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Extended Audio Sample My Reading Life, by Pat Conroy Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,438 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Pat Conroy Narrator: Pat Conroy Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Pat Conroy, the beloved American storyteller, is a voracious reader. Starting as a childhood passion that bloomed into a life-long companion, reading has been Conroy’s portal to the world, both to the farthest corners of the globe and to the deepest chambers of the human soul. His interests range widely, from Milton to Tolkien, Philip Roth to Thucydides, encompassing poetry, history, philosophy, and any mesmerizing tale of his native South. He has for years kept notebooks in which he records words and expressions, over time creating a vast reservoir of playful turns of phrase, dazzling flashes of description, and snippets of delightful sound, all just for his love of language. But for Conroy reading is not simply a pleasure to be enjoyed in off-hours or a source of inspiration for his own writing. It would hardly be an exaggeration to claim that reading has saved his life, and if not his life then surely his sanity. 
In My Reading Life, Conroy revisits a life of reading through an array of wonderful and often surprising anecdotes: sharing the pleasures of the local library’s vast cache with his mother when he was a boy, recounting his decades-long relationship with the English teacher who pointed him onto the path of letters, and describing a profoundly influential period he spent  in Paris, as well as reflecting on other pivotal people, places, and experiences. His story is a moving and personal one, girded by wisdom and an undeniable honesty. Anyone who not only enjoys the pleasures of reading but also believes in the power of books to shape a life will find here the greatest defense of that credo. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Conroy’s legion of fans will doubtlessly bond with the author as he earnestly explores the role of books in providing him with inspiration and solace.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “What a delightful little book…with a punch far sturdier than its compact size might suggest…Try to resist rereading it!”


  • “If you relish the literary equivalent of a gospel shout-out, it’s tough to trump My Reading Life, Pat Conroy’s charming chronicle of his lifelong devotion to language, writing, and books. The much-loved author of The Prince of Tides, Beach Music, and The Great Santini floods these pages with memories both painful and sweet: his mother’s furious quest to educate herself by (omnivorous) reading, his violently abusive military father, and, despite a boyhood ‘lonely as an earthworm,’ Conroy’s hell-bent determination to write.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • Timely as well as timeless ... Elegant, evocative, and elegaic. Boston Globe
  • The 15 essays in My Reading Life should delight curious readers ... [Conroy] is fun to read and debate. USA Today
  • Pat Conroy doesn't just love books, he devours them. He doesn't just visit libraries and bookstores, he inhabits them. He doesn't enjoy language, he revels in it ... [My Reading Life] is a rich, unabashedly self-critical and moving tribute to a writer's passion ...  Like Stephen King did in his remarkable On Writing, Conroy reminds us of his considerable talents for telling a story and arranging words. Associated Press
  • In this marvelous blueprint for how to engage with all things literary, the goal is not only to get wet, but to fall deeply and madly in over our heads. With its heady mix of memoir, advice and out-and-out lust for the written word, My Reading Life asks how we could possibly settle for anything less. Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • [Conroy's] fans will savor these 15 essays on the books and people that helped shape his long writing career ... They lend themselves to being taken up separately, at leisure, and savored like a rich dessert. The Charlotte Observer
  • My Reading Life extols the glories of books [and] offers heartfelt thanks to those who encouraged a passion that led [Conroy] to writing. The Post and Courier (Charleston, SC)
  • In My Reading Life, we not only learn about many of Conroy's pivotal reading experiences, we see how he came together as a writer, and are entertained by a host of stories about unlikely heroes. Asheville Citizen-Times
  • Conroy's legion of fans will doubtlessly bond with the author as he earnestly explores the role of books in providing him with inspiration and solace. Publishers Weekly
  • What a delightful little book ... with a punch far sturdier than its compact size might suggest ... Try to resist rereading it! Booklist
  • Pat Conroy's writing contains a virtue now rare in most contemporary fiction: passion. Denver Post
  • Reading Pat Conroy is like watching Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel. Houston Chronicle
  • Selected for the December 2010 Indie Next List
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jean | 2/17/2014

    " Interesting insight into books and writers that influenced this author; particularly as they related to his conflictual, painful childhood. Those which I have not read, I am inclined to do so, because of his immense passion for them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Debby | 2/10/2014

    " Some writers just compell one to read their pieces, even when subject matter isn't what you want it to be. That's how Conroy's works are for me and this collection of his writings is no different. What a brilliantly read man who is able to transfer all his experiences to wonderful stories. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Kevin | 2/8/2014

    " It's only natural to wonder where & how writer get their ideas, but thanks to this book we no longer who & what inspired Patrick Conroy. My Reading Life is an absolutely fascinating look into the people, writers, and books that made Conroy into the great writer he is today ! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jay Bullman | 2/7/2014

    " This was apparently a group of articles or stories that were printed in other media but I hadn't read any of them and I thought they flowed really well together. I am a fan of everything he has written and I was not disappointed by this. For anyone who is into stories about why writers write and why being a reader has such on affect on a person's life then this book will fit perfectly into your library. "

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