Morningstar: Growing Up With Books (Paperback)
“[An] enchanting journey through Ann Hood’s early fascination with reading.… Book lovers will find Morningstar irresistible.”—Lynn Sharon Schwartz, author of Ruined by Reading
Growing up in a mill town in Rhode Island, in a household that didn’t foster a love of reading, novelist Ann Hood discovered nonetheless the transformative power of literature. She learned to channel her imagination, ambitions, and curiosity by devouring ever-growing stacks of books. In Morningstar, Hood recollects with warmth and honesty how The Bell Jar, Marjorie Morningstar, The Harrad Experiment, and The Outsiders influenced her teen psyche and introduced her to topics that could not be discussed at home: desire, fear, sexuality, and madness. Later, Johnny Got His Gun and Grapes of Wrath dramatically influenced her political thinking while the Vietnam War and Kent State shootings became headline news, and classics such as Dr. Zhivago and Les Misérables stoked her ambitions 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 lives.
About the Author
Ann Hood is the author of eight previous books, including the best-selling memoir Comfort: A Journey Through Grief and best-selling novels The Book That Matters Most and The Knitting Circle. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
What a mighty little book, so full of heart.
— Dani Shapiro, author of Devotion and Hourglass
[These essays] are exquisitely written and moving, reminding the reader of how impactful books can be, and how they shape our lives and teach us about love, sex, and language, and seeing beyond our own skin.
— Colorado Book Review
Steinbeck once encouraged aspiring writers to ‘spread a page with shining.’ Ann Hood has certainly done just that with this slim but substantial book.
Poignant, touching, and enlightening.… Hood provides a new rich glimpse into an Italian American childhood. A treat for bibliophiles and readers of all genres.
— Library Journal
Charming.… [An] homage to the power of books.
— Kirkus Reviews
Not many people could point with such specificity to books that have imparted valuable life lessons, and Hood shares beloved works with an affecting and inspiring reverence.
As a childhood reader myself, I loved this enchanting journey through Ann Hood’s early fascination with reading and how it shaped her life and sensibility. Hood is a delightful writer, wise, charming, and lucid, and book lovers will find Morningstar irresistible.
— Lynne Sharon Schwartz, author of Ruined by Reading