• My Life with Bob

  • Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues
  • By: Pamela Paul
  • Narrated by: Eileen Stevens, Pamela Paul
  • Length: 6 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (66 ratings)

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My Life with Bob

By: Pamela Paul
Narrated by: Eileen Stevens,Pamela Paul
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Publisher's Summary

"Pamela Paul, editor of the New York Times Book Review, and narrator Eileen Stevens make excellent partners for Paul's memoir. After a pleasant introduction by Paul herself, Stevens performs with such enthusiasm that she could be the author.... Stevens has a chipper delivery and audible expressiveness, which make her nice company as Paul travels the world and marries a couple of times. I found myself enjoying Paul's story enough to hope that she'd reinforced her floor to bear the weight of her excess reading material." (AudioFile magazine) 

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 28 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. 

©2017 Pamela Paul (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about My Life with Bob

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An uncanny mirror and a celebration of book love

I gasped in self-recognition at almost every part of this book. For me, too, all I ever want to do is read. I long to be swept to other places and and discover new ways of living through the books I read. I too have traveled alone all over the world, accompanied by books — and my own solo travels were inspired by the same women’s solo travel handbook that inspired Pamela. I also am a massive literary fan girl, and I started the Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley, California, now one of the largest book festivals in the country, because I too wanted to live deep inside the book world, wanted to meet the authors and others involved, wanted to engage in literary conversations. Of course I know of Pamela Paul, and I hope to meet her at some point, perhaps invite her to my own festival, so I can tell her how her Book of Bob story delighted me!

If you too are book nut, you’ll love this book. I listen on audio, which was great, and now plan to pick up the physical book so I can revisit some passages.

2 people found this helpful

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Enjoy books? You’ll see yourself in this one!

As a reader, I loved this book about a book of books! I found myself imagining the different scenes across chapters, feeling like I was living the story of Pamela Paul’s BOB, as she was sharing it.

The love of books is very apparent in her tone, and the word choices in some places astounded me with how particular, yet accessible, and perfectly placed, they were.

I wish I could write a more substantive review right now, but as I’m limited by time, I’ll just reiterate and expand upon the title of this one:

If you are a book lover, if you’ve read books throughout your whole life, or at any particular period of life, and if you find you’re one who can get lost in a book because you’re so eager to experience whatever the story may be, you will undoubtedly find yourself, or at least features of yourself, in various parts of this book.

Definitely recommend for book lovers, but I also recommend it for anyone who has the desire to read more and maybe needs a book that provides motivation, which is definitely accomplished here.

I came away from this book after pausing it many times to jot down words/definitions I may not know, as well as a list of books mentioned in this memoir, to add to my own to-be-read list.

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Joy

I loved this book. I want my friends, husband and children to read it . It reaffirms one of my passions and makes me proud of raising readers.

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a memoir in books sparks same

Pam Paul's very enjoyable memoir as reflected in a lifelong reading list. this book had me deep into Paul's life and reflecting on the role of books and words in my own story. a good, quick listen: thanks

1 person found this helpful