Friday, March 4, 2011

"The Book That Changed My Life" Edited by Roxanne Coady and Joy Johannessen

Subtitle:  71 Remarkable Writers Celebrate the Books that Matter Most to Them.  

Published: 2006
Read: 2011
Genre: non fiction
Rating: 3
Review: Goodreads

Found this book at the library carousel entitled "Books about Books".

The editor of this book, Roxanne Coady founded R. J Julia Booksellers in Madison, Connecticut after working 20 years as a tax accountant.   The book is a compilation of short stories by authors who at some point in their career, have read their book at Coady's store.  In their story, they share about the book or books that have changed their life.  It is a quick and fascinating read.

All proceeds go to the Read to Grow Foundation whose mission is to promote early childhood literacy by partnering with urban hospitals to supply families of newborn babies with books.   They also supply books to daycares, schools, clinics and home so have increased their outreach to young children.

I think this is a wonderful example of how a book-loving person has channeled that passion into a livelihood and a foundation that promotes literacy among underprivileged children.

The intro says it all:
"Every day in the store we see how books change lives, in big ways and small, from the simple desire to spend a few quiet hours in a comfy chair, swept away by a story, to the profound realization that the reader is not alone in the world, that there is someone else like him or her, someone who has faced the same fears, the same confusions, the same grief, the same joys.  Reading is a way to live more lives, to experience more worlds, to meet people we care about and want to know more about, to understand others and develop a compassion for what they confront and endure."
The underline is my emphasis.  It is why books have become so much more important to me...since the tragic death of my beloved son.  Opening the pages of some of the survivor of suicide books is like dropping in on a support group - on my time, when I am ready.  They have been invaluable to me in the work to process our sudden loss.  And it is work.  There is nothing easy about it.  And it helps to know that others have had to do this hard work and have survived.  Have found a way to live - while incorporating such a loss into themselves, their hearts, minds and psyches.

Below are the books to add to my TBR list.  Some I recognize, many I do not.

I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
The Way we Live Now by Anthony Trollope
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Expensive People by Joyce Carol Oates
Little, Big by John Crowley
Escaping Into The Open: The Art of Writing True by Elizabeth Berg
From Whom the Bell Tolls by Earnest Hemingway
Teacher Man by Frank McCourt
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard
So Many Books, So Little Time by Sara Nelson

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