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As book reviewer for NPR’s Fresh Air, Maureen Corrigan literally reads for a living. Now Corrigan has added a volume of her own to the shelf of classics, by reading her life of reading with all the attention to complexity, wit, and intelligence that any good book–or life–deserves.
In this delightful memoir, Corrigan reveals which books and authors have shaped her own life–from classic works of English literature to hard-boiled detective novels, and everything in between. And in her explorations of the heroes and heroines throughout literary history, Corrigan’s love for a good story shines.
“Irresistible. . . . Corrigan has some wonderful insights. . . . Book lovers will be busy checking her lists, searching for new ‘leave me alone’ titles.” —The Washington Post Book World
“Corrigan’s eclectic taste and skillful assessment of new writers as well as those long dead are particularly astute.” —USA Today
“[A] brilliant and funny narrative of [Corrigan’s] own reading life, which ranges from her Catholic childhood to graduate school and a career as a professional reader. . . . Utterly original.” —Chicago Tribune
“Corrigan is erudite without being the least bit pretentious. . . . Dipping into Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading is a little like visiting that friend whose house is always full of books and who always sends you home with one you’re excited to read.”—Detroit Free-Press
“A wonderful work that strikes a pitch-perfect balance between erudite literary criticism and common sense.” —The Columbus Dispatch
“A fine apology for bibliophilia. . . . [Corrigan] segues from perceptive discussion of novels by Austen, the Brontës and Anna Quindlen to her own life, including her journey to China to adopt a child. . . . Funny and insightful. . . . A celebration of the fellowship of bookworms.” —San Jose Mercury News
“Corrigan deals . . . with that intimate connection between reading and life, launching many of her critiques with personal anecdotes in a seamless blend of autobiography, literary criticism and essay.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“What will most draw fellow bookworms in and delight them about Corrigan’s book is her appreciation of how books can be like people— affecting you in ways you were not expecting, pushing you when you need the push, and forcing you to look at your own life differently. . . . [A] heart-felt journey through life and literature and its transects.” —Gothamist.com
“[Corrigan is] an intelligent, unpretentious critic whose love of books—all kinds of books—comes across in both her radio reviews and her engaging new memoir. . . . Engrossing.” —The Journal News (Westchester County, New York)
“An educated and engaging discussion of some of the author’s favorite books and how she thinks they’ve affected her life. . . . A thoughtfully assembled reading list . . . should inspire you to explore some of the books she mentions.” —New York Post
“For anyone who regards a trip to the bookstore as an all-day event or who might judge new acquaintances by the number of volumes in their living rooms, Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading is a must read.” —The Portland Tribune
“It’s always fascinating to read someone on how her life has been changed by reading, especially one of America’s most perceptive book critics. You find yourself comparing your reactions to hers and learning about books you want to read. But this reflective and entertaining memoir is about more than just books. It’s about being a daughter and an adoptive mother, a student and a teacher, a feminist and a skeptical Catholic–about being Maureen Corrigan. Learning about Maureen’s life made me think about how my own life was shaped by books.” –Terry Gross, host of NPR’s Fresh Air
“If you wonder about the secret life of bookworms, this is the book that will open up the rich rewards of going around with your nose stuck in a book. Corrigan’s narrative is delightful, absorbing, and engaging, with surprising leaps between the books she reads and the story of her own life.” –Bobbie Ann Mason, author of An Atomic Romance
“ ‘Leave me alone, I’m reading’ is precisely what you will be insisting when you have Maureen Corrigan’s splendid memoir in your hands. What a great piece of work! The author not only writes about books in her customary incisive and beguiling manner, but also shows how books can change someone’s life. Whether your taste runs to Pride and Prejudice or The Maltese Falcon, you will love Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading. It’s the book for people who love books.” –Susan Isaacs, author of Any Place I Hang My Hat
“From the first page of the introduction to Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading, I knew I was in the hands of another book luster. I valued her insights into contemporary and classical literature and the connections she made to her own life, but I especially loved her enthusiasm for books and the act of reading.” –Nancy Pearl, author of More Book Lust: Recommended Readings for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason