The Simple Act of Reading by Debra Adelaide
I love books about books! This one is from an Australian publisher and is a collection of essays from Australian authors writing about books they've connected with and how it affects their writing. I'm a sucker for this kind of thing. It's definitely comfort reading for me.
The one theme I saw repeated throughout the book is that reading is a door to another world. It was beautifully restated throughout the book, but that was the main point. Many of the authors had difficult childhoods they escaped from through reading. One of my favorites was Carrie Tiffany's essay "Wessex" which was about her experience living in the outback as a park ranger and having to get her books from a library umpteen miles away. The librarian chose books for her and sent them on a bus with the tourists who were coming. It was written so magnificently that I, who have never been to Australia, could perfectly picture the forbidding terrain and the lone person in the camper reading books in the fading light.
As an American, I didn't recognize some of the titles that were mentioned by the authors, but I didn't feel like I was missing out. Book lovers are the same the world over, and I could definitely relate to the feelings the authors related.
The proceeds for this book go to the Sydney Story Factory which provides encouragement in reading and writing for disadvantaged kids.
I received this book as an Advanced Reader Copy on Netgalley.com.