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Publisher's Summary

Nina Sankovitch has always been a reader. As a child, she discovered that a trip to the local bookmobile with her sisters was more exhilarating than a ride at the carnival. Books were the glue that held her immigrant family together. When Nina's eldest sister died at the age of 46, Nina turned to books for comfort, escape, and introspection. In her beloved purple chair, she rediscovered the magic of such writers as Toni Morrison, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ian McEwan, Edith Wharton, and, of course, Leo Tolstoy. Through the connections Nina made with books and authors (and even other readers), her life changed profoundly, and in unexpected ways. Reading, it turns out, can be the ultimate therapy.

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair also tells the story of the Sankovitch family: Nina's father, who barely escaped death in Belarus during World War II; her four rambunctious children, who offer up their own book recommendations while helping out with the cooking and cleaning; and Anne-Marie, her oldest sister and idol, with whom Nina shared the pleasure of books, even in her last moments of life. In our lightning-paced culture that encourages us to seek more, bigger, and better things, Nina's daring journey shows how we can deepen the quality of our everyday lives - if we only find the time.

©2011 Nina Sankovitch (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Tolstoy and the Purple Chair

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reviews

the narrator is very hard to listen to, she sounds like SIRI. she has the computer like narration and has little to no emotions in her reading.
it was overly a good book especially for people who are overcoming grief and death of a loved one.

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  • colprubin
  • 28-07-2014

True Inspiration

What did you love best about Tolstoy and the Purple Chair?

I love the idea behind the book, the idea that grief can be processed through reading. What a wonderful accomplishment and inspiration. Excellent weaving of personal stories with books read.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Tolstoy and the Purple Chair?

I don't think this book had a really "memorable moment." It was all very even and memorable.

Have you listened to any of Coleen Marlo’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No I've never heard Marlo before but I would definitely look for her again. Her voice is clear and lovely, perfectly modulated.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me want to read a book a day for a year!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Greta
  • 25-06-2021

For Grievers Only

This book would be great for someone who both loves books and is grieving the loss of a loved one. I could not identify with the latter. This book is ridiculously long and follows no plot line — just a series of vignettes from the speaker’s life as recalled from various book inspirations. There are some great book recs, a few isolated fantastic quotes to remember, and a truly great final chapter that seemed to tie together all the loose pieces that felt irrelevant until the end. The book requires patience and took me months of drifting and returning, but I’m glad I finished it because the end brought the necessary closure.

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