Sunday, January 28, 2018

My Life with Bob

'Sometimes you fall so much in love with a book that you simply have to tell everyone, to spread the love and to explain the state you're in.'
(page 135, My Life with Bob)

I read this book by accident. There are so many books I want to read, and so little time, that most of my reading is carefully planned: I hear about a book, download a sample to my Kindle, (eventually) read the sample, either borrow or purchase the book (assuming I like it) and discard the sample. At this moment, I have over 30 unread books on my Kindle, over (ahem) 100 unread samples, and over 20 books on order at our fabulous local library. So when I saw this book sitting on a shelf at said library I wasn't really looking for extra reading material! What attracted me to it? Perhaps the quirky title. Perhaps the intriguing premise. Unlike Pamela Paul I've never kept a record of books read. But what if I had? What would it say about my journey through life?

My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues is a meta-book. A book about a book about books. (Does that make it a meta-meta-book?) And it is wonderful. Pamela Paul is the editor of The New York Times Book Review and, unsurprisingly, a prolific reader. My Life with Bob is an autobiographical romp through her life, from a book-loving and sport-hating childhood (something I understood utterly), through travels in France and Asia, bad relationships and good, disappointments, losses and triumphs. It reminded me of books I'd not been allowed to read (Roald Dahl's Switch Bitch, a fabulous collection of short stories, was restricted to 'seniors' at my high school library), books others had recommended but that I'd hated (The Slap  ugh!), and books read over and over and over. It also mentioned a bunch of books set in Asia I hadn't heard of but now want to read, so my library list and Kindle samples collection have become even longer lately.

Pamela Paul and I inhabit different worlds yet I found her story immensely relatable. It was a joy to read this book. Thank you, Ms Paul!

No comments: