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Nina Sankovitch
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Nina Sankovitch's book Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, published by HarperCollins, tells the story of her lifetime of reading and of one magical year when she read a book a day to rediscover how to live after the death of her oldest sister. Through the connections Nina made with books, authors, and other readers, her life changed profoundly, and in unexpected ways. Sankovitch's second book, Signed, Sealed, Delivered, about exploring the joys of letter writing, is coming out in April 2014 from Simon & Schuster. Sankovitch writes about books and reading on her website, Readallday.

Entries by Nina Sankovitch

Best Start to Summer Reading: 'Skies of Ash' Over Los Angeles

(0) Comments | Posted June 1, 2015 | 12:34 AM

Rachel Howzell has written another riveting thriller starring her favorite (and mine!) female sleuth, the fabulous when furious and even better when behaving Lou Norton, LA Homicide detective extraordinaire. In Skies of Ash, the second in the Detective Elouise Norton series, Norton is called out to investigate an arson/murder in...

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Judith Frank: Choosing Life

(0) Comments | Posted August 6, 2014 | 11:31 AM

A twin loses his brother in the suicide bombing of an Israeli café and finds himself guardian of two orphaned children. The twin, Daniel, is gay; his partner, Matt, is a goy and viewed by Daniel's family as a pretty boy, a party boy. The gay couple live in Northampton,...

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Sisters Lost and Found, in the Land of Shadows

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2014 | 12:32 PM

Land of Shadows, Rachel Howzell Hall's latest novel, is a riveting exploration of crime and its repercussions in the poor neighborhoods of Los Angeles. Together with her previous thriller, No One Knows You're Here, Land of Shadows proves that Hall is a star at weaving fast-paced, layered, and...

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Side Effects, in Spanish: The Books of Almudena Solana

(0) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 4:31 PM

I am a huge fan of the Spanish writer Almudena Solana. Great news for me: I am finally meeting her this week after years of reading and re-reading her books (we became acquainted through emails back and forth). Bad news? Only one of her novels -- the marvelous

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Caught Up in a Dark and Twisted Tide -- Sharon Bolton's Latest

(1) Comments | Posted June 2, 2014 | 4:35 PM

Summer is here but I will not be jumping into any bodies of water to cool off, thanks to my beloved Sharon Bolton. A favorite harbinger of summer is the release of her latest thriller and A Dark and Twisted Tide met all my expectations of thrills, chills,...

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Books About Life -- and Cats

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2014 | 10:02 AM

As far as books go, it is always the year of the cat. Just take a look at any bookstore and you can find more than a few books about cats (Cat Daddy, Cat Sense, How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You, I Could Pee on...

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Letters: The Recipe I Share With Julia Child

(2) Comments | Posted April 23, 2014 | 9:52 AM

What do I have in common with Julia Child? Not the art of French cooking. I cannot follow a recipe to save my life. But Julia Child loved writing and receiving letters, and so do I. And in our love for letters, we both discovered an age-old recipe, and a...

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Discovering Inspiration in a Trunk Full of Letters

(1) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 11:25 AM

Years ago, I discovered a trove of letters in my backyard. I had just become the owner of a broken-down old house and when I went to clear out the weed-choked yard, I found a steamer trunk, hidden away in a rotting garden shed. When I opened the trunk, treasure...

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The Soul of a Book Lover

(0) Comments | Posted March 19, 2014 | 1:08 PM

The task of writing a review of An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine is daunting. Why? Because I don't want to write anything that might keep someone from reading this book.

Everybody should read this book. And absolutely all book lovers must read this book. This book is for...

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Letters and Murder in a Quiet Dell

(0) Comments | Posted March 13, 2014 | 9:29 AM

Obsessed with letters, I was eager -- and yet loathe -- to read Quiet Dell by Jayne Anne Phillips. The novel is based on the true story of Harry Powers, a man who seduced middle-aged women through letters and then killed them. He found his lady loves through...

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Opening the Door to the Wonderful World of Reading

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2014 | 8:41 AM

Quick Reads is a UK-based nonprofit that has a simple -- and wonderful -- goal: to get people reading. Or as they say, to start a new chapter. Because reading is about more than just opening up a book and going through the words found there. Reading is...

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The Guest Cat: A Fated Visit

(0) Comments | Posted February 13, 2014 | 1:39 PM

The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide is a slender but rich meditation on fate. What force directs the twists of our lives -- or are all events random and therefore beyond our control? When a tiny, independent, and utterly charming cat enters the lives of a couple living in a...

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The Brilliance of Ishmael Beah

(0) Comments | Posted January 28, 2014 | 8:06 AM

The novel Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah is a brilliant book, not in terms of innovation or style, but in terms of illumination -- and there is no better brilliance for a book, or for an author. In telling the story of the village Imperi and its inhabitants, Beah's...

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Letters of Note, Splendidly Noted

(0) Comments | Posted January 8, 2014 | 9:08 AM

Shaun Usher understands the art of letter writing -- as any fan of his site, Letters of Note, knows -- and now his book by the same name brings all that art to the printed page. Letters of Note, the book, is beautiful, large-size, fabulously produced, and above...

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Merry Old Christmas Murders

(0) Comments | Posted December 13, 2013 | 8:06 PM

Nothing says the holidays for me more than a good old-fashioned Christmas murder mystery. I also like the more modern ones, but give me a snowed-in estate in England, with house guests galore, a burning Yule log, a flaming pudding, holly branches cut fresh from the woods and stuck behind...

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Richard Pryor, Furious Cool, and an Early Thanksgiving

(0) Comments | Posted November 12, 2013 | 4:22 PM

In what is clearly (and beautifully) a labor of love, brothers David Henry and Joe Henry have brought Richard Pryor back to pulsating life, affirming both his humanity and his immortality as a comic - and tragic - genius. Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World That Made Him is...

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Forgotten Books, Discovered

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2013 | 2:40 PM

Pacing through the website of Forgotten Books, an online library with hundreds of thousands of titles, is like walking through the aisles of a favorite bookstore. I "open" one book, skim through, and alight upon certain lines that make my decision for me (yes, I want to read...

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Women of a Certain Age

(0) Comments | Posted October 7, 2013 | 4:21 PM

An examination of life looking back from a mature age is at the center of The Last First Day by Carrie Brown and I Married You For Happiness by Lily Tuck. The authors avoid the easy take on growing old and instead go for the difficult but incisive exploration of...

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Playing St. Barbara: Shining Light on the Dark History of Coal Mining

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2013 | 9:18 AM

Playing St. Barbara by Marian Szczepanski is a great book, a stunning debut novel that shimmers with unforgettable characters while casting necessary light on a dark chapter in American history. Drawn to the social and political history of coal mining in southwestern Pennsylvania because of her personal connection (her grandparents...

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A Fatal Likeness: Mary Shelley and Monsters

(0) Comments | Posted September 15, 2013 | 6:35 PM

Mary Shelley wrote the most famous monster story of all time, Frankenstein. Or did she really? That question is just one of the literary mysteries explored by Lynn Shepherd in her mesmerizing novel, A Fatal Likeness. Was Percy Bysshe Shelley insane or cruelly narcissistic or simply misunderstood? Were his poems...

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