My Reading Life

Publisher Doubleday, November 2, 2010

Pat Conroy, the beloved American storyteller, is a voracious reader. Starting as a childhood passion that bloomed into a life-long companion, reading has been Conroy’s portal to the world, both to the furthest corners of the globe and to the deepest chambers of the human soul. His interests range widely, from Milton to Tolkien, Philip Roth to Thucydides, encompassing poetry, history, philosophy, and any mesmerizing tale of his native South. He has for years kept notebooks in which he records words and expressions, over time creating a vast reservoir of playful turns of phrase, dazzling flashes of description, and snippets of delightful sound, all just for his love of language. But reading for Conroy is not simply a pleasure to be enjoyed in off-hours or a source of inspiration for his own writing. It would hardly be an exaggeration to claim that reading has saved his life, and if not his life then surely his sanity.

In My Reading Life, Conroy revisits a life of reading through an array of wonderful and often surprising anecdotes: sharing the pleasures of the local library’s vast cache with his mother when he was a boy, his life-long relationship with the English teacher who pointed him onto the path of letters, and a profoundly influential period in Paris, among other reflections on pivotal people, places, and experiences. His story is a moving and personal one, girded by wisdom and an undeniable honesty. Anyone who not only enjoys the pleasures of reading but also believes in the power of books to shape a life will find here the greatest defense of that credo.

About Pat Conroy from the press…

“Conroy is a master of language.”
— The Atlanta Journal

“Conroy is an immensely gifted stylist…. No one can describe a tide or a sunset with his lyricism and exactitude.”
— Chris Bohjalian, The Washington Post

“Conroy writes with a momentum that’s impossible to resist.”
— People

“Conroy takes aim at our darkest emotions, lets the arrow fly and hits a bull’s-eye almost every time.”
— Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Pat Conroy’s writing contains a virtue now rare in most contemporary fiction: passion.”
— The Denver Post

“Few novelists write as well, and none as beautifully.”
— Lexington Herald-Leader

“God preserve Pat Conroy.”
— The Boston Globe

My Reading Life