‘Tolstoy and the Purple Chair’ by Nina Sankovitch

“Great good comes from reading great books.” This was the theme of Nina Sankovitch’s website—ReadAllDay.org—during a yearlong project in which she read and reviewed one book per day. After reading about this unique and enviable project in a New York Times article, I became hooked on Sankovitch’s website and had been eager to read her memoir of the experience, Tolstoy and the Purple Chair.

Recognizing a need to slow down and reflect following three hectic years after the death of her beloved sister, Anne-Marie, Sankovitch made a commitment to seek guidance in books. Tolstoy and the Purple Chair covers not only the logistics of her project, but mixes in mini-reviews of the books the read along with anecdotes of her family history. Sankovitch articulates well the insight and healing power a good book can provide and inspires her readers to reach for a book to accompany life’s ups and downs.

Like Sankovitch, I have never failed to find comfort and direction from a good book. With that said, one of the greatest features of Tolstoy and the Purple Chair is its abundance of great book recommendations. I appreciated Sankovitch’s conversational style of reviewing; each book I ended up checking out for myself (and there were quite a few!) felt accessible and personal in my own reading of it. In fact, since I caught on to the great things happening over at ReadAllDay.org my library holds queue has never been short of capacity.

Overall, I was very happy to read this fellow book lover’s memoir of reading as a means to cope with grief. I will continue to look forward to the author’s ongoing book reviews and future projects.


One response to “‘Tolstoy and the Purple Chair’ by Nina Sankovitch

  1. I’m glad you enjoyed this one. I liked reading her blog very much, and it’s fun to think about what it would be like to read a book a day. I’m quite sure I couldn’t manage it, but still, I like the idea!

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