“It's hard to imagine anybody who won't wish this book were five times its length, filled with five times as many memories happy and sad, and five times as many reading discoveries made in the teeth of boredom, distraction, and personal tragedy.”
Christian Science Monitor
“A joyful recollection of a childhood spent reading”
Washington Independent Review of Books
Growing up in a mill town in Rhode Island, in a household that didn’t foster a love of literature, Hood discovered nonetheless the transformative power of books. She learned to channel her imagination, ambitions, and curiosity by devouring ever-growing stacks. In Morningstar, Hood recollects how The Bell Jar, Marjorie Morningstar, The Harrad Experiment, and The Outsidersinfluenced her teen psyche and introduced her to topics that could not be discussed at home: desire, fear, sexuality, and madness. Later, Johnny Got His Gun and The Grapes of Wrathdramatically influenced her political thinking, while the Vietnam War and the Kent State shootings became headline news and classics such as Dr. Zhivago and Les Misérables stoked her ambitions to travel the world. With characteristic insight and charm, Hood showcases the ways in which books gave her life and can transform―even save―our own lives.