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My Life with Bob
My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues | Pamela Paul
Imagine keeping a record of every book youve ever read. What would this reading trajectory say about you? With passion, humor, and insight, the editor of The New York Times Book Review shares the stories that have shaped her life. Pamela Paul has kept a single book by her side for twenty-eight years carried throughout high school and college, hauled from Paris to London to Thailand, from job to job, safely packed away and then carefully removed from apartment to house to its current perch on a shelf over her desk reliable if frayed, anonymous-looking yet deeply personal. This book has a name: Bob. Bob is Pauls Book of Books, a journal that records every book shes ever read, from Sweet Valley High to Anna Karenina, from Catch-22 to Swimming to Cambodia, a journey in reading that reflects her inner life her fantasies and hopes, her mistakes and missteps, her dreams and her ideas, both half-baked and wholehearted. Her life, in turn, influences the books she chooses, whether for solace or escape, information or sheer entertainment. But My Life with Bob isnt really about those books. Its about the deep and powerful relationship between book and reader. Its about the way books provide each of us the perspective, courage, companionship, and imperfect self-knowledge to forge our own path. Its about why we read what we read and how those choices make us who we are. Its about how we make our own stories.
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annahenke
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My year in books! Not as many as some years, but still happy to have met my goal. 💯

CoverToCoverGirl Well done! 👏🏻👏🏻🎉 9mo
Shamzi Well done!!! 9mo
Ruthiella Excellent! 👏👏👏 9mo
Kimzey Congratulations! 🍾🎊 9mo
Bookzombie Congratulations!! 9mo
84 likes1 stack add5 comments
review
Bookishlie
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this. Pamela Paul keeps a book of books (BOB) and has for years. I might need to try this as my journal attempts are dismal. I could probably keep up with something like this. Maybe I should just print off my Bookly graphics and stick them in a book with comments. Hmmmm. We will see.

Desha I like Bookly too! 💗 11mo
Bookishlie @Desha I had it ages ago and put it up but just started using it again. 11mo
Desha Yea I‘m signed up through the end of January! 📚♥️ 11mo
28 likes3 comments
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ashsbookmarks
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I like to find stacks of books in magazines the stick them on bookmarks! I also love books about books 📚😉🤓
#booksonbookmarks #bookbookmark #booksonbooks

Sleepswithbooks Love!!! 2y
39 likes1 comment
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Lcsmcat
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Pickpick

I seem to be attracted to, but usually disappointed by, books about readers: Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, Howard‘s End is on the Landing, The Year of Reading Dangerously. They sometimes increased my TBR, but left me feeling like something was missing. This one was different. While at times I almost violently disagreed with the author‘s decisions, she kept me engaged. And a few times I felt like she saw inside my head, 👇🏻

Lcsmcat 👆🏻such as when she decides to read French classics in translation, even though she‘s able to read in French, because life happens. 2y
Ruthiella Sometimes these kind of books veer too much on the side of non-reading related memoir for me personally. I liked this one too and wish I had started my BoB earlier in life.😀 2y
Hooked_on_books If you haven‘t listened to it, she hosts The Book Review podcast for The NY Times. It‘s good and she does a great job on it. 2y
46 likes4 stack adds3 comments
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Lcsmcat
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Fresh cherries and a new book. 🙂

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review
Jen2
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Pickpick

Any book about books is a good book!!!

Reggie Everyday at lunch!!! 3y
Jen2 Oh man, me too! 3y
78 likes2 comments
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Texreader
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This is so interesting. Some books I can recall very well, particularly those I‘ve read multiple times. But some I can barely remember at all. How about you?

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/why-we-forget-most-of-the-books-we-read

AshleyHoss820 I just started the Poirot series over because, with the exception of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, I realized I can barely remember what I had read! I feel like I remember how a book made me feel, more than I remember specifics... 3y
Texreader @AshleyHoss820 Nicely said. I think that describes how I remember reading the vast majority of books I‘ve read. 3y
Sweettartlaura It‘s almost all about the feeling the book leaves for me, too. In fact, I just saw the trailer for the HBO series of - it comes off as something of a thriller, and I have ZERO recollection of that. BUT... I remember the relationship between the twin brothers. So now I can watch and it‘s like brand new 💁🏻‍♀️😉 3y
See All 8 Comments
Crazeedi @AshleyHoss820 feelings definitely stay. @Texreader I constantly say "I read..." I remember things, but many times the titles escape me. I am better at remembering through authors.. 3y
ljuliel I read an article once that says you only retain the very beginning of favorite books , then maybe a vague idea of what the story was about , but if you reread it, and get over that “ remembered beginning”, it‘s almost like reading a new book, because there‘s so much you forget the second time around. That‘s why I‘ve collected some favorites on Audible. So I can re- listen to them again. 3y
GingerAntics I think I remember feelings and snippets. I‘ll remember a single scene for some reason and I wonder where on Earth I read it until I reread the book and it‘s this “ah-ha” moment. I need to read this article. 3y
GingerAntics I‘ve been keeping a “reading journal” since the beginning of 2019. I think maybe I need to start putting summaries in with reviews. Maybe then I‘ll remember more...or at least have access to a summary of what I‘ve read. This has made me think about quantitative reading goals, too. It‘s about stacking up book counts or page counts. What if reading goals were qualitative? What would that even look like? 3y
GingerAntics This certainly explains why I remember absolutely NOTHING from Grad School. Three books a week for 16 weeks at a time? Yeah, none of that stuck. I remember themes more than anything, because those lasted a semester and some connected so in a way they could last a whole school year. 3y
65 likes8 comments
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emtobiasz
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My mom has been keeping a list of books she‘s read since 2000 in her small spiral-bound notebook. Recently she‘s complained about checking out library books she‘s already read, so I offered to type up her list into an easily searchable spreadsheet. This week I got a package with this notebook and some Valentine‘s chocolate to sweeten the deal. Really I‘m just nosy about people‘s reading habits and enjoying this glimpse into my mom‘s. #bookofbooks

Texreader I ❤️ it! I‘d love to get my moms list...had she kept one. I only started keeping track last year myself so like mom like daughter. 3y
BGam So lovely! 3y
Kayla.Adriena Love that! 3y
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LiteraryinLawrence What a cool idea! 3y
AlaMich That‘s so sweet! I‘ve been meaning to do that with my TBR list forever.... 3y
Butterfinger Love it. And I spy Harry Potter. 3y
Kenyazero I hope it's been a fun look into her reading life! 3y
102 likes7 comments
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TheSpineView
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Leftcoastzen Word!👏🙋🏻‍♀️❤️ 3y
Ncostell This quote makes me feel better! 3y
TheSpineView @Ncostell It is nice to know there are others out there like me! 😊 3y
TheSpineView 😊 3y
80 likes4 comments
review
kaykay521
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Pickpick

Paul is the editor of The New York Times Book Review and has kept a small notebook at her side most of her life, chronicling every book she‘s read. This is the story of the life lived among those books.

8little_paws I thought this was so cute. 3y
37 likes1 comment
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kaykay521
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review
IndoorDame
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Bailedbailed

To be clear, there's nothing wrong with this book. I'm just not into it. It's well written, and some of the anecdotes told are engrossing, BUT I want to be reading a story, and the story here seems to have been told in its entirety on the book blurb that made me want to read it in the first place.

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sunnyaltman
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I might be trapped for the time being, but at least my captor is willing to be used as a bookstand.

Erofan 😻 3y
wanderinglynn What a cutie! ❤️🐱 3y
UwannaPublishme How‘s this book? It‘s been on my TBR for awhile. 3y
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sunnyaltman @UwannaPublishme I really liked it! It was a quick, fun read. It was interesting to see how she connects specific books to various times and events throughout her life. 3y
UwannaPublishme Yay! Thx for the review. I‘ll be moving her up on my list. 😊👍🏻 I‘m a big fan of her podcast. 3y
rretzler 😻 3y
93 likes6 comments
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batsy
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Mehso-so

What I thought this was going to be: a full-on nerdy, obsessive book ABOUT books. What this is: a chatty memoir of the author as reader, or #FirstWorldProblemsWithBooks. I liked it well enough, though I found large parts skimmable. I enjoyed Paul best as a narrator when her second marriage & kids entered the picture. Memoirs are personal & subjective & readers respond differently. It was mostly an OK read, but I was left craving more book talk.

LeahBergen Well, that‘s annoying. It‘s waiting on my shelves. 😠 3y
batsy @LeahBergen Plenty of good reviews, Leah, so don't let me put you off! It just wasn't for me 😬 3y
Pruzy @batsy But wasn't the part where she almost gets kidnapped reading a book at a restaurant horrifying! 3y
See All 22 Comments
batsy @Pruzy Definitely! She's had some experiences. But maybe the way she conveyed it—that jokey flippant tone—didn't quite hit the mark with me. 3y
Pruzy @batsy That's fair! I guess her point is that she's come through life relatively unscathed. Do you listen to The NYTimes Book Review podcast? She's the host, such a great voice 3y
batsy No I haven't! I should give it a listen. I've read some of her bookish essays and enjoyed those. 3y
batsy Sorry @Pruzy forgot to tag 👆🏽 3y
Pruzy @batsy It's a great weekly podcast that has actually interesting and well done author interviews from the week's new book releases and also a panel with NYTimes reviewers about what they've been recently reading 3y
batsy @Pruzy That sounds pretty amazing. And definitely something the old TBR is in need of 😂 3y
Centique I enjoyed it but - like you - I was expecting a good old nerdy brain dump of bookishness and didn‘t get it. The closest I‘ve found to that is this tagged book, a collection of 10yrs of newspaper columns by Hornby, who‘s a ravid reader, (author too of course) it‘s got TONS of books in it 3y
batsy @Centique Thank you for that! I used to love reading his Believer columns when I had access to the mag as a student in Winnipeg 😍 3y
Pruzy @batsy You studied in Winnipeg? How did you like it? Were you at the U of M or U of Winnipeg?? 3y
batsy @Pruzy Yes, at the U of W. My university experience was pretty great. So many lovely professors. Winnipeg itself was both fascinating and challenging (brutal winters; the international student residence was located downtown and I began to learn about what the urban indigenous population goes through...) 3y
Pruzy @batsy What did you study and where did you end up after that? 3y
batsy @Pruzy I was an English major and ended up back in Malaysia after that :) Doing freelance writing and editing now. 3y
Pruzy @batsy That‘s an amazing life path! You‘re pretty much an honorary Canadian after living in/surviving a winter in Manitoba! 3y
batsy @Pruzy Thank you! 😆 Sorry if I missed this, but are you Canadian? From Manitoba? 3y
Pruzy @batsy I am! Originally from Saskatchewan, but not there anymore. I‘ve been to Manitoba/Winnipeg a few times before 3y
batsy @Pruzy Oh, that's awesome! I've only been to Regina but only to a friend's place. I regret so much not travelling around as much as I could when I was there; I was broke most of the time 😅 3y
Pruzy @batsy Yeah, I understand. The tough life of a student (of which I still am). Did you ever get to make it to McNally Robinson while in Winnipeg? I am in love with the Saskatoon store 3y
batsy @Pruzy Yes! There used to be a branch on Portage Place that was my second home but I think there's only one branch now at Grant Park and I remember it as being really lovely and well-stocked. 3y
Pruzy @batsy Great! Well I'm at least happy that you managed to enjoy the greatness! I'm always impressed by how well stocked even the remaindered section was. 3y
92 likes2 stack adds22 comments
review
annahenke
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Pickpick

This is an enjoyable and more #literary take on the #bookaboutbooks theme. Many books about books are charming and nostalgic, but the editor of the New York Times Book Review, unsurprisingly, presents a more sophisticated perspective. A good read.

Zelma I really loved this one too. 3y
83 likes3 stack adds1 comment