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Download An Open Book: Chapters From a Reader’s Life Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample An Open Book: Chapters From a Reader’s Life Audiobook, by Michael Dirda Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (154 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Dirda Narrator: Jonathan Hogan Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2016 ISBN: 9781436116404
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Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Dirda shares his love for all literature—novels, comic books, poetry, even erotica—in this humorous memoir of his childhood.

Growing up in a blue collar, Midwestern household of the 1950s and 1960s, Dirda appalled his father with his insatiable thirst for reading. His humorous remembrances of the works he loved will spark the interest of anyone who savors a good story.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A love story, full of a passion for literature and marked by intellectual vigor.”

    The Los Angeles Times

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 2/15/2014

    " Dirda is one of our most interesting writers on the subject of reading and its pleasures. In this memoir he was able to articulate how much books and reading meant to his early life in a way that really resonated with me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 2/4/2014

    " I should have read this one long ago, and I'm glad I finally did. I enjoyed Dirda's writing, and there's nothing like reading about the familiar streets of your hometown. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zeke | 1/22/2014

    " If it weren't set in my hometown, I might rate it a "3" as I'm not overly interested in Dirda's coming of age. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin | 1/19/2014

    " Want to fall in love with reading again? Get to a bookstore and pick this up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Noel Rooks | 1/18/2014

    " Let's just say I relate. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 11/22/2013

    " Loving books as I do, I am susceptible to memoirs about bookish childhoods and this is a good one. I especially enjoyed the tales of Dirda's younger reading adventures; he got a little pretentious describing his teen and college years at Oberlin. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mickey | 11/11/2013

    " Michael Dirda strikes exactly the right balance between his outside journey through childhood/yound adulthood and his interior world (particularly his book reading). Each part is told with a perception and intelligence that makes for a truly pleasurable reading experience. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruth Conrad | 11/3/2013

    " Dirda grew up in Lorain, OH, attended Oberlin College and became the senior editor of the Washington Post Book World. He writes about all the ways that books have been the major influence in his life. He truly loves books, and I was amazed at how much he has read and remembered concerning books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 L. Peat | 9/2/2013

    " ...we all yearn for a life beyond what we already have experienced. Books will save you. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elisabeth | 3/13/2012

    " Loved the first half; second half--meh. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terrell | 3/2/2012

    " Very interesting coming of age memoir by editor of Washington Post Book World. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 jen8998 | 2/27/2012

    " This wasn't as interesting as I'd hoped. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andy | 12/9/2010

    " A very fun book to read.

    My book is War and Peace by Count Leo Tolstoy, complete and unabridged.

    Love the idea of a grade 8 kid doing that as a book report. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul Secor | 12/9/2010

    " Hard to imagine anyone who loves to read not enjoying this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 9/25/2010

    " Dirda is one of our most interesting writers on the subject of reading and its pleasures. In this memoir he was able to articulate how much books and reading meant to his early life in a way that really resonated with me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 3/10/2010

    " Loving books as I do, I am susceptible to memoirs about bookish childhoods and this is a good one. I especially enjoyed the tales of Dirda's younger reading adventures; he got a little pretentious describing his teen and college years at Oberlin. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruth | 10/23/2009

    " Dirda grew up in Lorain, OH, attended Oberlin College and became the senior editor of the Washington Post Book World. He writes about all the ways that books have been the major influence in his life. He truly loves books, and I was amazed at how much he has read and remembered concerning books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 9/19/2009

    " I should have read this one long ago, and I'm glad I finally did. I enjoyed Dirda's writing, and there's nothing like reading about the familiar streets of your hometown. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James | 10/8/2008

    " This is both a great book as a challenge to readers based on Michael Dirda's memoir of his reading life and as a source for books to read and reread. Either way it is a delight and one more reason to read the work of Michael Dirda, one of our great literary commentators. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 jen8998 | 3/25/2008

    " This wasn't as interesting as I'd hoped. "

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About the Author
Author Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda is a Pulitzer Prize–winning critic and longtime book columnist for the Washington Post. He was once chosen by Washingtonian magazine as one of the twenty-five smartest people in our nation’s capital. He is the author of a memoir and several essay collections, as well as the book On Conan Doyle, for which he won an Edgar Award. A lifelong Sherlock Holmes and Conan Doyle fan, he was inducted into the Baker Street Irregulars in 2002.

About the Narrator

Jonathan Hogan is a stage, television, and film actor. He has appeared in several episodes of Law & Order, as well as One Life to Live, As the World Turns, and Ryan’s Hope. In 1985 his performance in the play As Is earned him a Tony Award nomination.