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Bookworm

A Memoir of Childhood Reading
Narrated by: Lucy Mangan
Length: 7 hrs and 27 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When Lucy Mangan was little, stories were everything. They opened up new worlds and cast light on all the complexities she encountered in this one.

She was whisked away to Narnia and Kirrin Island and Wonderland. She ventured down rabbit holes and womble burrows into midnight gardens and chocolate factories. She wandered the countryside with Milly-Molly-Mandy and played by the tracks with the Railway Children. With Charlotte's Web she discovered death, and with Judy Blume it was boys. No wonder she left the house only for her weekly trip to the library or to spend her pocket money on amassing her own at home.

In Bookworm, Lucy revisits her childhood reading with wit, love and gratitude. She relives our best-beloved books and their extraordinary creators and looks at the thousand subtle ways they shape our lives. She also disinters a few forgotten treasures to inspire the next generation of bookworms and set them on their way.

Lucy brings the favourite characters of our collective childhoods back to life - prompting endless rereadings, rediscoveries, and, inevitably, fierce debate - and brilliantly uses them to tell her own story, that of a born and unrepentant bookworm.

Cover credit: Laura Barrett

©2018 Lucy Mangan (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Best suited for a British audience

While I appreciated the author’s passion for books, I came to realize that she and I had read only a handful of the same books. Being British, she recounts the huge volume of books she read during her childhood, and of course the majority were written by British authors.

I had not heard of, let alone read, most of them. There were many examples of classic children’s literature she did not mention or include, which disappointed me, and even with the books we both have in common, our views are miles apart on about half of them.

While it was kind of thrilling to hear her extol the wonders and virtues of one particular and beloved book we both treasure, I found my attention drifting away through much of the rest of the book.

The author performs her own narration, and I have to say between her accent, her speed, and some volume issues, it was perhaps not the best choice.

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Interesting look at literature

It was interesting, particularly some of the historical tidbits that were shared about authors and books. At times, I felt like it was a survey of British literature but as she moved into adolescent books I started recognizing more of the titles.

A free audiobook was provided by Audible.

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A pure delight!

I can't say enough good things about Mangan's memoir. Her writing is smart, warm, and oh so relatable. I loved the audiobook so much that I ordered several copies of the hard copy and forced them on my mom, sister, and kindred-spirit friends.

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  • Chella Quint
  • 10-10-18

just utterly fabulous.

I was delighted, moved and reminded of the best books and the best bits of my childhood. I laughed six different kinds of laugh and three different kinds of cry, including that ugly snivelling cry that can win actors a Bafta. Thank you, wonderful Lucy Mangan for this excellent history of children's literature by way of '80s kid memoir, love story, and recommended reading list.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-10-18

reliving my youth

loved this, was as of I was back to my own childhood. I got excited every time she talked about a book I had read. easy listening and well read.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Gillian M.
  • 07-17-19

An Emotional & Joyous read

I am wondering if I am Lucy Mangan. So many book memories were stirred & I recaptured that strong emotional attachment to certain books. Some were not from my childhood but from my children’s ( The Owl who was afraid of the dark) . Im now going to find & re-read some old favourites and also seek out some that I missed (Toms Midnight Garden). I could have had a little weep at the end! Weirdly she also references Preston (a place of almost no fame but it’s where Ive lived since 1980 - having moved from North London!

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 06-08-19

Nostalgia-fest

Lucy Mangan is of a similar age to myself and so a lot of her nostalgic book reflections echo with me - lovely to have that trip back in time and come out with a list of titles to go searching the internet for ☺

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  • Vivienne Darwent
  • 05-18-19

This is me

I feel this is the story of me. Every book worn should read this and relive all those precious memories and books.

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  • Jenny J
  • 05-02-19

Would be wonderful if delivery was slowed down

I so enjoyed this audiobook, which reminded me of my own childhood, when I was always curled up with a much loved book of one kind or another. My mother used to despair of ever getting me to the dinner table, so I could really identify with the author! This book was written with a delightful enthusiasm, and Lucy’s genuine love of her early books shone through. But oh how I wished she could have slowed down her delivery! She seemed to gabble on so quickly that I hardly had time to smile or digest one idea before she had raced onto the next! A lovely book, so interesting too, but would love to hear it recorded again at a slower pace. Thank you to Lucy though for the delight of unexpectedly stumbling upon this treasure trove.

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  • J. Pritchard
  • 04-22-19

I wish I’d had a friend like Lucy

I really loved this audiobook. Read beautifully by the author, it brought back such joyful memories not only about the books but about the experience of being a bookworm. I neither experienced or looked for the bond between girls at school preferring to lose myself in a story, a trait that I’ve taken through my adult life. How wonderful to hear similar sentiments, I feel worthy despite my preference for reading in the garden over serving cocktails and conversation. I never finished all the Narnia books or managed to read Alice in Wonderland and never heard of the phantom tollbooth but it doesn’t matter that I am nearing 60 now, I am tracking down the books I missed for a thoroughly rewarding catch-up

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  • NotTreadingGrapes
  • 04-06-19

This book is about me

Has sent me scuttling off to eBay to hunt out all the versions of the books I read as a child. Thank you Lucy Mangan.

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  • Katharine
  • 03-24-19

Childhood reading

Engaging memoir of childhood reading. I am older than the author and our literary tastes don't always coincide but I fully empathised with her total engagement with reading as a child. I would have liked a little more about the history of the various genres of children's literature and a little less about her attempts to persuade her child to read the same books as she did but I found this an enjoyable listen. It is nicely read by the author herself which gives an authenticity to the tone which it might have lacked from another reader.

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  • Amanda
  • 03-23-19

Joy and comfort

Familiar, moving and delivered with wry wit and humour. The audio book reading reminds me of the most endearing elements of listening to Jeanette Winterson novels.

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  • Judy Byrne
  • 09-15-18

A Feast

I loved this. Conventional wisdom is that people should not read their own books. But no one could have read this as well. And Lucy writes so wonderfully.