Memoir and Biography · Non-Fiction

An Alphabetical Life by Wendy Werris

I bought this wanting to read more books about people who love books, and work in the book business. I loved reading this, but my favorite moments ended up not necessarily being the ones related to the book business at all. I enjoyed the writing, and felt more connected to the story when Werris writes about the more personal aspects of her life.

I liked that it started and ended with Pickwick Bookshop, bringing the story to a full circle. I liked reading about her parents. I liked reading about the quirks of booksellers she met in her career. I liked the part where she and Jonathan Franzen goes to McDonald’s. I liked getting a glimpse at how different the book business used to be. I liked a lot of things in/about this book.

But what really drew me in were the chapters towards the end of the book. Her interest in crime novels, how her taste in books changed before and after her sexual assault. The honest, bare way she wrote about the assault. And the chapter about her parents’ deaths. I suppose these were the most emotionally engaging parts of the book.

At some points I feel a (very) mild irritation with the name-dropping, but maybe I’m just jealous that she met so many great people.

My copy: purchased from Books Kinokuniya KL

~ originally posted on blogspot


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