Posted 20 hours ago

No One Round Here Reads Tolstoy: Memoirs of a Working-Class Reader

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Books have always been a refuge and, as Hodkinson points out, they will wait when life is a little crazy, always being there for you when you are ready. Overall more than a love letter to the physical book ( he discusses kindles); a good account of where we are now with books and how personal that relationship can be. It’s about the schools, the music, the people – but pre-eminently and profoundly the books and authors that led the way and shaped his life.

His writing is clear and moving, especially the descriptions of his family and Grandad in particular. Although Hodkinson and I have very different taste in reading material, I recognised the relationship he has with his books; they are a place of refuge and safety away from a complicated world.A recent house move involved 100 boxes of books and so I could relate completely to the opening scene where the author is moving house and friends and family helping with the move ask him why he has so many books and how many he has.

Much the same as a walk in the countryside, it is a pure delight that doesn't alter - it was there before, last week, last year, even when you were a child. At the same time as he was absorbing fiction he was also learning to be a journalist, playing in a band and writing music columns.This develops into a memoir of his childhood (in the 1970s) and coming of age as a reader and eventually a working journalist.

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