Idgie Says: Planning on taking this one to the beach with me. Seems like the perfect type of read - short, interrelated stories about travel and books. Cannot beat that!
Mercer University Press
March 16, 2014
"At the heart of Reading Life is
the belief that stories are vital to our existence."
Reading Life: On Books, Memory, and Travel
A unique blend of memoir, literary
appreciation, and travel narrative, Reading Life is a series of
interrelated essays tracking the relationship between books and
experience, dramatizing and reflecting on how stories lead us into the
world, and how we transform that engagement with the world back into
A love story about books and travel, Reading Life
is, by turns, comic and serious. Chapters shift in tone—from a lyrical
quality akin to Adam Gopnik’s to a tongue-in-cheek humor reminiscent of
Ian Frazier’s. The book transports the reader from the high desert
landscape of Cather’s New Mexico and the rocky coastline of E. B.
White’s Maine to the pilgrimage paths of Cervantes’s Spain and the
hallucinogenic heat of Bowles’s Morocco.
At the heart of Reading Life is
the belief that stories are vital to our existence. Pearson invokes the
same spirit that Tim O’Brien did in The Things They Carried when he
said, “Stories are for joining the past to the future… Stories are for
eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember
except the story.” Books, like travel, compel us to venture into new
worlds, to renew our acquaintance with old ones, and, ultimately, to
learn how to see. Books are both window and mirror, allowing a view of
something deep in us and a glimpse of some distant truth beyond what is
familiar and known.
Willie Morris, former editor of Harper’s, said,
“Michael Pearson is one of our nation’s finest memoirists.”