My book review of 'Dear Reader' by Cathy Rentzenbrink
The author was a bookworm as a child, a bookseller by chance, an insightful reviewer, a charismatic and entertaining presenter of book talks and events, and a memoirist of a family tragedy, and this is her account of her life through her passion for reading.
I'm not usually a fan of reading memoirs. They usually list books I've either never heard of, so feel terribly ignorant, or haven't enjoyed. It's meant that instead of feeling a tighter bond to the writer through their reading choices, I've felt more distant or excluded.
This book is different. It helped that I'd seen the author present at book events, and was impressed by her energetic, enthusiastic and positive personality. And I've read her moving memoir about the loss of her brother in a road accident. But she writes with great warmth and immediacy. There's no pretence or sense of showing off! And the books she's enjoyed have also been the titles that have meant a great deal to me. In fact, this felt like a book I could have written myself and, for any aspiring authors, perhaps it's a format to follow in embarking on their own life writing?