These Precious Days: Essays Pdf Summary
The beloved New York Times bestselling author reflects on home, family, friendships and writing in this deeply personal collection of essays.
“Any story that starts will also end.” As a writer, Ann Patchett knows what the outcome of her fiction will be. Life, however, often takes turns we do not see coming. Patchett ponders this truth in these wise essays that afford a fresh and intimate look into her mind and heart.
At the center of These Precious Days is the title essay, a suprising and moving meditation on an unexpected friendship that explores “what it means to be seen, to find someone with whom you can be your best and most complete self.” When Patchett chose an early galley of actor and producer Tom Hanks’ short story collection to read one night before bed, she had no idea that this single choice would be life changing. It would introduce her to a remarkable woman—Tom’s brilliant assistant Sooki—with whom she would form a profound bond that held monumental consequences for them both.
A literary alchemist, Patchett plumbs the depths of her experiences to create gold: engaging and moving pieces that are both self-portrait and landscape, each vibrant with emotion and rich in insight. Turning her writer’s eye on her own experiences, she transforms the private into the universal, providing us all a way to look at our own worlds anew, and reminds how fleeting and enigmatic life can be.
From the enchantments of Kate di Camilo’s children’s books to youthful memories of Paris; the cherished life gifts given by her three fathers to the unexpected influence of Charles Schultz’s Snoopy; the expansive vision of Eudora Welty to the importance of knitting, Patchett connects life and art as she illuminates what matters most. Infused with the author’s grace, wit, and warmth, the pieces in These Precious Days resonate deep in the soul, leaving an indelible mark—and demonstrate why Ann Patchett is one of the most celebrated writers of our time.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE
5.0 out of 5 stars I Want to Hug This Book! Brilliantly Written with Keen Insight These Essays Are a Treasure
Reviewed in the United States on February 28, 2022
This is a 10-star book in a five-star world.
If you’re an Ann Patchett fan, this is a must-read. If you’ve never heard of Ann Patchett, you still need to read this, but first treat yourself to one or two of her novels. I highly recommend “The Dutch House” and “Bel Canto.”
Each of these essays is a sparkling little gem, a valuable lesson in life, lessons in living and in dying. It could just be an astute observation or it could be a pithy little sentence that makes you go, “Yes! That’s it!”
I adored every single one of the essays, but just to whet your appetite, here is a sampling:
• “Three Fathers”: Ann Patchett had three fathers because her mother had three marriages, two of which ended in divorce. At her sister’s wedding, Ann realized all three of the men, who were never together for obvious reasons, would be in the same place at the same time. So she had her photo taken with them. One of the dads astutely observed to the other two, “You know what she’s going to do, don’t you? She’s going to wait until the three of us are dead and then she’s going to write about us. This is the picture that will run with the piece.” He was right.
• “The First Thanksgiving”: When Ann was a freshman at Sarah Lawrence College in New York City she couldn’t go home to Nashville, Tennessee for Thanksgiving. Because she didn’t know any one well enough to be invited home for the long weekend, she stayed in the dorm. What happened next is both hilarious and heartbreaking.
• “How to Practice”: A wise admonition to men and women of a certain age to get your house in order—clear the clutter, get your papers organized—long before you die so your children don’t have to do it for you.
• “Cover Stories”: A fascinating explanation of how book covers are created, specifically Ann Patchett’s book covers.
The best one, and that’s really saying a lot because they could all be considered “the best one,” is the title story, “These Precious Days,” in which Ann recounts her unlikely friendship with Tom Hanks’s personal assistant, Sooki. Have a box of tissues handy when you read this one.
Brilliantly written with keen insight these essays are, quite simply, a treasure. When you close the book on the last page, you will feel like Ann Patchett is your friend because you will know that much about her.
Bonus: I read this book, as I read every book, on my Kindle. But if you read the hardcover version (it’s not available in paperback yet), you get a double cover. The front and back covers are different. I had to Google it to see the back cover. Why? Read the essay “Cover Stories” to find out! (P.S. I just bought the hardcover version for just this reason.)
4.0 out of 5 stars Great essay collection from a gifted writer
Reviewed in the United States on May 1, 2022
Ann Patchett is one of my very favorite writers; I’ve read almost all if not every one of her novels. This collection of essays shows the same incredible flair with language, on a wonderfully varied series of topics.
She starts with the semi-hilarious tale of her three fathers, her birth father and her mother’s two subsequent husbands. While her own father actively discouraged her pursuit of a career in writing, her stepfather, a very successful surgeon, envied her choice – not to mention her success. She tells delicious stories of the many bad novels which he churned out, some of which she had to sell (if not tout) in her Nashville bookstore – even though they were uniformly dreadful.
Her Covid story has a great twist, with a guest of a few days becoming the third member of her household, staying for months while bringing all sorts of new factors into the household, almost all of them surprisingly good.
Some of the essays are but a few pages, the Covid tale is almost a novella. Her graceful prose is always a pleasure to read; her writing is fluid and elegant, like an excellent wine. (She likes wine.) I feel almost like I know her from the frank tales of her domestic life, even though we have, of course, never met.
During these busy holiday times, it was great to be able to pick up and put down this collection, so much easier to manage than an epic novel like LINCOLN HIGHWAY, my last venture. But a treat nonetheless.
5.0 out of 5 stars Page Turner
Reviewed in the United States on August 6, 2022
I admit to being a fan of Ann Patchett’s from the first book to the most recent. I was taken to this book by an interview on NPR that I heard this week, with readings from “These Precious Days.” The story of Sooki is enough reason to read it, but there is so much more richness. Something very personal of Ann comes across in these essays, and I wanted to reach out to her to thank her. This book is that good, so good. Get it, read it, give it to all of your friends.
About Ann Patchett Author of These Precious Days: Essays Pdf Book (Goodreads.com)
Ann Patchett Author of These Precious Days: Essays Pdf Book was born in Los Angeles, California. Her mother is the novelist Jeanne Ray.
She moved to Nashville, Tennessee when she was six, where she continues to live. Patchett said she loves her home in Nashville with her doctor husband and dog. If asked if she could go any place, that place would always be home. “Home is …the stable window that opens out into the imagination.”
Patchett attended high school at St. Bernard Academy, a private, non-parochial Catholic school for girls run by the Sisters of Mercy. Following graduation, she attended Sarah Lawrence College and took fiction writing classes with Allan Gurganus, Russell Banks, and Grace Paley. She later attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where she met longtime friend Elizabeth McCracken. It was also there that she wrote her first novel, The Patron Saint of Liars.
In 2010, when she found that her hometown of Nashville no longer had a good book store, she co-founded Parnassus Books with Karen Hayes; the store opened in November 2011. In 2012, Patchett was on the Time 100 list of most influential people in the world by TIME magazine.
These Precious Days: Essays pdf, Paperback, Hardcover Book Information
- Publisher : Harper; First Ed edition (November 23, 2021)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0063092786
- ISBN-13 : 978-0063092785
- Item Weight : 1.05 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.05 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #10,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #22 in Author Biographies
- #30 in Essays (Books)
- #132 in Women’s Biographies
- Customer Reviews: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3,921 ratings
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