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This was a collection of essays, which I am learning I never enjoy. The first one was enough to make me want to quit the book entirely. The ones on Divorce and her Bookstore were redeeming and I enjoyed those, but the rest just dragged.
If you’ve read Bel Canto or State of Wonder by Ann Patchett, then you’re already familiar with her poetic language and beautiful imagery. This book brings together a collection of essays and stories that she’s published over the years, dealing with everything from marriage to bookstores to dog-ownership. I loved it. (submitted by MS)
A good collection of essays and articles by author Ann Patchett that deal with issues like her career, her marriage, her family and even her dog. I particularly enjoyed a speech she gave about education at a university where the parents attempted to ban her book. This collection offers great variety and was interesting and entertaining reading.
This is a well edited collection of Ann Patchett's non-fiction essays, which have very little to do with marriage, happy or otherwise. There is a story of her first unhappy marriage and divorce, and another about how long it took her to marry her second marriage, but that isn't what this collection is about. It's really about how to be human, how to walk the earth with humility, how much hard work goes into writing and how we all need to just do the work, whatever that work is.
I loved this collection so much, I started to read Truth and Beauty, her memoir of a friendship, before I was finished with this book. The two informed each other nicely, filling in stories alluded to in the collection of essays. Now I will read the rest of her early works, backfilling until I have read her oeuvre. There are few authors I have loved enough to do this: David Mitchell, Michael Chabon, Margaret Atwood.
After enjoying Ann Patchett's State of Wonder and Bel Canto I was excited to find this collection of short stories about her life. Her description throughout of how she approaches the art of writing was so interesting that it is really a primer for anyone thinking about writing. Her story of her dog reminded me so much of the loss of ours, I cried with her. The story of her marriage, eventually, was at times humorous, sad and hopeful.
This is the story of a lot of things: growing up, nuns, a dog, divorce, a love of writing. Some essays are better than others, but they are all interesting, insightful and give the reader a picture of Patchett. This collection was recommended to me by a friend and I would recommend it as well.
AN interesting book of short stories. The writer has written a book that anyone can relate to.
I heard the NPR interview and I'm glad I read this. This book of vignettes range from how she became a writer to her divorce and the death of her dog. Her writing style was enjoyable to read and I would recommend this to my friends. This is perhaps the most well-written book I've come across.
There ought be a better word than essay for essays this engaging, the best of which rival Patchett's finest fiction. I loved the piece on how she came to own her dog, in which she cops to bad behavior. And The Getaway Car, in which she (gently) mocks a class of undergrads that pretentiously whines about writers' block, should be required reading for aspiring writers. The lovely title piece recounts the circuitous route to her present marriage (including a brief affair with a writer named David, who sounds suspiciously like David Foster Wallace).
Gorgeous to read, funny and touching. Short stories about writing and books and love and friendship and pets. Beautiful and well-paced.
"I'm never lonely when I'm around books. It's the world of endless possibility and opportunity to be in that building full of books."
To provide her with an income to support her fiction writing, Ann Patchett wrote many articles over the years for a wide variety of publications--Vogue, The New York Times, The Bark-- on a number of subjects: her beautiful dog Rose; the start-up of her book store; how to write; how to have a happy marriage; and many other topics. She is smart, funny, opinionated, candid, and a wonderful writer. Patchett makes great company, and this reads like a conversation with a like-minded friend. Highly recommended with a glass of wine or a cup of tea, and a cozy spot to curl up.
This is a collection of essays by the author, previously published elsewhere. Most of the stories are not all that interesting; however, they are well-written. I gave this book many stars based solely on the story of her marriage, for it's raw honesty and beauty.
It was pure bliss listening to Ann Patchett read her intelligent, often hilarious and wise essays. Ann reflects on her writing career, childhood observances, the long road to her second marriage, and her independent bookstore in Nashville. I really hated to see this book end.