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Books that Saved My Life

Books that Saved My Life: Reading for Wisdom, Solace and Pleasure

Michael McGirr

Great literature is thrilling. It will feed your hungry mind and take your heart on a journey. It will help you on the wonderful path to one of life’s most elusive and hard-won freedoms, freedom from the ego.

Here is a book about the sheer joy of living, exploring forty texts that can enrich us in all manner of ways. Some are recent, such as Harry Potter; some ancient, such as Homer and Lao Tzu. There are memoirs (Nelson Mandela), poetry (Les Murray) and many of the world’s great novels, from George Eliot’s Middlemarch to Toni Morrison’s Beloved. This book uses them to muse upon life in all its glorious complexity.

Our guide, in entertaining short accounts of personal encounters with these works, is Michael McGirr: schoolteacher and father, reviewer of hundreds of books and lifelong lover of literature. His humour and insight shine through in essays that connect the texts he has selected with each other, and connect us to them.

This is the ideal companion for a keen reader—and it may just inspire someone you know to become one, too. Never prescriptive, and often very funny, Books that Saved My Life is an invitation to reflect on the extraordinary gift of reading. ‘It is a gift that is taking me a lifetime to unwrap,’ McGirr writes. ‘The excitement has never worn off.’

Michael McGirr
About the Author

Michael McGirr is the bestselling author of Snooze, Bypass and Things You Get for Free. He has reviewed almost one thousand books, his short fiction has appeared in publications in Australia and overseas, and he has been publisher of Eureka Street and fiction editor of Meanjin. He is a high-school teacher and lives in Melbourne with his wife,...

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Extent:
320pp
Format:
Hardback
Text publication date:
29 October 2018
ISBN:
9781925773149
AU Price:
$34.99
NZ Price:
$40.00
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Praise for Michael McGirr
andBooks that Saved My Life

‘For those of us similarly saved by, shaped by, the books we have loved, McGirr’s beautiful essays will be deeply fortifying. The sensibility that ties them all together is both edifying and intimate; this, too, is a book that will save.’

‘His anecdotes will make you laugh out loud. If you haven’t read any books by him before, seek them out.’

Books that Saved My Life captivated my immediate interest…[It] roams widely across genres…This is not a prescriptive book, instead one where McGirr shares tales of connection.’

‘[McGirr’s] clever wit and intellect shines through…fabulous stuff.’

‘[A] gentle, joyful take on a roll call of authors from Joseph Conrad, Charlotte Bronte and Shakespeare to Nelson Mandela and J. K. Rowling.’

‘McGirr is an inspired synthesiser, serious in intent even while riotous in execution.’

‘Readers will come for the humour, but they’ll stay for McGirr’s haunting memories…brimming with lyrical insight and earthy humour, this debut is a rare treat.’

Other editions ofBooks that Saved My Life
  • Books that Saved My Life
    ebook
    ISBN: 9781925774054
    29 October 2018
    Buy ebook
Other Titles byMichael McGirr