In her admired works of fiction, including the recent The Book That Matters Most, Ann Hood explores the transformative power of literature. Now, with warmth and honesty, Hood reveals the personal story behind these works of fiction.
Growing up in a mill town in Rhode Island, in a household that didn't foster the love of literature, Hood nonetheless learned to channel her imagination and curiosity by devouring The Bell Jar, Marjorie Morningstar, The Harrad Experiment, and other works. These titles introduced her to topics that could not be discussed at home: desire, fear, sexuality, and madness. Later, Johnny Got His Gun and The Grapes of Wrath influenced her political thinking as the Vietnam War became news; Dr. Zhivago and Les Miserables stoked her ambition to travel the world. With characteristic insight and charm, Hood showcases the ways in which books gave her life and can transform - even save - our own.
"Narrator Donna Postel gives the listener the feeling of lounging in a comfortable room while talking about books with a fellow bibliophile. She narrates Ann Hood's memoir of her early life with books in a conversational tone, praising the power of reading to expand a young person's horizons. Postel's steady pace leaves room for listeners to recall their own relationships with characters from their childhoods and to acquire leads on books and characters yet to be met." (AudioFile)
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Ann Hood talks candidly about the books that made her the woman / writer she is today. This book is a meditation on how one woman finds herself in books, but it is really about how we all find ourselves in books.