Thursday, February 16, 2006


Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading, Maureen Corrigan, Random House, 2005, 184 pp

A pretty good book about reading. I read it because this woman makes her living by reading, which is my dream. She writes reviews, originally for the Village Voice and now reviews mysteries for The Washington Post. She is the book critic for NPR's Fresh Air and also teaches literature at Georgetown University. She got a PhD in her 20s but has nothing good to say about the process.

The most intriguing part was her premise that there are extreme-adventure books with women as central characters, but instead of sailing the seas or climbing mountains, the adventures are internal, spiritual and emotional and mostly involve endurance, waiting and serving others. She was raised in the Catholic Church, educated in Catholic schools and read lots of stories about martyrs and saints as she grew up in bluecollar Queens. Then she broke away, married a Jew and adopted a Chinese baby. I suppose that makes her a Renaissance woman and I am glad she shared her experiences, insights and the ways that reading influenced her life.

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