In 2005, my oldest sister died of cancer at the age of 46. For three years I struggled with grief but it was only when I turned to books that I was able to find my way through sorrow. Reading became my therapy and it was intense. For one year, I read a book a day. Every day. I read 365 books written by 365 different authors, and I wrote reviews of each book I read here on my blog. My year of reading was a year of escape and discovery, of comfort and of resurgence. I learned how to live again, how to remember my sister in everything that I do, and how to connect with people, not only through conversations about books but through conversations about everything.
Tolstoy and the Purple Chair is my memoir of reading a book a day, and of all the lessons I learned, about holding tight to memories, letting go of guilt, creating intimacy with others,acting with kindness and forebearance, and savoring JOY whenever possible, through moments of beauty, pleasure, grace, laughter, and connection. My soul-baring and literary-minded memoir is a chronicle of loss, hope, and redemption. I turned to reading as therapy, and found the power of books to help me reclaim my life.