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Book Girl: A Journey Through the Treasures and Transforming Power of a Reading Life

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When you hear a riveting story, does it thrill your heart and stir your soul? Do you hunger for truth and goodness? Do you secretly relate to Belle's delight in the library in Beauty and the Beast? If so, you may be on your way to being a book girl. Books were always Sarah Clarkson's delight. Raised in the company of the lively Anne of Green Gables, the brave Pevensie childr When you hear a riveting story, does it thrill your heart and stir your soul? Do you hunger for truth and goodness? Do you secretly relate to Belle's delight in the library in Beauty and the Beast? If so, you may be on your way to being a book girl. Books were always Sarah Clarkson's delight. Raised in the company of the lively Anne of Green Gables, the brave Pevensie children of Narnia, and the wise Austen heroines, she discovered reading early on as a daily gift, a way of encountering the world in all its wonder. But what she came to realize as an adult was just how powerfully books had shaped her as a woman to live a story within that world, to be a lifelong learner, to grasp hope in struggle, and to create and act with courage. She's convinced that books can do the same for you. Join Sarah in exploring the reading life as a gift and an adventure, one meant to enrich, broaden, and delight you in each season of your life as a woman. In Book Girl, you'll discover: how reading can strengthen your spiritual life and deepen your faith, why a journey through classic literature might be just what you need (and where to begin), how stories form your sense of identity, how Sarah's parents raised her to be a reader--and what you can do to cultivate a love of reading in the growing readers around you, and 20+ annotated book lists, including some old favorites and many new discoveries. Whether you've long considered yourself a reader or have dreams of becoming one, Book Girl will draw you into the life-giving journey of becoming a woman who reads and lives well.


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When you hear a riveting story, does it thrill your heart and stir your soul? Do you hunger for truth and goodness? Do you secretly relate to Belle's delight in the library in Beauty and the Beast? If so, you may be on your way to being a book girl. Books were always Sarah Clarkson's delight. Raised in the company of the lively Anne of Green Gables, the brave Pevensie childr When you hear a riveting story, does it thrill your heart and stir your soul? Do you hunger for truth and goodness? Do you secretly relate to Belle's delight in the library in Beauty and the Beast? If so, you may be on your way to being a book girl. Books were always Sarah Clarkson's delight. Raised in the company of the lively Anne of Green Gables, the brave Pevensie children of Narnia, and the wise Austen heroines, she discovered reading early on as a daily gift, a way of encountering the world in all its wonder. But what she came to realize as an adult was just how powerfully books had shaped her as a woman to live a story within that world, to be a lifelong learner, to grasp hope in struggle, and to create and act with courage. She's convinced that books can do the same for you. Join Sarah in exploring the reading life as a gift and an adventure, one meant to enrich, broaden, and delight you in each season of your life as a woman. In Book Girl, you'll discover: how reading can strengthen your spiritual life and deepen your faith, why a journey through classic literature might be just what you need (and where to begin), how stories form your sense of identity, how Sarah's parents raised her to be a reader--and what you can do to cultivate a love of reading in the growing readers around you, and 20+ annotated book lists, including some old favorites and many new discoveries. Whether you've long considered yourself a reader or have dreams of becoming one, Book Girl will draw you into the life-giving journey of becoming a woman who reads and lives well.

30 review for Book Girl: A Journey Through the Treasures and Transforming Power of a Reading Life

  1. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I loved Clarkson's emphasis on women and the pure treasure reading is for our emotional, physical, and mental well-being. I think what I most took away from this book was more for me as a mother. That the little seeds we are sowing everyday of beauty and good literature are crucial. Even if we don't see the harvest or we don't see anything "measurable" EVER, we still keep faithfully sowing into our children and those around us by faith. If you are a bibliophile, the book lists and sentiments may I loved Clarkson's emphasis on women and the pure treasure reading is for our emotional, physical, and mental well-being. I think what I most took away from this book was more for me as a mother. That the little seeds we are sowing everyday of beauty and good literature are crucial. Even if we don't see the harvest or we don't see anything "measurable" EVER, we still keep faithfully sowing into our children and those around us by faith. If you are a bibliophile, the book lists and sentiments may be a bit of a review for you, but keep reading, because there are little gems interspersed throughout that will encourage you and spur you deeper into your shelves, reading community, and sharing all the wonder and beauty found in books.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    I don’t review a lot of non-fiction books on my blog, but when I saw there was a book about books, the reading life and bookworms, I knew I needed to read and share it! This book is not only a wonderful read, but an amazing resource, filled with book lists for different seasons of a reader’s life! In Book Girl: A Journey Through the Treasures and Transforming Power of a Reading Life by Sarah Clarkson, Clarkson begins each section with a little essay of her own, and then proceeds to give us some I don’t review a lot of non-fiction books on my blog, but when I saw there was a book about books, the reading life and bookworms, I knew I needed to read and share it! This book is not only a wonderful read, but an amazing resource, filled with book lists for different seasons of a reader’s life! In Book Girl: A Journey Through the Treasures and Transforming Power of a Reading Life by Sarah Clarkson, Clarkson begins each section with a little essay of her own, and then proceeds to give us some book lists that correspond with the essay. I learned a lot from Ms. Clarkson’s essays and found them very relatable. Ms. Clarkson argues that reading shapes who we are and it’s the lens through which we view the world. She talks of stories helping us to understand things better in real life; they help show us what is good and give us hope to fight and cope with the evil in the world. Ultimately, she says that our lives are a story as a part of the Kingdom of God. I couldn’t agree more with her arguments for how important reading and stories are! I personally have such a passion for Story. Ms. Clarkson talks all about the exact reason why my blog is named Faery Tales Are Real, arguing for the importance of fairy tales and how they point us to the greatest Story of Christianity. I love how she found connections between fairy tales and Biblical narrative. I just felt through reading this book that I had found a kindred spirit, as the author talks about Anne from Anne of Green Gables and how she loves the Lord of the Rings (can I get an Amen). The Lord of the Rings helped strengthen her faith when she was younger, in the same way that it did for me. I highly recommend this book to any person who loves reading, no matter what stage of the reading journey they are in. It is an excellent resource to have on hand (the book lists are amazing)! Content: This is a clean read. The only content is: mentions rape when describing To Kill a Mockingbird; word damn is used. Rating: I give this book 5 stars! Genre: Christian non-fiction I want to thank Tyndale Momentum, Tyndale House Publishers and Sarah Clarkson for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jami Balmet

    I immensely enjoyed certain parts of this book and didn’t love a few other parts. Overall it was an enjoyable read and will be a reference books for years to come! I added over 100 titles to a new Goodreads list I started (you can go see it as “book girl recommendations” and there are dozens of books on that list I’m really excited to read (and several that I know I should read at some point)! I would rate this book higher, but I disagree with most of her theological/Christian recommendations. W I immensely enjoyed certain parts of this book and didn’t love a few other parts. Overall it was an enjoyable read and will be a reference books for years to come! I added over 100 titles to a new Goodreads list I started (you can go see it as “book girl recommendations” and there are dozens of books on that list I’m really excited to read (and several that I know I should read at some point)! I would rate this book higher, but I disagree with most of her theological/Christian recommendations. We clearly hold to different theological beliefs, some of them major. And as a Christian book, this heavily affects my ability to recommend this book. But if you read it with that in mind and take all recommendations with a grain of salt, then it is an excellent reference for finding new (and old) books to read!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Hurd

    I LOVED this book. Sarah Clarkson is such a treasure. My full review will be posted at Englewood Review of Books within the next few weeks.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    Like many book bloggers, reading is one of my biggest hobbies. Talking about my latest read or your favorite book is one of my favorite pastimes. Book Girl by Sarah Clarkson is all about her love of books and reading. In Book Girl, Sarah Clarkson starts about by sharing how she got her love of reading and books. She then shares how books have shaped her life and how she created book lists. She then shares some of her book list categories: books that broaden your world, books can shape your story, Like many book bloggers, reading is one of my biggest hobbies. Talking about my latest read or your favorite book is one of my favorite pastimes. Book Girl by Sarah Clarkson is all about her love of books and reading. In Book Girl, Sarah Clarkson starts about by sharing how she got her love of reading and books. She then shares how books have shaped her life and how she created book lists. She then shares some of her book list categories: books that broaden your world, books can shape your story, books can stir you to action, books can cultivate imagination, books can foster community, books can open your eyes to wonder, books can deepen your soul, and books can impart hope. In each of these sections, Clarkson shares books that can affect readers in ways related to each section. She shares about the books that she has found to be helpful in each of these areas and why she recommends them. She closes Book Girl with the importance of passing books and the love of reading to those coming behind us and to those around us. Clarkson's passion for books comes through in Book Girl. As someone who shares her love of reading and books, I enjoyed this book. It is a keeper for me and one I will refer to again. I found some new titles to add to my reading list and I appreciated the fact that some of my favorites were also some of her favorites. It was like getting together with another bookish friend and gushing over books together. I would recommend this book to all other book lover girls out there. I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ginger

    I’ll be returning to this as a resource time and time again through the years, I’m certain. A delightful combination of personal essays and reading recommendations.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elliott

    Before I was ever born, my mother read to me. While in her womb, she would read from classics by Beatrix Potter, A.A. Milne, and, of course, one of her favorite books Anne of Green Gables. Is it any wonder then that I was a born reader? For as long as I can remember, I have adored books. Before I could read them on my own, my mother would read to me. I would sit in her lap and look at the pictures as she read. Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, The Velveteen Rabbit, Blueberries for Sal, Sylveste Before I was ever born, my mother read to me. While in her womb, she would read from classics by Beatrix Potter, A.A. Milne, and, of course, one of her favorite books Anne of Green Gables. Is it any wonder then that I was a born reader? For as long as I can remember, I have adored books. Before I could read them on my own, my mother would read to me. I would sit in her lap and look at the pictures as she read. Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, The Velveteen Rabbit, Blueberries for Sal, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble . . . the list goes on. But it did not take long for me to want to read on my very own. I pretended to read from what words I had heard her say aloud and then I would make up the rest that I couldn't remember. As I followed along to her reading, I began to learn words and the beauty of language. From Beatrix Potter alone I discovered words like soporific, marrows, terrace, or paduasoy. It was glorious to be able to add new words to my vocabulary by simply asking my mother what a word meant or, when I got old enough, to look their meanings up in a dictionary. Words became expansive and opened my horizons that the world was bigger and filled with more magic than I could even begin to imagine. Books were portals to new and amazing places for me: whether that was the Boston of Johnny Tremain or the Narnia of Aslan. I was formed and shaped by story. I treasured books, particularly those given to me as presents. My great-Aunt Annie was a wonderful book giver and understood how delighted I'd be whenever I got one (even more than in my receiving toys). She, who had been a teacher, saw in me a desire to devour books whenever I got my hands on one. And she, like my mother, never stopped me from attempting to read a book because they thought it might be too difficult for me. They saw that I would read and, either put the book back on the shelf, or I would pull the dictionary down as well and have it there on the floor beside me as I read. She was the one who filled my childhood bookshelves with classics like A Child's Garden of Verses, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Treasure Island, Grimm's Fairy Tales, and Robinson Crusoe. My days and especially my summers were taken up with books. As a child who was often lonely, the characters who inhabited their pages became my constant companions and I knew Wilbur the Pig, Pippi Longstocking, Anne Shirley, Laura Ingalls, Claudia Kincaid, Harriet the Spy, and The Great Brain as well, if not better, than the kids in our neighborhood. I was a child of books who never lost that deep, abiding love for reading and literature. I have written before how I have learned courage from Lucy Pevensie or Meg Murry, sacrificial friendship from Charlotte the Spider or Frodo and Sam. I acquired the ability to see the beauty in the world through Anne Shirley or Mary Lennox. I connected with the power of story through Sara Crewes telling of tales in A Little Princess or from Wendy in Peter Pan. I gained an appreciation of nature and of animals through works by E.B. White or Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows. Books guided me along the path as if I were Christian making my way to the Celestial City in Pilgrim's Progress. I spent time in places I could only dream of Lilliput, Narnia, the Shire, Wonderland, Neverland, Oz, B-612, or under the house with the tiny Borrowers. And I have nurtured and nourished this love of books in my own sons. Grateful for a mother who read to me and exposed me to great works, I have done the same. My younger son and I are in the midst of our summer book, The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. As I read to him, my young son leans his head against my chest, he listens and I can tell he is reading along silently to my reading aloud. Jody moved a stone that was matching its corners against his sharp ribs and burrowed a little, hollowing himself a nest for his hips and shoulders. A shaft of sunlight, warm and thin like a patchwork quilt, lay across his body. He watched the flutter-mill indolently, sunk in the sand and the sunlight. The movement was hypnotic. His eyelids fluttered with the palm-leaf paddles. Drops of silver slipping from the wheel blurred together like the tail of a shooting star. The water made a sound like kittens lapping. A rain frog sang a moment and then was still. There was an instant when the boy hung at the edge of a high bank made of the soft fluff of broom-sage, and the rain frog and the starry dripping of the flutter-mill hung with him. Instead of falling over the edge, he sank into the softness. The blue, white-tufted sky closed over him. He slept. After I read that passage, my son looked up at me and smiled. "That was so beautiful," he said, "and I could see it all so clearly." He was falling in love with the languidness of the language and with the beauty of Rawlings' descriptions. He's already a boy who feels at home in nature so I chose this book because I knew he would connect with young Jody in it. He would hear the slow-moving paragraphs that are descriptions and appreciate the world they are painting with words. It was the same with My Side of the Mountain. And, just like Where The Red Fern Grows, he would hold the beauty and bear the sorrow that the story contains. He would, once again, rediscover the power of words and reading. It is with this that I came to Sarah Clarkson's Book Girl and, while I understand that from its title I am not her target audience, I have never, ever let that dissuade me from reading a book (not even when a well-meaning librarian asked me if I was sure I wanted to check out A Little Princess, thinking a ten-year-old boy would not be interested in what she thought of as a girl's book. I did not heed her words and loved the book and Sara Crewes). I could not help but connect with the first sentence of the introduction, "My Mother swears she read to me while I was still in the womb." When one is bewitched by the magic of words, the loveliness of language, and the power of imagery, we desperately want to share that with others; in particular our own children. Just as her mother did with her, Sarah, a new mother herself now, wants to pass her love of reading on to her own daughter. As she writes of her hope to give her daughter "the beauty of the world and the strength to bear its sorrow, and knew that one of the best ways to do that was through the gift of the reading life." The reading life is a precious gift and one that I so wish all parents had and passed on to their children. Why? Because reading offers the gifts "of learning and wonder, of hope renewed, of the capacity to ponder, of the will to act . . ." This brought to my mind a quote from the naturalist Rachel Carson, who writes in The Sense of Wonder: A child's world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructable that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantment of later year. . . While there is no good fairy to bestow this wish, there are books. In my own life, books are the antidote and have supplied me with years of discovering and rediscovering wonder and awe and beauty and excitement, so much so that it transfers to the natural world for me. Both my attention to words and reading and to the natural world began in the explorations of childhood. I learned through both to pay attention, to notice and see what so many overlooked because they did not pause to focus and truly spend time looking at what was before and around them. As a parent, I, like Sarah Clarkson, wish over my own children, "I want your heart to be stocked with beauty." Because the world, or at least our society and culture, can be cruel and chaotic. It can feel as overwhelming as a raging sea. Yet I have found an anchor-hold in the power of stories to ground and guide me over the years and, like Sarah, have realized that the world can be "wondrously good." Who would not want that for their child? To let their children know that they are not alone in this world, that what they are feeling or struggling with have been faced and conquered by authors in their own lives and stories. That they can, like myself, see bravery in the smallness of Hobbits or in the weaknesses of Meg Murry. The reading life is a rich life and should be celebrated. Book Girl is just such a celebration and a very welcome one, indeed. In the introduction, Clarkson writes, "This book is about the joy and dance of women reading, an invitation to that wise laughter, to the grace known by all the book girls of the world who live by the delighted conviction that reading is a vital ingredient in a woman's full engagement with her faith, her creativity, and her capacity to grow in knowledge and love throughout each season of her life." Though not a woman, I have found this to be true in my own life. Reading has opened me up in ways that I cannot imagine being who I am without having read the books I've read. They have answered questions and, better yet, offered me greater questions and to rest in not always knowing or having to have answers. Books share in our dreams and give us new ones. They offer solace and comfort. They offer companionship during loneliness. They offer adventure and new horizons when I cannot afford to leave our own town. My house is crammed full of books. There are bookshelves everywhere and even where there are not shelves, there are books. I have learned the rhythm of reading and seen how reading is a spiritual act. Reading not only fiction and nonfiction but theology, poetry, essays, and plays. I read with a cup of coffee or tea by side. I read in bed, on the sofa or in a comfy chair, outside in the fork of a great oak's roots, or by a stream or creek. Rainy days are reading days. As are sunny days, snowy days, cloudy days . . . There are at least three books in my car because I never know when I am going to be somewhere and need a book handy. I make time to read. In the quiet of the early morning, along with reading a devotional and my Bible, I read poetry. My days also end with reading. Sitting in bed, I read before I switch off the light. I read some of whatever I happen to be reading, along with a Psalm and a poem. I like to bookend my days with beauty. Avid readers, book people are those who understand what Gustave Flaubert means when he writes, "Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live." Yes, one can be amused or learn from books, but book people read because reading is so very much a part of their lives. Great literature lays life bare before us. We read and are challenged and are confronted by a world and universe that is so much greater than we can even begin to imagine. Reading helps us to see life and new ways to live life. In Book Girl, I see a kindred spirit in Sarah Clarkson. Anna Quinlend captured it best in How Reading Changed My Life, "Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination and the journey. They are home." So I cannot wait to spend time in the company of another book person, Sarah Clarkson, as I grab myself a cup of coffee (or tea) and find a comfy place to inhabit the pages of Book Girl.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    3.5 Stars I'm a sucker for books about books so I enjoyed this, although it didn't bump my top five such books. I'd probably include it in my top ten or fifteen, but I'll have to think about it awhile and then hopefully come back and write a real review later. However I do know that since I'm not Roman Catholic, I strongly disagree about reading many (if not most) of the religious books she recommends. I loved most of her other booklists though, having already either read or listed many of them 3.5 Stars I'm a sucker for books about books so I enjoyed this, although it didn't bump my top five such books. I'd probably include it in my top ten or fifteen, but I'll have to think about it awhile and then hopefully come back and write a real review later. However I do know that since I'm not Roman Catholic, I strongly disagree about reading many (if not most) of the religious books she recommends. I loved most of her other booklists though, having already either read or listed many of them on my TBR list. And now I've added even more.

  9. 5 out of 5

    AnnaScott

    Y'all. I've only gotten to read the first four chapters of this book as a part of its launch team, but I am in love. Sarah's writing style is gorgeous, but more than that this book feels like coming home. Sarah has beautifully expressed so many of the thoughts and feelings that I have had about books, plots, and characters. She has renewed the love of reading that often gets pressed down in the busyness of day-to-day life. She recommends countless books, many of which already hold a place on my Y'all. I've only gotten to read the first four chapters of this book as a part of its launch team, but I am in love. Sarah's writing style is gorgeous, but more than that this book feels like coming home. Sarah has beautifully expressed so many of the thoughts and feelings that I have had about books, plots, and characters. She has renewed the love of reading that often gets pressed down in the busyness of day-to-day life. She recommends countless books, many of which already hold a place on my favorites and the rest of which I'm sure will be there soon. I spent at least two of these chapters grinning, and I am quite sure my mother gave me several curious looks, but hearing Sarah talk about my favorite authors and books in her way was glorious. I cannot wait to read the rest of this book! (Here is a link to pre-order it: https://amzn.to/2OXG6nl )

  10. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    With chapter titles like "Books Can Stir You to Action" and "Books Can Foster Community" Sarah Clarkson's Book Girl is a joyful manifesto of all the good that books bring to our lives. Almost every chapter has a booklist too, so lots more titles to consider adding to your reading list!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    I have been able to preview the first four chapters of this book before the release and absolutely devoured them. Honestly, I knew I would love the subject matter as a book girl myself and mother of book girls, but I didn't know if I would like the prose. In the past Sarah Clarkson's style has not always been my cup of tea. In this particular book her writing is a little more spare than usual and I found the style as pleasant as the content. And the content well-reasoned and interesting. My only I have been able to preview the first four chapters of this book before the release and absolutely devoured them. Honestly, I knew I would love the subject matter as a book girl myself and mother of book girls, but I didn't know if I would like the prose. In the past Sarah Clarkson's style has not always been my cup of tea. In this particular book her writing is a little more spare than usual and I found the style as pleasant as the content. And the content well-reasoned and interesting. My only problem with the book is going to be the explosion of my want to read list from all the wonderful book lists included. There are even more book lists as bonuses if you pre-order the book now! As a side note: Sarah Clarkson has managed to finally fit a missing piece of a puzzle into my view of sanctification, and for that alone this book is worth five stars. Clarkson argues convincingly and effectively that books shape our loves, and follows James K. A. Smith in arguing that we ARE what we love. If books shape who we are, then this finally provides a simple explanation for why reading Scripture is so essential to our growth in grace and why Christians are truly people of the Book. ---- A few updates after completing the book: 1) Parts of the book brought me back to senior year of college, when I was in a capstone course for my English writing major. Our assignment was to find a passage that we had studied in our time in the program, memorize it, and write an essay as to why that passage was meaningful. I searched my notes, my anthologies, and all my materials and found...nothing. I ended up memorizing a poem I found merely fun and writing a defiant essay on why fun was good enough. My professor pulled me aside after I presented and told me that, no, my work did not fulfill the assignment. He was right. And as I read through Clarkson’s luminous reviews of works I have read and remember, I felt pretty chastened. It is only in the past few years that I've gained the ability to learn from literature the way Clarkson does (and my classmates did) despite years of study and reading. Better late than never, I guess, and this book helped me have a renewed desire to keep on learning. 2) No matter what stream of the Christian faith you identify with, you'll find authors recommended here who might be far outside your stream, and in some cases whom you might vehemently disagree with. I was surprised at the way that Clarkson recommended authors who might be very at odds with each other without comment. There are content warnings for potential violence and darkness in books, but not for potentially poor theology. I get that, because different readers will find different recommendations to be potentially troubling. But I would warn Christians reading this book to check the theological recommendations against your own creeds and traditions and most of all against Scripture itself.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Bridgewater

    Book Girl by Sarah Clarkson's synopsis sounded right up my alley. I define myself as an avid bookworm. I mean, who else besides bookworms finish 200 books every year. It is a lot of books, but I love reading. So the description sounded just like me. I really couldn't wait to get my hands on the book. Right away, the book filled me with good feelings as it appeared to be describing me as someone who discovered reading at a young age. I remember traveling to the library every week and coming home Book Girl by Sarah Clarkson's synopsis sounded right up my alley. I define myself as an avid bookworm. I mean, who else besides bookworms finish 200 books every year. It is a lot of books, but I love reading. So the description sounded just like me. I really couldn't wait to get my hands on the book. Right away, the book filled me with good feelings as it appeared to be describing me as someone who discovered reading at a young age. I remember traveling to the library every week and coming home with at least ten books. Then the fun part was deciding what to read when I returned home. Then Clarkson started to create chapters with lists of books to appeal to a certain audience, such as, imagination stories or women power stories. I think eighty percent of the book appeals to an audience that doesn't read a lot and couldn't recommend books but wants to jump into the book life but doesn't nowhere to start. As she started listing the different books in different genres, I skimmed through the list by reading the titles. Not that many appealed to me or I already read them. A side note . . . why does everyone recommend Jane Austen for everything? I can't stand her books. She bored me to tears. No action. Just heads bopping around. Doing nothing. But I did like that she recommend Tolkien, Lewis, and Rowling. Some of my favorite writers. Overall, Book Girl by Sarah Clarkson is, I believe, a book for people who want to incorporate more reading into their life. Not for me since I do a lot of reading already. Her lists can introduce readers to some new authors they have never heard of. I received a complimentary copy of Book Girl by Sarah Clarkson from Tyndale Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Suit

    I was blessed to be able to read the first four chapters of this book in advance, and I cannot wait to read the rest! Not only does Sarah provide you with amazing booklists (my TBR pile is already growing) but she has written a delightful manifesto for the reading life that makes you feel like you're sitting right across from her with a cup of tea, chatting about the wonders of books and how they shape our very souls! Sarah is much more eloquent than I am, so I can't begin to do the book justice I was blessed to be able to read the first four chapters of this book in advance, and I cannot wait to read the rest! Not only does Sarah provide you with amazing booklists (my TBR pile is already growing) but she has written a delightful manifesto for the reading life that makes you feel like you're sitting right across from her with a cup of tea, chatting about the wonders of books and how they shape our very souls! Sarah is much more eloquent than I am, so I can't begin to do the book justice in my review, but if you love books, truth, beauty, and goodness then read this book! You will not be disappointed!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I liked & appreciated all her suggestions, but wasn't a huge fan of the other chapters. Some had great points... I did end up skimming a bit.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ginny

    Clarkson begins by discussing discernment in reading, how to find time to read, and where to get started. Later chapters include book lists sorted by topic. I found many of my favorites in her lists and many to add to my to-be-read list. Her book lists make me feel like we are talking books over a cup of tea—simply delightful! Clarkson’s previous books on reading inspired me in helping my children’s reading life, and Book Girl inspires me in my own reading journey. I think I will start with Pilgr Clarkson begins by discussing discernment in reading, how to find time to read, and where to get started. Later chapters include book lists sorted by topic. I found many of my favorites in her lists and many to add to my to-be-read list. Her book lists make me feel like we are talking books over a cup of tea—simply delightful! Clarkson’s previous books on reading inspired me in helping my children’s reading life, and Book Girl inspires me in my own reading journey. I think I will start with Pilgrim’s Inn!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Juls

    I was right, I loved it. Book Girl was exactly what I thought it would be and exactly what I wanted it to be. Thanks once again to Netgalley, I was able to read a review copy on my Kindle, but Book Girl is going on my list of printed books that I would like to own. It will be a pleasure to have this on my shelf. Part memoir and part list, Sarah Clarkson tells us the story of her reading life, childhood days to Oxford days, cataloguing the books that have helped her through the various seasons of I was right, I loved it. Book Girl was exactly what I thought it would be and exactly what I wanted it to be. Thanks once again to Netgalley, I was able to read a review copy on my Kindle, but Book Girl is going on my list of printed books that I would like to own. It will be a pleasure to have this on my shelf. Part memoir and part list, Sarah Clarkson tells us the story of her reading life, childhood days to Oxford days, cataloguing the books that have helped her through the various seasons of life or that have inspired her in particular ways. All readers have their personal favourites, the books that are returned to often with great fondness and the fact that Tolkien and Lewis appear regularly on Sarah’s lists is of great satisfaction to me. While I read it straight through and admittedly did skim through some of the book summaries and reviews, it is the kind of book that you can also dip in and out of, reading a chapter here and there depending on which section takes your interest. However you use the book, it is brimming with passion and enthusiasm for reading and good literature. There are plenty of reading suggestions I intend to follow in the hope of finding more bookshelf treasure. After all, one should always listen and pay attention to a fellow book girl and whatever your own personal reading preferences may be, browsing someone else’s bookshelf is always interesting, at least I think so. Book Girl is a celebration of reading, of books, and of the power of words to profoundly change us forever. The joy of a shared reading experience is a point of connection and a source of fellowship which is what you can expect from Book Girl. ‘Reading is the road you walk to discover yourself and your world, to see with renewed vision as you encounter the vision of another.’ And so friends, I recommend the company of Book Girl on your reading journey.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Jones

    Now here’s a book for readers who are serious about reading. Book Girl is both a companion and continuing resource for, well, book girls. In other words, for book lovers and lovers of book lists (of which I am both) — as well as those who aspire to be either. The depth and breadth of Book Girl is impressive, to say the least, and — for me, anyway — extremely resonant. Which is to say that any reasonably seasoned reader can compile a book list, but does it contain books I actually want to read? Th Now here’s a book for readers who are serious about reading. Book Girl is both a companion and continuing resource for, well, book girls. In other words, for book lovers and lovers of book lists (of which I am both) — as well as those who aspire to be either. The depth and breadth of Book Girl is impressive, to say the least, and — for me, anyway — extremely resonant. Which is to say that any reasonably seasoned reader can compile a book list, but does it contain books I actually want to read? This one does. Reading Book Girl, I couldn’t help but compare it to a favorite podcast of mine, What Should I Read Next? with Anne Bogel (aka, Modern Mrs. Darcy). In each podcast episode, Anne does a little literary matchmaking by recommending a few books to suit her guest’s stated references. Book Girl is like that, only in book form. Which also makes it extremely portable and accessible too. I could spend many happy hours poring over the pages and pages of book lists captured under such headings as: “What to Do with the Time We’ve Been Given”: Books That Helped Me Navigate Contemporary Culture The Nightstand List: Classics You Should Eventually Read “What? You too?”: The Firsthand Accounts That Remind Me I’m Not Alone Beauty Speaks Truth: Books about the Arts Each list offers bountiful suggestions for edifying reading material. I’m happy to keep Book Girl on my shelf and know I’ll be referring to it again and again as I compile my own book lists. Oh, and P.S. — with the holidays winking at us from around the corner, I have to point out that Book Girl would make an ideal gift for just about any female bibliophile on your list. Thanks to Tyndale Momentum for providing me this book free of charge. All opinions are mine.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    This book added many other books to my to-read list. It was fun to see old favorites on Sarah's lists and be introduced to many others. The format is a little different than other book list books I've read before. Instead of all the recommendations at the end, they are interspersed between chapters, somewhat grouped by theme. Sometimes there are duplicates of recommendations in multiple categories, which is confusing when going to add them to Goodreads when I already did. Or maybe because I skim This book added many other books to my to-read list. It was fun to see old favorites on Sarah's lists and be introduced to many others. The format is a little different than other book list books I've read before. Instead of all the recommendations at the end, they are interspersed between chapters, somewhat grouped by theme. Sometimes there are duplicates of recommendations in multiple categories, which is confusing when going to add them to Goodreads when I already did. Or maybe because I skimmed the chapters for the recommendations, then went back to read them more fully later. I wouldn't necessarily read the chapters again but would refer to this book for the lists. I wish the recommendations by other people were noted in the table of contents or index so when I had something handy to look those titles up, it was easier to refer back to those sections. Also, I wish the books referenced in the chapter part were included in the lists. So all in all, not a perfect book, though those are mostly structural preference issues - still a lovely read by a book girl for book girls of all ages (though later teen on up would probably get the most out of the majority of the recommendations). Though Sarah's other books about books have been on my radar, this is the first title of hers that I've read. I am curious how much duplication there may be from her earlier titles and this one and if they are all equally worth looking into or not.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kari West

    This book gave voice to so many things I’ve sensed intuitively about stories my whole life. I want to press a copy of it into the hands of ever book lover I know and then demand they meet me for coffee after each chapter so we can talk about it. But for now, I’ll settle for recommending it to close friends and giving it this glowing review. Even if Sarah didn’t have powerful, articulate, intelligent, and yet very readable chapters on the importance, value, and goodness of good stories, I would b This book gave voice to so many things I’ve sensed intuitively about stories my whole life. I want to press a copy of it into the hands of ever book lover I know and then demand they meet me for coffee after each chapter so we can talk about it. But for now, I’ll settle for recommending it to close friends and giving it this glowing review. Even if Sarah didn’t have powerful, articulate, intelligent, and yet very readable chapters on the importance, value, and goodness of good stories, I would buy this book for the booklists alone. I am supplied with book recommendations for the next few years thanks to her expertise. But she does have those wonderful chapters on why stories matter, so I don’t just have to recommend it for the lists. Whether you want to explore a story’s unique ability to voice suffering and struggle or to reignite an enchanted view of the world or to connect you to other people or to stir you to action or to give you role models or to sharpen your spiritual sight or to give you a fuller understanding of existence, this book will not disappoint. The world of literature has been opened anew to me, and it is due in large part to this book. Read it and then meet me for coffee to discuss. (Kidding. Mostly.)

  20. 4 out of 5

    Carey

    I have read an excerpt, the first four chapters and a few of her included reading lists. What a friend I have found already in Sarah Clarkson. Her reminder to my weary soul of the vital importance of reading is a gift I didn't know I so desperately needed. The need to learn, the capacity I have to do so, the joy in sharing what I am reading with others, the chance I have before me to not only continually broaden my own knowledge, but create a love for it in my children simply by presenting them I have read an excerpt, the first four chapters and a few of her included reading lists. What a friend I have found already in Sarah Clarkson. Her reminder to my weary soul of the vital importance of reading is a gift I didn't know I so desperately needed. The need to learn, the capacity I have to do so, the joy in sharing what I am reading with others, the chance I have before me to not only continually broaden my own knowledge, but create a love for it in my children simply by presenting them with the reading life, these are all reignited in just a few dozen pages. I cannot wait to read the rest, to dig into more of her carefully and lovingly curated book lists, and refresh my soul. In Clarkson's own words: "Reading, rather, is a journey. Reading is the road you walk to discover yourself and your world, to see with renewed vision as you encounter the vision of another. Reading is a way of walking with the wise (Proverbs 13:20) as you trek down the road of life, offering a hand to guide you, a voice to help you look up from the dust and discover the sunset, a friend in whose words you can shelter when life sends you a storm."

  21. 4 out of 5

    Becky Avella

    I have no idea how to express my love for this book. When friends and family saw me reading it, they kept asking, "What's that about?" and I didn't know how to answer them. I tried to explain it was a book about books and a celebration of reading. I told them it had recommended reading lists for different seasons of life, and I could see their eyes glaze over with boredom. I failed to put into words how much reading this book moved me. I carried it with me everywhere I went this month just in ca I have no idea how to express my love for this book. When friends and family saw me reading it, they kept asking, "What's that about?" and I didn't know how to answer them. I tried to explain it was a book about books and a celebration of reading. I told them it had recommended reading lists for different seasons of life, and I could see their eyes glaze over with boredom. I failed to put into words how much reading this book moved me. I carried it with me everywhere I went this month just in case I'd find time to read. Reading it felt like time spent with a best friend, and I didn't want that time to end. It inspired me, and filled me with longing for more beauty, wonder, and hope. It confirmed what I felt but didn't know how to articulate about the importance of good books in our lives. I savored every word, even the summaries of recommended titles on the book lists. I'm sad to get to the end, but I know I will be returning over and over again for help answering the question, "What should I read next?"

  22. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Print

    A beautiful and unique exploration of the blessings that come from reading for living a life of faith, hope, and love. The interweaving of chapters that explore aspects of a reading life, such as imparting hope, stirring to action, and cultivating wonder, along with recommendations of books to read creates a wonderful experience. Sarah Clarkson has become aware of the power of reading through deep pondering, and her own life experiences, which she shares with warmth, and honesty. Sarah’s book ha A beautiful and unique exploration of the blessings that come from reading for living a life of faith, hope, and love. The interweaving of chapters that explore aspects of a reading life, such as imparting hope, stirring to action, and cultivating wonder, along with recommendations of books to read creates a wonderful experience. Sarah Clarkson has become aware of the power of reading through deep pondering, and her own life experiences, which she shares with warmth, and honesty. Sarah’s book has helped me to be more passionate and determined to cultivate a “reading life”, and has armed me with a diverse “to read” list that will help me with this during the years to come. A treasure trove of a book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Katheryn

    I received an advance copy of an excerpt of this book and thoroughly enjoyed it. The honesty and transparency from which Sarah approaches all of her writings is refreshing and rejuvenating. Her story about Tolkien and how writings inspire her to live her life courageously because of having seen brave and valiant characters live through dark circumstances is a great word and call for all of us to read more. I hope many will read this book and take the advice to stack your night table full of book I received an advance copy of an excerpt of this book and thoroughly enjoyed it. The honesty and transparency from which Sarah approaches all of her writings is refreshing and rejuvenating. Her story about Tolkien and how writings inspire her to live her life courageously because of having seen brave and valiant characters live through dark circumstances is a great word and call for all of us to read more. I hope many will read this book and take the advice to stack your night table full of books that deepen your soul and widen your sense of adventure. Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your stories and for reminding us of the value of a good book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Turns out (no spoiler here!) I am a book girl too. Sarah Clarkson is so earnest and sweet in her love for books. I love that she really appreciates her book-centric upbringing. She provides many lists for different circumstances, and it dawned on me that because I have read and enjoyed many of her recommendations, I would probably enjoy or benefit from her other recommendations. For that, I am grateful, and grateful also for her sincerity and honesty in discussing her life in reading, which you Turns out (no spoiler here!) I am a book girl too. Sarah Clarkson is so earnest and sweet in her love for books. I love that she really appreciates her book-centric upbringing. She provides many lists for different circumstances, and it dawned on me that because I have read and enjoyed many of her recommendations, I would probably enjoy or benefit from her other recommendations. For that, I am grateful, and grateful also for her sincerity and honesty in discussing her life in reading, which you just can't help but notice.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    This was quite a read! Not quite what I expected but I enjoyed most of it. She is definitely more of a "scholar" reader than I will ever be(my tastes are much lighter most of the time) but she definitely hit several books already on my to-read list and I will be adding a few more of her recommendations. I will revisit this book again.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Christina Hubbard

    A book for any woman who wants to rediscover her bookishness, intellect, and imagination. In the chapters I've previewed, I am struck by how important books are to who we become. Sarah has helped me to reflect on my own love affairs with certain books and ask how they have shaped me (and continue to). Reading matters. It develops empathy and understanding, which are marks of true greatness. The book is full of great reading suggestions for any woman, especially the one who desires to learn how t A book for any woman who wants to rediscover her bookishness, intellect, and imagination. In the chapters I've previewed, I am struck by how important books are to who we become. Sarah has helped me to reflect on my own love affairs with certain books and ask how they have shaped me (and continue to). Reading matters. It develops empathy and understanding, which are marks of true greatness. The book is full of great reading suggestions for any woman, especially the one who desires to learn how to bring more beauty into the world, by thinking well and, thus, living well.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Chyrll

    I had the privilege of reading the first four chapters of “Book Girl.” I can hardly contain my excitement for receiving my very own copy of Sarah’s delightful book tomorrow (September 4, 2018), on its release day!! Sarah has poured so much love into the writing of “Book Girl”, and I can’t wait to share it with my granddaughters, my own little Book Girls!!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    I absolutely love this book. I inhaled it and filled it with sticky notes. I will definitely be reading this again and again. The book lists are amazing!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

    Susan Olasky at WORLD says, "Think of [this book] as an adult version of Honey for a Child's Heart.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    There’s nothing like taking books with a fellow book loving friend, and that’s what this book felt like: a great conversation about great books. My reading list has grown tremendously thanks to Book Girl!

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