Morningstar
A memoir about the magic and inspiration of books from a beloved and best-selling author.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.

Morningstar Details

TitleMorningstar
Author
FormatHardcover
ReleaseAug 1st, 2017
PublisherW. W. Norton Company
ISBN039325481X
ISBN-139780393254815
Number of pages192 pages
Rating
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Writing, Books About Books, Biography, Biography Memoir

Morningstar Review

  • Hannah Greendale
    July 22, 2017
    Ann Hood grew up in a household where books were neither owned nor read. Nonetheless, a shelf of books in her elementary school classroom became a refuge for her imagination. In this brief memoir, Hood shares her enduring love of reading and reveals which books transformed her life. How can I describe what reading gave to me? An escape from my lonely school days, where girls seemed to speak a language I didn’t understand. A glimpse into the possibilities of words and stories. A curiosity about t Ann Hood grew up in a household where books were neither owned nor read. Nonetheless, a shelf of books in her elementary school classroom became a refuge for her imagination. In this brief memoir, Hood shares her enduring love of reading and reveals which books transformed her life. How can I describe what reading gave to me? An escape from my lonely school days, where girls seemed to speak a language I didn’t understand. A glimpse into the possibilities of words and stories. A curiosity about the world and about people – the young Amelia Earhart seeing her first plane, Helen Keller’s silent world, Nancy Drew solving mysteries, David Copperfield surviving the streets of Victorian London. Hood attributes specific books for defining her views on dreams, curiosity, sex, and writing. She also identifies lessons learned on how to: buy books, fall in love with language, see the world, and find the courage to imagine a life that’s bigger than the moral and societal expectations placed on her as a child. Ultimately, she arrives at the understanding that reading books is an act driven by our need to better understand the world and know ourselves. Unfortunately, Hood drops major plot spoilers for every single book she discusses. Without warning, she completely ruins the plot of the following books: Little Women by Louisa May AlcottMarjorie Morningstar by Herman WoukThe Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo Love Story by Erich Segal The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck Stanyan Street & Other Sorrows by Rod McKuenA Stone for Danny Fisher by Harold Robbins The Harrad Experiment by Robert H. Rimmer Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak; and Rabbit, Run by John Updike With her obvious love of books, Hood’s memoir is a sentimental read that will likely resonate with lifelong bookworms; however, readers are advised to proceed with caution as Hood has no respect for avoiding spoilers. -Special thanks to W. W. Norton & Company for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Diane S ☔
    June 16, 2017
    Another book about books, the second I have read in a short space of time. Nothing too different, an authors experience with her love of books and the books that changed her life, seeming to fall into her hands at just the right time. What resonated with me though was that her reading experiences, the books themselves, and even the time period when she read them , as well as her reactions when she read them, almost perfectly matched my own. One in particular was almost a perfect match and it is Another book about books, the second I have read in a short space of time. Nothing too different, an authors experience with her love of books and the books that changed her life, seeming to fall into her hands at just the right time. What resonated with me though was that her reading experiences, the books themselves, and even the time period when she read them , as well as her reactions when she read them, almost perfectly matched my own. One in particular was almost a perfect match and it is her reading of the novel, Johnny got his gun, a book that she read when she was fifteen and the book that first opened her eyes to social consciousness, and a book that haunts her to this day. Read this at exactly the same she, and it had the same effect on me, also one of two books that haunts me. Her reading was never directed, nor censored and nor was mine, something of which I am extremely grateful to my parents and teachers. Of course other novels are mentioned, all of which I have read, only one that I didn't. Her Italian family, their love of food, their love of family. This book brought back so many memories, and although a relatively short read, I loved every moment.ARC from publisher.Publishes August 1st by W. W. Norton.
    more
  • Toni
    March 24, 2017
    4.5 blissful reading stars!This book reminds me of my childhood, just four years earlier. Almost everything Ann remembers reading, doing as an adolescent in the awkward years of tweenager-hood, I can recall as well. My parents weren't Italian immigrants, but one generation removed, so not far from some traditions. This book may not be for everyone, but if you grew up, loving to read books, loving libraries, (and I suspect there are a few on GR's), then you'll enjoy this book.Thank you Netgalley 4.5 blissful reading stars!This book reminds me of my childhood, just four years earlier. Almost everything Ann remembers reading, doing as an adolescent in the awkward years of tweenager-hood, I can recall as well. My parents weren't Italian immigrants, but one generation removed, so not far from some traditions. This book may not be for everyone, but if you grew up, loving to read books, loving libraries, (and I suspect there are a few on GR's), then you'll enjoy this book.Thank you Netgalley and the Publisher.
    more
  • Lesa
    April 5, 2017
    Author Ann Hood is only a few months older than me. As a lifelong reader, her memoir, Morningstar: Growing Up with Books, made me nostalgic for my adolescence. No, not for the adolescence itself. For the discovery and freshness and awakening brought about by books. Only a few of the books we read were the same, and our childhoods were definitely different. But, she evokes a feeling and a time period that was magical.I cannot tell Ann Hood's story without ruining this book for a reader searching Author Ann Hood is only a few months older than me. As a lifelong reader, her memoir, Morningstar: Growing Up with Books, made me nostalgic for my adolescence. No, not for the adolescence itself. For the discovery and freshness and awakening brought about by books. Only a few of the books we read were the same, and our childhoods were definitely different. But, she evokes a feeling and a time period that was magical.I cannot tell Ann Hood's story without ruining this book for a reader searching for connections. But, she was a reader and a dreamer in a family that didn't have books, and didn't understand the "need" for books that hungry readers have. Her feeling, "I want to live inside a book" came true for her with Little Women. And, each book she holds dear was a marker in her life, summarizing her ambitions in the '60s and '70s as she grew up. Each chapter talks about a book in her life, and the dreams marked by that title.Hood's father fed her dreams. He was an Indiana boy who joined the navy to see the world, and every story he told about exotic places encouraged her. Those stories, and the books she read, fed her yearning for "beyond", for something beyond her own house, and her neighborhood, and her town. Morningstar will resonate most with women of a similar age, women who remember the Vietnam War and Walter Cronkite always on the television. We still remember those all-girl talks at school about our period. We cried over Love Story. The characters in Little Women were as real to me as my own sisters, just as they were to Hood. While she was devastated when Beth died, it was the ending of Gone with the Wind that destroyed me a few years later. And, for both of us, the public library was a magical place of unimaginable possibilities.Ann Hood beautifully sums up the feeling of a reader who has a passion for the books that change a life. "I understood that I would always buy books, that I was a reader and a writer and that to be surrounded by books would always bring me comfort."
    more
  • Robin
    March 22, 2017
    Fantastic memoir and I devoured it in a day. I now have a need to re-read THE HARRAD EXPERIMENT. More thoughts to come.
  • Marika
    March 25, 2017
    This is a slim book but it says so much and I could probably write a thesis on it. Noted author Ann Hood writes about learning to read and how the magical powers of reading transformed her life. She's the little girl who would rather stay indoors to read than go outside. She's the teenage girl who experiences romantic love in a book. She's the college student who thinks deeply about life. Simply said, Ann Hood has written a book that lovers of the written word will savor, discuss and debate. I w This is a slim book but it says so much and I could probably write a thesis on it. Noted author Ann Hood writes about learning to read and how the magical powers of reading transformed her life. She's the little girl who would rather stay indoors to read than go outside. She's the teenage girl who experiences romantic love in a book. She's the college student who thinks deeply about life. Simply said, Ann Hood has written a book that lovers of the written word will savor, discuss and debate. I will reread this again, and again. Thank you Ann.I read an advance copy and was not compensated.
    more
  • Nancy
    July 29, 2017
    When Ann Hood's memoir Morningstar: Growing Up With Books arrived in the mail, I opened it up to glance at it. I read the Introduction, in which Hood talks about her family and hometown and discovery of books, in particular, Louis May Alcott's Little Women. I made myself a cup of hot tea and settled in to read the first chapter.Before dinner, I had read the entire book. I could not put it down. Hood's voice and personality, her childhood yearning for something bigger, her love of reading and the When Ann Hood's memoir Morningstar: Growing Up With Books arrived in the mail, I opened it up to glance at it. I read the Introduction, in which Hood talks about her family and hometown and discovery of books, in particular, Louis May Alcott's Little Women. I made myself a cup of hot tea and settled in to read the first chapter.Before dinner, I had read the entire book. I could not put it down. Hood's voice and personality, her childhood yearning for something bigger, her love of reading and the impact books had on her life, caught my heart as well as my interest. I felt a kinship. I recognized myself reflected in her life, and while reading I thought about the books that had changed my life.Hood's reading was free ranging, preferring thick books. She believes that the right book comes into a reader's life at the time it is needed, and this small book gives credit to the books that helped her understand life, answering the questions that perplexed her, and showing the path to personal growth and adulthood.I recommend Morningstar for everyone who loves books, whose lives were touched by books. Those who as children found answers and discovered new questions, who found understanding and direction in the pages. The back cover reads, "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 beloved novels." Another book for my TBR list! But when I was at our local bookstore this morning, I choose to buy Hood's novel The Red Thread. I am eager to read more of Hood's work.The chapters and major books discussed are:Lesson 1: How to Dream, in which Hood address the impact of Majorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk, which she read as a teenager who felt trapped in a narrow life. Lesson 2: How to Become a Writer concerns The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and Hood's yearning for something more. Lesson 3: How to Ask Why considers Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbull and the Viet Nam War. In Lesson 4: How to Buy Books, Hood agonizes over purchasing books, in particular, Love Story by Eric Segal. Hood's brother gifted her a set of Steinbeck books, and in Lesson 5: How to Write A Book she writes about what Grapes of Wrath taught about layers of meaning. A Stone for Danny Fisher by Harold Robbins was her introduction to another culture, which Hood writes about in Lesson 7: Be Curious. As a curious teen, The Harrad Experiment by Robert Rimmer answered questions she could not ask, Lesson 8: How to Have Sex. How to See the World is Lesson 9, in which Pasternak's Dr. Zhivago exposed Hood to exotic places and times. The last, Lesson 10: How to Run Away, is inspired by the character longing to escape in John Updike's Rabbit, Run. I received a free ARC from the publisher in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
    more
  • Kat
    May 27, 2017
    I love reading books, and I love reading books about reading books. As an amateur reader I am fascinated by bibliomemoirs.Some writers concentrate on a memoir of a single year or period of personal reading; others focus on a gimmick (reading all the books on one library shelf, or a book a day) or a single author’s influence . One of my favorites is Susan Hill’s “Howards End Is on the Landing,” a brilliant book about her year of reading only books on her shelves. When my mother was in the hospita I love reading books, and I love reading books about reading books. As an amateur reader I am fascinated by bibliomemoirs.Some writers concentrate on a memoir of a single year or period of personal reading; others focus on a gimmick (reading all the books on one library shelf, or a book a day) or a single author’s influence . One of my favorites is Susan Hill’s “Howards End Is on the Landing,” a brilliant book about her year of reading only books on her shelves. When my mother was in the hospital in 2011, I was so inspired by Hill’s chapter about Iris Murdoch that I dashed around the corner to Murphy-Brookfield, a used bookstore, to find a copy of “The Bell.” And that kept me going through a couple of days when my mother lay in bed watching TV at the loud level she needed to hear anything at all.In “Morningstar: Growing up with Books,” the novelist Ann Hood has written a graceful, inspiring memoir of her childhood reading. (The book will be published Aug. 1.) And she has me searching for my copy of “Marjorie Morningstar” to read this weekend. (It’s here, in a box, somewhere.) She grew up in an Italian-American working-class family in a small town in Rhode Island. Although her parents didn’t own books, her aunts, uncles, and cousins gathered at the kitchen table on weekends and told stories. She learned “that you had to earn your place at that table. Your story had to start with a hook, include vivid details, have strong characters, and be full of tension or someone who talked louder and could tell her story better would overpower you.”But Ann was bookish, and she wanted literary stories, too. She didn’t have access to many books: the Italian neighborhood’s library was in a moldy basement, and the school didn’t have a library. When her cousin lent her a copy of “Little Women,” it changed Ann’s life. She lost herself in the story. She writes, “All these years later I recognize how magical this experience truly was. I wanted to live inside a book, and this was the first time I really did.”Ann and I are of the same generation, and my parents didn’t read books, either, so I understood her experience perfectly . One thing we absolutely agree on: it was necessary to read the yellow-spined Nancy Drew books. Ann saved her allowance and spent it on the Nancy Drews at the second-hand store, much to her mother’s disapproval; and after my mother had a showdown with a librarian who refused to order “badly-written” series books, my mother was determined to save money so I could gradually acquire a nearly complete set.As adolescents in the early ’70s, Ann and I, in our different parts of the U.S., listened to Simon and Garfunkel, strung beads, and were fascinated by the counterculture. Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar” had a powerful effect on Ann . I love her delicate description of the book’s design.She wrote, “The summer of the beads, I read ‘The Bell Jar.’ I remember the cover. A pink so pale it almost looked white. The black letters with their curlicued T and B and J. The red rose stretched across the edge. Unaware as I was of things like book reviews, I didn’t know that the book I’d plucked from the library shelf was a new one, just published in the United States. I didn’t even know—though surely this was in the author’s bio—that Sylvia Plath had committed suicide on February 11, 1963, just a few weeks after ‘The Bell Jar’ had been published by Harper & Row in Britain under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas.”With just a few strokes of the pen she describes a book cover I had forgotten, though I had the same edition, and I was able to identify it on google immediately. Plath’s heroine Esther, who won a contest to be a “Mademoiselle” writer, may have inspired Ann, who became a Marsha Jordan girl, one of eight models for a Boston department store, and then won a contest to be a teen editor for Rhode Island for “SEventeen.”But of all the books she read, Herman Wouk’s “Marjorie Morningstar” was her touchstone. She read it when she was 15 in 1972 and reads it every year. Marjorie’s big Jewish immigrant family reminds Ann of her big emotional Italian immigrant family. Marjorie defies her parents by becoming an actress and embarking on a sexual relationship with the director, Noel Airman. Ann understood Marjorie’s longings, as Marjorie stood in the snow staring at the apartment of the man she loved. Ann’s heart had been broken by Peter Hayhurst, and she sometimes stops the car and looks at his house. “And I have reread it almost every year since. As an adult, I saw the similarities between the Morgensterns and my own family. Marjorie’s father had come to the United States at the age of fifteen, “a fleck of foam on the great wave of immigration from Eastern Europe.” I lived with a dizzying array of Italian immigrant relatives. In the novel, Mr. Morgenstern owned the Arnold Importing Company, “a well-known dealer in feathers, straws, and other materials for ladies’ hats.” Like my own father, who commuted several hours every day to his job in Government Center in Boston so that we could rise above our blue-collar immigrant roots.”I am posting this too early–consider it a pre-review–but it really is the perfect book to read on a holiday weekend. I also very much like her novels, which are hard to classify. I think of them as women’s novels, but my husband enjoyed her latest novel, “The Book That Matters Most” (more or less about how reading saves a grieving wife and a drug-addicted daughter). I have followed her career from the ’80s, and it is always a pleasure to read a new book by her.
    more
  • Nancy
    July 5, 2017
    A beautiful, bittersweet 'memoir in books'. Ann Hood tells us about the life changing and life affirming books that shaped her worldview while growing up in a small mill town in her native Rhode Island. Any book lover will instantly recognize themselves and begin to think back on the books that shaped their lives. We read about the books that Ann 'met up with' and how they helped her view and deal with the tumult of life, love, family, sex and a desire to be in a wider world. It will be especial A beautiful, bittersweet 'memoir in books'. Ann Hood tells us about the life changing and life affirming books that shaped her worldview while growing up in a small mill town in her native Rhode Island. Any book lover will instantly recognize themselves and begin to think back on the books that shaped their lives. We read about the books that Ann 'met up with' and how they helped her view and deal with the tumult of life, love, family, sex and a desire to be in a wider world. It will be especially thought provoking to the 'boomer' generation, as many of the books she details were very popular in the 60's & 70's, along with the timeless classsics (who didn't want to call their mother "Marmie" after reading Little Women?). Her story and her relationship to the books she loved make the reader feel as if they know her quite intimately. All those voracious readers out there(and even those who are not) will be touched and delighted by this moving account of 'growing up with books'. Highly recommended! Thank you Byrd's Books of Bethel, CT for this advance reader's copy.
    more
  • Sharon
    June 20, 2017
    Morningstar: Growing Up With Books is a love letter to literature, a charming collection of essays that will resonate with readers who have had their own world expanded thanks to the perfect book at the perfect time. Hood shares personal stories about an array of novels that opened her eyes to politics, family dynamics, relationships, and more. Chances are, dear reader, at least one of the vignettes will ring true for you as well. Thank you to Norton for providing this ARC in exchange for an hon Morningstar: Growing Up With Books is a love letter to literature, a charming collection of essays that will resonate with readers who have had their own world expanded thanks to the perfect book at the perfect time. Hood shares personal stories about an array of novels that opened her eyes to politics, family dynamics, relationships, and more. Chances are, dear reader, at least one of the vignettes will ring true for you as well. Thank you to Norton for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Kirsty
    May 29, 2017
    I read Morningstar: Growing Up with Books from cover to cover on a plane, on my way to Bulgaria. The tome is both light and insightful, and reads like a love letter to books and reading, almost. I certainly enjoyed some sections more than others, but Hood's passion as a reader can be found on almost every page. Whilst almost too slight, it is well worth a read.
    more
  • Cynthia
    March 14, 2017
    A delightful, quick read!
  • Leanne
    April 1, 2017
    Book nerds unite! Ann perfectly captures the magic, the allure and the special place that certain books play in our lives. Like a song, they can call to memory a particular moment in time and shape an entire lifetime. Ann Hood illustrates the special role books have played in her life on every page.
    more
  • Andrienne
    April 10, 2017
    Ann Hood shares her 10 favorite books and picks a theme around it. Whether it's pursuing a yet unknown dream or how to navigate around the opposite sex, each one is a reflection and an affirmation for a love of books.
  • Cindy Roesel
    July 26, 2017
    Best-selling author, Ann Hood wrote one of my favorite novels last year, THE BOOK THAT MATTERS MOST (WWNorton).  We were delighted to meet her in New York City in May at BookExpo and get a signed copy of her new memoir, MORNINGSTAR: GROWING UP WITH BOOKS (WWNorton) that we're giving away to one lucky Thoughts on This 'n That blog follower. It speaks to the intimate relationship Ann has with reading and books.Ann grew up in Rhode Island inside a home that didn't share her love of literature. None Best-selling author, Ann Hood wrote one of my favorite novels last year, THE BOOK THAT MATTERS MOST (WWNorton).  We were delighted to meet her in New York City in May at BookExpo and get a signed copy of her new memoir, MORNINGSTAR: GROWING UP WITH BOOKS (WWNorton) that we're giving away to one lucky Thoughts on This 'n That blog follower. It speaks to the intimate relationship Ann has with reading and books.Ann grew up in Rhode Island inside a home that didn't share her love of literature. Nonetheless, she devoured books such as THE BELL JAR, MARJORIE MORNINGSTAR, THE HARRAD EXPERIMENT and many others. She was able to learn about subjects not discussed in her home such as sexuality and madness. One of Ann's fondest memories is when the Warwick Mall opened, including a bookstore and she could walk to it.MORNINGSTAR: GROWING UP WITH BOOKS is broken up into ten chapters called lessons, partnered with a novel she uses to teach a particular lesson. Ann's prose are so conversational and comfortable, I felt as if I was in a book club of two - me and her. Ann's choice of authors and novels include Erich Segal's, LOVE STORY which she employs to share how books touch her soul. She reveals how reading, "love means never having to say you're sorry," as one of the most profound lines she'd read up until that time.She explores how books touch her heart, enlighten the world around her and the many valuable lessons she has learned. Ann eloquently writes what many of us who love books feel. For those of us who love the written word, MORNINGSTAR: GROWING UP WITH BOOKS is a delightful book you'll not only want to read, but share with fellow "bibliophiles."
    more
  • Debbi DuBose
    July 5, 2017
    This is an exquisitely elegant Memoir: MORNINGSTAR: Growing Up With Books written by the delightful Ann Hood. I read Hood's charming novel: The Book That Matters Most just last year. If you are a Reader, you all know who you are, you'll love this book! Ann Hood is only a little over a year younger than I; so Ann and my's growing up years were basically at the same time. I related to her reading from a very young age, because when I began to read, that's all I did, too! She read many of the same This is an exquisitely elegant Memoir: MORNINGSTAR: Growing Up With Books written by the delightful Ann Hood. I read Hood's charming novel: The Book That Matters Most just last year. If you are a Reader, you all know who you are, you'll love this book! Ann Hood is only a little over a year younger than I; so Ann and my's growing up years were basically at the same time. I related to her reading from a very young age, because when I began to read, that's all I did, too! She read many of the same books that I did. In those days of the 1960's -70's, we learned almost everything we knew about love, lust, and sex from books. These things were not talked about like they are today! I also learned more about history, different people, and the world from the books I read, than from anywhere else. I still do! I hope that you, too, find this Memoir to be nostalgic, beautifully written, and thought-provoking, in the same way that I did. Thanks Ms Ann Hood for the memories!! I won this book through a Goodreads Giveaway and Minotaur Books. Thank-you so much for this superb Memoir. However, this review is my own unbiased opinion.
    more
  • Amanda Mae
    June 10, 2017
    What a sweet memoir. Focusing each chapter on a book that meant a great deal to her, Ann Hood dives into her life, particularly as a young teen in the late 60s/early 70s, and how literature shaped her worldview and her perspective. I had not read all of the books she mentioned, but she has such effused enthusiasm for each I couldn't help but consider picking up some of them. Her recollections of The Bell Jar in particular reminded me of how much that book meant to me at about the same age, and h What a sweet memoir. Focusing each chapter on a book that meant a great deal to her, Ann Hood dives into her life, particularly as a young teen in the late 60s/early 70s, and how literature shaped her worldview and her perspective. I had not read all of the books she mentioned, but she has such effused enthusiasm for each I couldn't help but consider picking up some of them. Her recollections of The Bell Jar in particular reminded me of how much that book meant to me at about the same age, and how I probably would like to reread it again. I found myself forming my own memoir in my head as I read this, using the books and songs and films of my youth to describe the person I am today. I, too, have specific memories tied to certain titles.It's a quick and enjoyable read, excellent for any bookworm or English major. And she may convince you to pick up one of her favorites after you finish!
    more
  • Lisa
    June 15, 2017
    A lovely book about Ann Hood's relationship with books. I flew through this book in one day. Hood highlights books that shaped her and her character. It is a very good read! So glad I came across it.One of my favorite quotes:"Even now I like to sometimes indulge in the guilty pleasure of reading a book that literary snobs would never consider reading. And I enjoy them, those paperbacks I don’t mind leaving behind on an airplane. They make long flights pass pleasantly. I don’t have to marvel at t A lovely book about Ann Hood's relationship with books. I flew through this book in one day. Hood highlights books that shaped her and her character. It is a very good read! So glad I came across it.One of my favorite quotes:"Even now I like to sometimes indulge in the guilty pleasure of reading a book that literary snobs would never consider reading. And I enjoy them, those paperbacks I don’t mind leaving behind on an airplane. They make long flights pass pleasantly. I don’t have to marvel at the use of language or metaphor or puzzle over how the author pulled off such a mind-bogglingly intricate plot. I just read it and forget it, perhaps a habit I learned back in high school when I read any book I could get my hands on."
    more
  • R
    June 20, 2017
    "Morningstar: Growing up with Books" by Ann Hood tells of the authors' love affair with books as a child and the books that shaped her. Each chapter tells us about a book that impacted the author in her life and how it shaped the way she saw the world. We are told of Sylvia Plath's "The Bell Jar" and John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath."In reading "The Grapes of Wrath" the author learns about writing. Through books the author learns how to love language and how to see the world among other thi "Morningstar: Growing up with Books" by Ann Hood tells of the authors' love affair with books as a child and the books that shaped her. Each chapter tells us about a book that impacted the author in her life and how it shaped the way she saw the world. We are told of Sylvia Plath's "The Bell Jar" and John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath."In reading "The Grapes of Wrath" the author learns about writing. Through books the author learns how to love language and how to see the world among other things. This book is beautifully written. I would recommend it to anyone who loves books and memoirs about them.I acknowledge that I received this book free of charge from NetGalley in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.
    more
  • Amy
    July 16, 2017
    i meandered my way through this because that's generally what i do with essays and short stories. read one, read another book, read another essay etc. it's quite a thoughtful meditation on reading and growing up with books. books that are memorable & influential to Ann Hood. she also provides plenty of info on her family and personal life --she worked as a flight attendant!--and writing. i've read some of the books mentioned and will likely read many of those i haven't.on Marjorie Morningsta i meandered my way through this because that's generally what i do with essays and short stories. read one, read another book, read another essay etc. it's quite a thoughtful meditation on reading and growing up with books. books that are memorable & influential to Ann Hood. she also provides plenty of info on her family and personal life --she worked as a flight attendant!--and writing. i've read some of the books mentioned and will likely read many of those i haven't.on Marjorie Morningstar: "Maybe that's why i reread it every year. Maybe. as time beats me up and grief or loneliness or a new kind of bittersweet melancholy take hold, I need to remind myself to keep going, keep reaching, to not forget the girl who believed she could have everything and anything at all."
    more
  • Vanessa
    July 9, 2017
    This is a book about books. It's an author's memoir of reading. She tells about all of the books that lead her through childhood and into the adult she eventually became. She picks topics that the books helped to guide her through and books that really resonated with her at the times when she read them. I thought it was really interesting. She picks some books that would not have been obvious choices and I admire her for that. She is clearly someone who values all books for whatever they imprint This is a book about books. It's an author's memoir of reading. She tells about all of the books that lead her through childhood and into the adult she eventually became. She picks topics that the books helped to guide her through and books that really resonated with her at the times when she read them. I thought it was really interesting. She picks some books that would not have been obvious choices and I admire her for that. She is clearly someone who values all books for whatever they imprint on the reader. It's really short and if you like books about books, I definitely recommend it.
    more
  • Robin
    July 13, 2017
    When I saw that author Ann Hood was appearing at Book Expo last month, I presumed that she was still promoting her last book, The Book That Matters Most and was quite disappointed when I rounded the corner near the Norton booth only to discover that I could have gotten a copy of this forthcoming book! Ack! Luckily W.W. Norton is part of NetGalley so I downloaded it last week and neglected my other reading to dive in! It's great fun for readers and for those who have read or know anything about t When I saw that author Ann Hood was appearing at Book Expo last month, I presumed that she was still promoting her last book, The Book That Matters Most and was quite disappointed when I rounded the corner near the Norton booth only to discover that I could have gotten a copy of this forthcoming book! Ack! Luckily W.W. Norton is part of NetGalley so I downloaded it last week and neglected my other reading to dive in! It's great fun for readers and for those who have read or know anything about this author, it's like getting the answers to a LOT of questions you may have, as a reader, for where she draws her inspiration. As a Rhode Islander who has been lucky to hear Ann speak a number of times, I was especially excited to read her introduction which, in part, was the same talk she gave in late May 2017 at the 15th Anniversary of the RI Center for the Book's Reading Across Rhode Island. The RI references are beautiful but everyone who has grown up in a small town anywhere in this country during this era will appreciate all that she has to offer about how she discovered books and what they mean in her life. As a young person, I also read extensively and no one censored what I read and it wasn't until high school that anyone really influenced my reading. Unlike Ann's home, mine did contain books and my parents read but the choice of books was mine. I'm glad I chose this one!
    more
  • Jennifer
    June 29, 2017
    Received through FirstReads...This was just so delightful to read, as it was so relatable. Every few pages I found myself saying "me too, that's exactly right" (in my head, of course). All of the references to Simon and Garfunkel took me right back to when I was 12 yrs old, and knew every word of every song. Also the feeling that one would like to live inside a book. Yes, that is one of the most precious things books offer, an escape from this world, even if only for a small while.
    more
  • Katie
    July 8, 2017
    I won this in a giveaway. This book is charming. While I was reading it, it made me think of all the books over the course of my life that defined who I was or took me off to exotic places I had never known. I loved how this was written, the way you learn things from books, or how books teach you about yourself. I didn't know what to expect when I first opened this but I was surprised and delighted with every page I turned. I would this to recommend to everyone.
    more
  • Jamie
    June 12, 2017
    I received an Advanced Reader Copy at bookexpo.I really enjoyed this memoir about how books shaped author Ann Hood. Booklovers everywhere can relate to how the right book put in your hands at the right moment can mean the world.Definitely recommend to anyone who loves books and the power they hold.
    more
  • Judith
    June 16, 2017
    The true joy and achievement of this book isn't necessarily in the titles Hood discusses, but the inroads they provide to her nuanced descriptions of her childhood in Rhode Island. A sweet little read, and one I'll probably go back to.
  • Chris
    June 13, 2017
    Ann Hood sent me ARCs after she appeared at our library. She was insightful, witty and charming. The audience loved her. This book reflects all of that and more. I had forgotten my love for Marjorie Morningstar. I now want to read the few books she writes about that I have read.
    more
  • Jinx:The:Poet (A.k.a.
    July 28, 2017
    **Won on Goodreads Giveaway**
  • Heddy Panik
    June 17, 2017
    Anyone who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s can relate to this--as well as any booklover!This was an ARC from Book Expo
  • Robin
    July 5, 2017
    I found this heartwarming and interesting. It tells how different books touched the author's life.
Write a review