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How to Read a Book by Monica Wood
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How to Read a Book

A Novel

$29.39

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Narrator Eileen Stevens

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Length 10 hours 18 minutes
Language English
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""The perfect pick to really light a fire under my book club, and yours....A reminder that goodness, and books, can still win in this world."" —New York Times Book Review

""A beautiful, big-hearted treasure of a novel."" —Lily King

National Bestseller * From the award-winning author of The One-in-a-Million Boy comes a heartfelt, uplifting novel about a chance encounter at a bookstore, exploring redemption, unlikely friendships, and the life-changing power of sharing stories.

Our Reasons meet us in the morning and whisper to us at night. Mine is an innocent, unsuspecting, eternally sixty-one-year-old woman named Lorraine Daigle…

Violet Powell, a twenty-two-year-old from rural Abbott Falls, Maine, is being released from prison after serving twenty-two months for a drunk-driving crash that killed a local kindergarten teacher.

Harriet Larson, a retired English teacher who runs the prison book club, is facing the unsettling prospect of an empty nest.

Frank Daigle, a retired machinist, hasn’t yet come to grips with the complications of his marriage to the woman Violet killed.

When the three encounter each other one morning in a bookstore in Portland—Violet to buy the novel she was reading in the prison book club before her release, Harriet to choose the next title for the women who remain, and Frank to dispatch his duties as the store handyman—their lives begin to intersect in transformative ways.

How to Read a Book is an unsparingly honest and profoundly hopeful story about letting go of guilt, seizing second chances, and the power of books to change our lives. With the heart, wit, grace, and depth of understanding that has characterized her work, Monica Wood illuminates the decisions that define a life and the kindnesses that make life worth living. 

""A deeply humane and touching novel; highly recommended for book clubs and fans of Shelby Van Pelt's Remarkably Bright Creatures."" — Booklist

Monica Wood is a novelist, memoirist, and playwright; a recipient of the Maine Humanities Council Carlson Prize for contributions to the public humanities; and a recipient of the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance Distinguished Achievement Award for contributions to the literary arts. She lives in Portland, Maine, with her husband, Dan Abbott, and their cat, Susie.

Buy one get one free

This month only!

Become a member and shop our members-only, 10th anniversary buy-one-get-one sale in support of local bookstores.

Get started
Celebrate our 10th Anniversary with giveaways, merch, and more! Learn more