Close cookie details

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav

My Life with Bob

Cover of My Life with Bob

My Life with Bob

Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues
Borrow Borrow Borrow

People Pick

  • O Magazine Title to Pick Up Now
  • Vanity Fair Hot Type
  • Glamour New Book You're Guaranteed to Love This Summer
  • LitHub.com Best Book about Books
  • Buzzfeed Book You Need to Read This Summer
  • Seattle Times Book for Summer Reading
  • Warby Parker Blog Book Pick
  • Google Talks
  • Harper's Bazaar
  • Vogue
  • The Washington Post
  • The Economist
  • The Christian Science Monitor
  • Salon
  • The Atlantic

    Imagine keeping a record of every book you've ever read. What would this reading trajectory say about you? With passion, humor, and insight, the editor of The New York Times Book Review shares the stories that have shaped her life.

    Pamela Paul has kept a single book by her side for twenty-eight years – carried throughout high school and college, hauled from Paris to London to Thailand, from job to job, safely packed away and then carefully removed from apartment to house to its current perch on a shelf over her desk – reliable if frayed, anonymous-looking yet deeply personal. This book has a name: Bob.

    Bob is Paul's Book of Books, a journal that records every book she's ever read, from Sweet Valley High to Anna Karenina, from Catch-22 to Swimming to Cambodia, a journey in reading that reflects her inner life – her fantasies and hopes, her mistakes and missteps, her dreams and her ideas, both half-baked and wholehearted. Her life, in turn, influences the books she chooses, whether for solace or escape, information or sheer entertainment.

    But My Life with Bob isn't really about those books. It's about the deep and powerful relationship between book and reader. It's about the way books provide each of us the perspective, courage, companionship, and imperfect self-knowledge to forge our own path. It's about why we read what we read and how those choices make us who we are. It's about how we make our own stories.

  • People Pick

  • O Magazine Title to Pick Up Now
  • Vanity Fair Hot Type
  • Glamour New Book You're Guaranteed to Love This Summer
  • LitHub.com Best Book about Books
  • Buzzfeed Book You Need to Read This Summer
  • Seattle Times Book for Summer Reading
  • Warby Parker Blog Book Pick
  • Google Talks
  • Harper's Bazaar
  • Vogue
  • The Washington Post
  • The Economist
  • The Christian Science Monitor
  • Salon
  • The Atlantic

    Imagine keeping a record of every book you've ever read. What would this reading trajectory say about you? With passion, humor, and insight, the editor of The New York Times Book Review shares the stories that have shaped her life.

    Pamela Paul has kept a single book by her side for twenty-eight years – carried throughout high school and college, hauled from Paris to London to Thailand, from job to job, safely packed away and then carefully removed from apartment to house to its current perch on a shelf over her desk – reliable if frayed, anonymous-looking yet deeply personal. This book has a name: Bob.

    Bob is Paul's Book of Books, a journal that records every book she's ever read, from Sweet Valley High to Anna Karenina, from Catch-22 to Swimming to Cambodia, a journey in reading that reflects her inner life – her fantasies and hopes, her mistakes and missteps, her dreams and her ideas, both half-baked and wholehearted. Her life, in turn, influences the books she chooses, whether for solace or escape, information or sheer entertainment.

    But My Life with Bob isn't really about those books. It's about the deep and powerful relationship between book and reader. It's about the way books provide each of us the perspective, courage, companionship, and imperfect self-knowledge to forge our own path. It's about why we read what we read and how those choices make us who we are. It's about how we make our own stories.

  • Available formats-
    • Kindle Book
    • OverDrive Read
    • EPUB eBook
    Languages:-
    Copies-
    • Available:
      1
    • Library copies:
      1
    Levels-
    • ATOS:
    • Lexile:
    • Interest Level:
    • Text Difficulty:

    Recommended for you


    About the Author-
    • Pamela Paul is the editor of The New York Times Book Review and the author of By the Book; Parenting, Inc.; Pornified; and The Starter Marriage and the Future of Matrimony. Prior to joining the Times, she was a contributor toTimemagazine and The Economist, and her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and Vogue. She and her family live in New York.
    Reviews-
    • Publisher's Weekly

      Starred review from February 20, 2017
      New York Times Book Review editor Paul (The Starter Marriage) takes the term bookworm to a new level in this unusual and intriguing memoir about intermingling her life with the books she’s read. Since high school, Paul has entered every book she’s read (beginning with Kafka’s The Trial) in a battered journal she named Bob (Book of Books); continuing the habit in far-flung destinations in the 1980s and ’90s (Cambodia, China, France, Thailand, Vietnam), she recorded the books that she took along with her. Unlike a diary of thoughts and events she’d like to forget, Bob contains info she wants to remember. Paul was a book-smart, unsociable child growing up on Long Island, the sole girl among seven brothers whose parents divorced when she was “three or four”; books were and remain her refuge, companions, and obsession. She worked at bookstore chain B. Dalton and then in marketing, and eventually landed a job at the New York Times Book Review. After the birth of her third child, she remained in the hospital an extra day to finish The Hunger Games, later finding breastfeeding to be a perfect opportunity for reading. Gazing back through Bob’s pages, Paul is inspired to question why we read, how we read, what we read, and how reading helps us create our own narratives. Readers will be drawn to this witty and authentic tribute to the extraordinary power of books.

    • Kirkus

      March 1, 2017
      The editor of the New York Times Book Review writes about a book journal begun in adolescence that unexpectedly came to chronicle her own life story.As a child, Paul (Parenting, Inc.: How the Billion-Dollar Baby Business Has Changed the Way We Raise Our Children, 2008, etc.) found her greatest solace in books. They were private spaces where she could safely indulge her most intimate obsessions with and curiosities about any topic. The author's first effort at writing her own narratives ended with her feeling disgusted at the angst-ridden teen humiliations she routinely "vomit[ed]" into her diary. Her second, more successful effort consisted of a list that cataloged every book she had read, her "Book of Books," or "BOB." On this plain, gray book's unlined pages, Paul was able to "take charge of my own story and make it better" while maintaining both the objectivity and anonymity she prized. It was only much later that she realized Bob also granted access to "where I've been, psychologically and geographically," at different periods in her life. The Norton Anthology of English Literature recalled her college years and how the university was "full of lessons about just how much I didn't know." A memory of how she had mistranslated another title, The Grapes of Wrath ("what had I said? The Plums of Fury"), for her French study-abroad host family reminded her of the escape Paris would come to represent after she started her professional life. Some books, like Thalia Zapatos' A Journey of One's Own, inspired Paul to take leaps of faith that led to several years of traveling around the world and temporary residence in Thailand. Others, like Lucy Grealy's The Autobiography of a Face, helped her cope with major life crises. Intelligent, unique, and wise, Paul's book not only remembers a life lived among and influenced by books. It also reveals how the most interesting stories exist less as words printed on pages and more as "stories that lie between book and reader." A thoughtfully engaging memoir of a life in books.

      COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

    • Library Journal

      January 1, 2017
      Of course you want to know what book the editor of the New York Times Book Review has been carrying around with her since high school. Actually, it's a battered journal called Bob that chronicles every book she's read.

      Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

    Title Information+
    • Publisher
      Henry Holt and Co.
    • Kindle Book
      Release date:
    • OverDrive Read
      Release date:
    • EPUB eBook
      Release date:
    Digital Rights Information+
    • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

    Status bar:

    You've reached your checkout limit.

    Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

    You already have this title checked out.

    Want to go to your Checkouts?

    Recommendation Limit Reached.

    You've reached the maximum number of titles you can recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 5 titles every 30 day(s).

    Sign in to recommend this title.

    Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

    Enhanced Details

    Limited availability

    Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

    is available for days.

    Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

    Permissions

    The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

    Holds

    Total holds:


    Restricted

    Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

    You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

    To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

    Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

    There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

    Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

    You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

    This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

    An unexpected error has occurred.

    If this problem persists, please contact support.

    NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

    Buy it now
    and help our library WIN!
    My Life with Bob
    My Life with Bob
    Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues
    Pamela Paul
    Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
    A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
    Clicking on the 'Buy It Now' link will cause you to leave the library download platform website. The content of the retail website is not controlled by the library. Please be aware that the website does not have the same privacy policy as the library or its service providers.

    There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

    Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

    You will be prompted to sign into your library account on the next page.

    If this is your first time selecting “Send to NOOK,” you will then be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

    The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

    You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

    Accept to ContinueCancel