Title: The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared
Author: Alice Ozma
What’s it about: Imagine someone looking at your life through the lens of one family tradition. I can’t think of many Thompson traditions that would lend themselves to such a view (chocolate chip pancakes on Saturday mornings probably wouldn’t offer much insight), but this book offers a fascinating glimpse at a father and daughter through one amazing tradition. When Alice was ten, she and her father made a deal that they would read aloud together every night, or he would read to her. They called it The Streak, and it lasted 3,218 nights — until he dropped her off at college.
Why did I read it: The author was highlighted in The Read Aloud Revival, a podcast I listen to, and I thought of The Streak was brilliant. I’ve read and listened to many parents talk about the value of reading aloud, and I was interested in the perspective of the read-to kid.
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What I thought: I really enjoyed it, even though I wasn’t always sure just what to think about the book. It’s neither a memoir nor an autobiography. (Thankfully. The author is lovely but far too young to write her memoirs.) It’s not exactly a family story, not exactly a coming of age story, but it’s a little bit of both. Mostly, it’s a story of a commitment to books and reading and the people who make those types of commitments.
Book people are a special tribe. I don’t mean just “people who read.” Lots of people read, but they’re not necessarily book people. By book people, I mean people who cherish books and stories, who find the characters and places in literature friends and places of refuge. Mostly this book is about book people, and how being a book person can carry you through the ups and downs of life.
But in chapter 28, you’re going to want to hit someone.
Where you can get it: Here! (af)