Wednesday, October 04, 2017

First Wednesdays Book Review Club: MORNINGSTAR, Ann Hood

                                                 For more reviews, go to Barrie Summy's blog, right here. 

MORNINGSTAR, GROWING UP WITH BOOKS is a favorite type of book for me. In it, novelist Ann Hood relates the details of her formative years through the books she chose to read at various ages. I am not going to tell you the books she chose because you will enjoy seeing what she read yourself  from her first books onward. We learn a lot about her middle-class family and the town of Warwick, RI. where she watched the decline of the town through her formative years. Mills and factories closed, better stores moved out of town or disappeared. A familiar story by now.

All of the books she talks about (and it's not all that many) were books that meant something to me too. And the thing that I liked best about it was her choices were original, realistic, different. Not the sort of books found on BY THE BOOK in the TIMES each week. But instead what a girl might stumble on herself when her family were not readers. This was also the case with me. No one ever guided my reading so I read inappropriate books often. No one told me to read books like FROM THE TERRACE or BABBITT or THE DEVIL IN BUCKS COUNTY or THE IDIOT, but I did.

This is a short book and Hood confines her discussion to about a dozen books, all which resonated with the times she lived in, her age at the time, and the country itself. . I would have like a list at the back of other books she read but did not include here. Especially childhood favorites.

I enjoyed this short book, almost more memoir than literary discussion but that is just fine. 

12 comments:

George said...

I love books like this! I'll track down a copy of MORNINGSTAR.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I had read almost all of her choices as a teenager. I'll be interested to hear if you did too. She's a bit younger but not so much the same books weren't floating around.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

George, you will really like it. I did. And like her, I read most of the same books. I liked that she was looking for "fat books" in the library, whether they were considered classics or trash by critics. That's how I found COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO and LES MISERABLES too.

Also, I loved the memoir aspect of the book (as Patti mentioned). It all made me want to read more of her books, which I had never done.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have read her first book SOMEWHERE OFF THE COAST OF MAINE and remember liking it but not much more.

Rick Robinson said...

I'll have to check the library for this one.

Rick Robinson said...

Hold placed. Several people in line in front of me.

Lucy said...

It's always interesting to see how books play a role in a person's development. I have very distinct memories tied to different books I read growing up so I'm curious to see what she read. Thanks for the review and recommendation.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Her choices were interesting and coincided with issues at various ages. Hope you like it.

Linda McLaughlin said...

Sounds very interesting, Patti. Great choice.

troutbirder said...

What an interesting premise for a memoir type book. I love memoirs and have reviewed a few for the book club. People who read a lot and why they read what they do is always interesting. For my part though when it come to books I'm totally omnivorous. I can thank my mom for that...:)

Margot Kinberg said...

Thanks for sharing, Patti. It is an interesting way to go about doing a memoir, and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Barrie said...

Now I'm beyond curious to know her book choices. And if I read them, too. What an interesting book to review! Thank you, Patti!