Tuesday, July 4, 2017
My Life With Bob by Pamela Paul
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.
(Synopsis from Goodreads).
I've been on a binge reading spree lately, where I only want to read book about books, and books about reading. I read the synopsis for My Life With Bob, and thought it sounded amazing. Fortunately, I was able to get my hands on a copy. The book went above and beyond my expectations. I loved it. I wish that there were more books like it.
My Life With Bob was about being a book lover, but at the same time, it was about so much more than that. It was a fun ride through Pamela Paul's adventures as well, and what she learned along the way. It was a memoir of self discovery, learning how to love yourself, and learning how to cope with difficult problems. I loved every second of it. I also loved hearing about the books that the author read. So many books were added to my tbr pile. I loved seeing the author react to what she was reading, and her fond (or in some cases, not so fond) memories of the books that she read.
I loved My Life With Bob. It had just the right mixture of being about reading, with some adventure thrown in. As soon as I finished it, I wanted to go back to page one, and start all over again, which is unusual for me. I rarely re-read books, but I can definitely see myself re-reading this one. I hope Pamela Paul writes another book about books, maybe once she gets a few more pages written in Bob. I hope to find more books like this in the same genre. I recommend this book to bibliophiles everywhere.
I give My Life With Bob: 5/5.
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I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.