Tolstoy And The Purple ChairTolstoy and the Purple Chair

My Year of Magical Reading

By Nina Sankovitch

I found this book after it had come out. Sadly, because my house is full of piles of books read and to read, new books either get read right away or read soon thereafter, or as in this case, long after soon thereafter. But, a powerful but, whenever a book makes its way to my hands and my heart, well it is ALWAYS PERFECT TIMING!

The book got purchased because it was a book about books along with a person’s real life. I love reading memoirs and non-fiction along with some fiction. I love learning about the world through other people’s personal experiences. I feel this is one of the best ways to do so.

If you are a lover of books, you will delight in this lovely purple book! I love the story about Nina’s purple chair as well!

Everywhere I have sought rest and not found it, except sitting in a corner by myself with a little book.”

Thomas A. Kempis

When the author mentioned The Elegance of the Hedgehog I felt like such a sophisticated literary person! For you see, I have this very same book in my house. I found the book at The Miami Book Fair one year. It is near MY SPECIAL CHAIR. I don’t have a purple chair like Nina, but I do have a special chair that is sitting in my library area. This chair was dreamed about, along with my library, years before they came into reality. My chair is a gorgeous rich chocolate colored fine leather chair with ottoman to match. I do feel so special while sitting in it. If I have a good book, it’s even better. Okay, back to this “Hedgehog” book, I was reminded about it and now I just had to read it, like sooner than I was planning to. It’s still near my special chair.

What did I ever give her?”

“The happiness of giving.”

Edith Wharton

I connected with the author’s story about her dad and about his war experiences. My grandparents were in World War II. They too held secrets. Their hearts too held unbelievable sadness. This quote has stayed with me; “The Wolf will have to pay for the sheep’s tears.” This was spoken to her father by a Red Army officer. My heart responded and knew I just read truth. Her father had many memories from the war and many memories of his family. This author and I had something in common, well, only to when her father started writing out his memories. She and I at one time both did not know the full extent of our family history. I have been doing family history research. Unfortunately, my grandparents are no longer living, so learning directly from the source will never be. Once her dad started writing out memories, Nina was shocked, surprised, but ultimately blessed to have learned so much about her father and about what he had experienced and endured. Before my grandmother died, she started sharing some of her deep rooted secrets. Just the tiny bit that was shared and written down by my aunt was enough to forever hold my heart. I will be writing about my grandmother’s story someday. I also know I will know more about my family history someday. I believe our family history is a rich valuable priceless heritage for each of us to attain and have. My heart was sad too while new truth slowly emerged. The reality of evil in our world is all too real. The sweet thing though, is many many people come through such travesty and tragedy. These people all should be honored. They are the real heroes in our world.

Perfectly said;

“The only balm to sorrow is memory; the only salve for the pain of losing someone to death is acknowledging the life that existed before. Remembering someone won’t literally bring them back, and for one who died too young, memories are not enough to make up for all the possibilities of life that they lost out on. Bet remembrance is the bones around which a body of resilience is built. I think my father found an answer to how his mother continued on, and he found a way to go on himself. He wrote a history for me to read. Stories helped him, and stories were helping me, both the stories of my father and the stories in all the books I was reading.”

“The truth of living is proved not by the inevitability of death but by the wonder that we lived at all. Remembering lives from the past ratifies that truth, more and more so the older we get.” (p. 73)

“May I tell you why it seems to me a good thing for us, to remember wrong that has been done us?”


“That we may forgive it.”

Charles Dickens

TRUE THAT! Forgiveness sets us free! When we are able to forgive the one who hurt us the most, guess what? Guess who benefits THE MOST? We do! Try it and see. Forgive the one who has hurt you. Forgive all who have hurt you. You will find FREEDOM.

This book is summed up for me by these words written by the author:

“Those two books—and all the great books I was reading—were about the complexity and entirety of the human experience. About the things we wish to forget and those we want more and more of. About how we react and how we wish we could react. Books areexperience, the words of authors proving the solace of love, the fulfillment of family, the torment of war, and the wisdom of memory. Joy and tears, pleasure and pain: everything came to me while I read in my purple chair. I had never sat so still, and yet experienced so much.” (pg. 139)

As always, I am just giving you all a tiny taste of what’s between the pages…I had many more pages folded over because they hit me in one good way or another.

Get this book and sit in your favorite chair and ENJOY!


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