In the introduction of Book Girl, Sarah Clarkson states that this book “celebrates not just the gifts of the reading life, but also the rich life of the reading woman (pg. xv).” It's a broad statement that covers the next 200+ pages and it delivers on the promise. Repeatedly, Sarah shows through her personal story as well as research and careful observations, what a gift that reading is. There's a strong emphasis on reading to children and passing on the joy of reading.
Book Girl has ten chapters, most of which have two or three sections. Each section pertains to a general idea or topic and often begins with an introduction including personal examples or research. The reading lists cover many topics including: books about reading, biographies, girlhood classics, spiritual classics, poetry, books about the arts, and much more. There are over twenty reading lists. Each book title listed includes at least a brief description of the book, and often, considerably more, but no spoilers.
As soon as I saw Book Girl, I was immediately interested. The cover is as classy as the content inside. This book was pure joy for me to read because I love books and I love being introduced to new books. Sarah's writing style was lovely, likely influenced by the amazing writers she has been reading all her life! Sarah shared much of her personal life and it felt like she was a friend by the time I was a few chapters in. I have read only a handful of the books on her lists, but I felt that I could trust her judgment to point me in the right direction of a good book.
In the first chapter of Book Girl, Sarah states that she lists what she loves (pg 3). She unabashedly proclaims her love of C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, Wendell Berry, and the Anne of Green Gables series. While her lists are written from a mindset of “this is what I love” instead of “this is what might interest my audience”, I found her book descriptions helpful and it was easy to determine if a book she recommended might be a good fit for me. To that end, I've already purchased two books that she recommended when I happened upon them at my local used book store.
I loved Book Girl and I recommend it to all women, especially Christians. There is a definite Christian worldview. I am not sure if the book would be enjoyable to non-Christians as Sarah discusses her faith frequently. However, the topics cover a wide range of books, many of which are classic books that are not expressly Christian, but from which a Christian may derive a spiritual truth.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."