept a single book by her side for twenty-eight... show more
Imagine keeping a record of every book you’ve ever read. What would this reading trajectory say about you? With passion, humor, and insight, the editor of The New York Times Book Review shares the stories that have shaped her life.
Pamela Paul has kept a single book by her side for twenty-eight years – carried throughout high school and college, hauled from Paris to London to Thailand, from job to job, safely packed away and then carefully removed from apartment to house to its current perch on a shelf over her desk – reliable if frayed, anonymous-looking yet deeply personal. This book has a name: Bob.
Bob is Paul’s Book of Books, a journal that records every book she’s ever read, from Sweet Valley High to Anna Karenina, from Catch-22 to Swimming to Cambodia, a journey in reading that reflects her inner life – her fantasies and hopes, her mistakes and missteps, her dreams and her ideas, both half-baked and wholehearted. Her life, in turn, influences the books she chooses, whether for solace or escape, information or sheer entertainment.
But My Life with Bob isn’t really about those books. It’s about the deep and powerful relationship between book and reader. It’s about the way books provide each of us the perspective, courage, companionship, and imperfect self-knowledge to forge our own path. It’s about why we read what we read and how those choices make us who we are. It’s about how we make our own stories.
Publish date: 2017-05-02
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Pages no: 256
Edition language: English
I had no real idea what to expect from this book; the subtitle guaranteed I was going to read it, but how do you write a book about your personal reading list? You don't, as it turns out. You use it as context, a frame from which you hang your memoirs. That's not to say that books and a love of ...
Kudos to Paul for her devotion to Bob, its a wonderful thing to have and the appeal is undeniable. The memoir itself, however, left me out in the cold. The stories of her life I either couldn't sympathize with or were so glossed over they didn't leave much impression. She has a magnificent education...