Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: my year of magical reading

From Catherine Given
Author:  Nina Sankovitch
Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: my year of magical reading
I just finished Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch, about a woman who self-prescribes a book a day for a year as a way to re-group after her beloved sister’s death.  It’s a beautifully written story of lessons distilled from 365 authors’ works.  By briefly sharing what she derives from the experience and how she applies writers’ messages to her own life, Sankovitch creates a unique memoir, one that any avid reader of books will appreciate.  She also provides a list of richly meaningful non-fiction and fiction books to add to our own must-reads.  She says:

\”Words are witness to life: They record what has happened and they make it real. . . . Stories about lives remembered bring us backward while allowing us to move forward.  The only balm to sorrow is memory:  The only salve for the pain of losing someone to death is acknowledging the life that existed before.\”

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair will likely be cherished by anyone mourning the loss of a loved one.  For others, it will provide an affirmation of the value of thoughtful reading of good literature.

Last Man in Tower

From Ellen Druda
Author: Aravind Adiga
Title: Last Man in Tower (sound recording)
Love of money is indeed the root of all evil. A congenial group of apartment dwellers who share the same building in a middle-class neighborhood in Mumbai are offered a buy-out deal from a powerful real-estate developer. Most are happy to accept the offer, but a few are hold-outs, including retired teacher Masterji. The pressure begins to build to convince Masterji to agree to sell his share in the building, and as the story draws to its inevitable conclusion, we watch this group of once friendly neighbors commit desperate acts so they can cash in. Aravind paints a vivid picture of life in current day India and narrator Sam Dastor brings the story alive with his authentic reading.