Dear Reader: The Comfort and Joy of Books by Cathy Rentzenbrink
For as long as she can remember, Cathy Rentzenbrink has lost and found herself in stories. Growing up she was rarely seen without her nose in a book and read in secret long after lights out. When tragedy struck, books kept her afloat. Eventually they lit the way to a new path, first as a bookseller and then as a writer. No matter what the future holds, reading will always help.
Dear Reader is a moving, funny and joyous exploration of how books can change the course of your life, packed with recommendations from one reader to another.
Last week I wrote my review for one of the most beautiful books of this year and then deleted it as I believe it did not do it justice. Dear Reader: The Comfort and Joy of Books (Picador) by Cathy Rentzenbrink is really a life full of the love of books.
There is nothing better that having conversations about reading and our favourite books, and those that we have loved throughout our life. Like a song that is played on the radio that can stop you in your tracks and bring back a memory, special books can also play exactly the same role in our lives.
Dear Reader is Cathy Rentzenbrink’s memoir of her favourite books that have been a great comfort through her life as a reader, bookseller and also writer and journalist. Cathy has had a career in bookselling starting at Harrods and then moving to Waterstones and then became manager of her own Waterstones store later moving to The Bookseller. Not an easy start at first but the hard work soon paid off. Cathy is nothing but inspirational to anyone who loves books.
What you find in Dear Reader is Cathy’s unique warmth as she takes the reader through her life. It is moving and yet there are humorous moments that stand out. But anyone who has read The Last Act of Love will know that Cathy’s life has not been without tragedy and through those dark times books kept her going. As she says in the pages of Dear Reader, that reading has saved her life time and time again. This is a book that you will find that is like sitting in a coffee shop and having a warm conversation with a close friend.
During these difficult days, Dear Reader is like a harbour on a stormy night safe in words of comfort. I have already purchased a copy for a close friend in need. There are many reading recommendations throughout and Dear Reader is one book I am delighted highly recommend.
Cathy Rentzenbrink (@CatRentzenbrink)
Picador Books (@picadorbooks)
Thank you Camilla Elworthy (Pan Macmillan) for the review copy of Dear Reader by Cathy Rentzenbrink