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A Reader's Book of Days: True Tales from the Lives and Works of Writers for Every Day of the Year [Hardcover]

Tom Nissley , Joanna Neborsky

RRP: 16.99
Price: 16.15 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

29 Nov 2013
Book connoisseur Tom Nissley has combed literary history to capture the stories that make writers' lives perennially fascinating: their epiphanies, embarrassments and achievements. Each handsome page in A Reader's Book of Days is devoted to a day of the year, featuring original accounts of events in the lives of great writers (Proust starting In Search of Lost Time, Conrad defending the crew of the Titanic) and fictional events that took place within beloved books (the birth of Harry Potter's enemy Draco Malfoy, the blood-soaked prom in Stephen King's Carrie).


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Review

Those who know Tom Nissley simply as a Jeopardy! stud, prepare to be amazed. He's more than just a gutsy wonk with a photographic memory; as A Reader's Book of Days establishes for all time, he's witty, erudite, and sweet-natured, and he has a gorgeous prose style to boot. Beware: read one of these pages and you're hooked. --Blake Bailey, author of "Cheever: A Live"

About the Author

Tom Nissley is an eight-time champion of the American game show Jeopardy! and was formerly an Amazon book editor. He holds a PhD in English literature.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "What, after all, is born in the dead month of January besides a new calendar?" 4 Nov 2013
By Luan Gaines - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Trivia for one reader is a feast for another. Nissley's A Reader's Book of Days is filled with the arcane and the fascinating, a dreamer's treasure hunt to inspire a return to a favorite author in this literary companion. Nissey- eight-time Jeopardy! champion and former bookseller- captures the lives of authors in diaries and letters, quotations and details, an almanac that expands beyond the usual boundaries to encompass personalities, events and human reactions. An example: "April 15th wasn't just the day that Robinson Crusoe was published, Henry James was born and Edward Gorey died. It's also the day that Walt Whitman mourned the death of Lincoln...and Thomas Higginson received four poems from a woman named Emily Dickenson..." Such is the charm and fascination of this remarkable collection of days, ideas, accomplishments, thoughts, memories and anecdotes. The joy of discovery is experienced in the manner an individual reader approaches the book, whether at random, seeking a particular date, say a birthday, or choosing a favorite name from the index "the historic and the humdrum".

Nissley harbors another ambition in this tome, stories from the fictional lives of characters along with their writers, a mix of fact and fiction, where actual events occur, as do fictional events in novels, an ambitious undertaking, but one that adds yet another layer to the collection. Nissey's careful attention to the details of writer's lives- and those of their characters- is a paean to the rich world of writing, "private moments behind public triumphs", the beginnings of our favorite novels, each month introduced with appropriate comments and a list of recommended readings, peppered with black and white illustrations and an expansive index. Luan Gaines/2013.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming, interesting, timeless 11 Nov 2013
By Gentle Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I've been dipping into this treasure of a book for the past week and am blown away by its charm, wit and wisdom. The illustrations are lovely. This book is a terrific gift for book lovers of all generations. Highly recommend.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem 25 Nov 2013
By AReader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is dangerous (in a very good way indeed). The opportunities it provides for delicious procrastinatory pursuits for years to come are unparalleled. I defy you to read more than a page or two without jotting down a book you have suddenly developed a desire to read or reread.

Tom Nissley is extraordinary in many ways, and one of his many gifts is on display in A Reader's Book of Days in a way that will delight readers. Tom can take the most enormous, confusing book/person/period of time and hone in on the most interesting part. All you the reader have to do is sit back and enjoy the fruits of his erudition and careful selection.

He has the reader in mind at all times, and his kindness both to the reader and to the writers he profiles is an important quality of the book. This book is written by a man who loves the written word, and serves it. He does not write to impress but to share the best of what is out there on the page.

There are few books out there that teach so much in such a short amount of time while giving so much pleasure. It is the perfect book to treat oneself to, and to give to others.

Thank you Tom for a gift that will keep giving for years and years.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth More Than Five Stars 24 Nov 2013
By Peg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Thank you, Tom, for this lovely book.

I find it both stunning and sad that we, as a society, find it so easy to trash someone else's hard work and accomplishments. That your book did not appeal to one reviewer who called it "boring and trivial" only makes me appreciate it more.

I keep this on our kitchen table and read each "day" with my morning tea. I love thinking about the words you've written, the stories you've told, and the insights you have allowed me to develop.

Your book will lead me, like a treasure map, to discovering new books to read and new authors to consider.

Thanks again.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Reader's Book of Days:True Tales from the Lives and Works of Writer for... 16 Feb 2014
By N. Eberhardt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What a great book. I bought this for my husband for Christmas and I ended up reading it myself...Great book
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