"Pamela Paul, editor of the New York Times Book Review, and narrator Eileen Stevens make excellent partners for Paul's memoir. After a pleasant introduction by Paul herself, Stevens performs with such enthusiasm that she could be the author.... Stevens has a chipper delivery and audible expressiveness, which make her nice company as Paul travels the world and marries a couple of times. I found myself enjoying Paul's story enough to hope that she'd reinforced her floor to bear the weight of her excess reading material." (AudioFile magazine)
Imagine keeping a record of every book you've ever read. What would this reading trajectory say about you? With passion, humor, and insight, the editor of the New York Times Book Review shares the stories that have shaped her life.
Pamela Paul has kept a single book by her side for 28 years - carried throughout high school and college, hauled from Paris to London to Thailand, from job to job, safely packed away and then carefully removed from apartment to house to its current perch on a shelf over her desk - reliable if frayed, anonymous-looking yet deeply personal. This book has a name: Bob.
Bob is Paul's Book of Books, a journal that records every book she's ever read, from Sweet Valley High to Anna Karenina, from Catch-22 to Swimming to Cambodia, a journey in reading that reflects her inner life - her fantasies and hopes, her mistakes and missteps, her dreams and her ideas, both half-baked and wholehearted. Her life, in turn, influences the books she chooses, whether for solace or escape, information or sheer entertainment.
But My Life with Bob isn't really about those books. It's about the deep and powerful relationship between book and reader. It's about the way books provide each of us the perspective, courage, companionship, and imperfect self-knowledge to forge our own path. It's about why we read what we read and how those choices make us who we are. It's about how we make our own stories.