I can’t say enough about audio books. I finished Pat Conroy’s MY READING LIFE during my last trip to Vermont to pickup my son for the summer. I have to hand it to Mr. Conroy – he piques interest in books I never thought I’d be interested in reading. So what did I do the moment I got home from Vermont? I ordered WAR AND PEACE for my Kindle.
They say that in order to be a writer one has to read. I get it. I totally get it. When I saw MY READING LIFE setting in a hurt books bin at work, I picked it up and read the back of the box. I immediately knew it was something I wanted to read. I mean, if you’ve got someone like Pat Conroy (THE GREAT SANTINI, THE PRINCE OF TIDES, SOUTH OF BROAD, THE WATER IS WIDE, BEACH MUSIC – just to name some of his novels) recommending the great books he has personally read, how can you go wrong? So what is on his list of “must reads” …
WAR AND PEACE, GONE WITH THE WIND, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, Thomas Wolfe, James Dickey, and many more …
His story – his autobiography – and the way he tells it is amazing. The people he met – Joan Baez, Michael Jackson – it’s a great list. But what truly inspired me was his telling of his relationship with his English teacher. I could fully relate to how a teacher can inspire and change a kid’s life.
I like his style. He’s an extrovert who knows how to strike up a conversation no matter where he is. Mr. Conroy is witty and charming, helpful when someone needs assistance, and apparently brutally honest when honesty is called for. He’s a no-nonsense person. I am grateful that he read his book instead of someone who wouldn’t have given it the nuance it needs.
If I can learn to write a small fraction as well as someone like Mr. Conroy does, and learn by reading some of the great novels of our time – well, I’ll be a happy person.
Thanks, Mr. Conroy.