Bookworm: A Memoir of Childhood Reading

Mangan, Lucy

  19 Reviews

'Bookworm', a peculiar description when you think about it, but nonetheless one many of us would be happy to claim for ourselves. Kindred spirit Lucy Mangan lives up to this sobriquet, passionately chronicling her childhood reading adventures, as well as pondering the history of writing for children.

A delightfully nostalgic memoir recalling past literary encounters and acknowledging the power of books and reading to shape our lives. A must-read for fellow bookworms.



WELL 016
Thoroughly enjoyed the humour and memories of childhood reading.
Despite the vote of '3', we had a very lively and interesting discussion. Author a lot younger, so lots of titles unknown to older participants.
This was polarising!! Comments went from "Boring...hated it" to one member who had gone out and bought 2 copies for family. Most of us loved it! Would have liked more about the books and authors, and a littler less of the author!
AUCK 014
A huge spread of opinion in our group (1-4), though most agreed that to enjoy it fully an interest and passion about childhood literature was necessary. Very well written, but almost overwritten, even for enthusiasts! For a non-fiction book, there was some personal narrative that held it together. Deeply funny in places but 'dry as an old cracker' in others. That said, we had a great discussion, one of our longest 'on point' meetings. Lucy Mangan really knows her stuff, and we learned lots of new words. Reading through other reviews, it seems our group experience was similar. Excellent notes.
TAUR 009
Only a few of the group read this book. Overall they enjoyed it; they commented on the humour and the amazing use of words.
WELL 008
The book inspired very interesting discussion.
We did enjoy sharing our own memories of childhood reading and books we loved. But we all gained much from the reading of this book - ideas for books to give grandchildren, thoughts of re-reading old books, wise comments on the influence of books...very worthwhile.
CHCH 052
Once again, without a meeting, it's hard to represent a group view but several members spoken to (particularly the childhood bookworms like Lucy) enjoyed a trip down memory lane. Lucy has a wicked sense of humour that we enjoyed. Interesting insights and opinions on familiar works esp. children's literature. Well worth it.
Responses to this memoir were variable. One of our group grew up in South Africa and none of the early childhood readings in this memoir were familiar to her. Others enjoyed the humour and the clever writing and the pertinent figures of speech and the descriptive family life...
MAST 008
Group was almost equally divided. It was a book that resonated with all as bookworms, but some loved the style and others disliked the style and use of hyperbole. It was a book that everyone expected to relate to, but as our group is mainly over 65, the books referred to were often not ones we read when young.
The book did not appeal to one member of the group but the rest found it so entertaining you couldn't help but enjoy it. Even if you hadn't read the books, the author's love and enthusiasm came through on every page. Our discussion was a trip down memory lane as we recalled the favourite books of our childhood.
Mixed reaction in our group. Some loved it and how it brought back fond memories. Others didn't relate, didn't know many of the books mentioned, and thought it was self indulgent.
We had a wonderful discussion about the books we read as children - however not so enthralled with the book.
AUCK 006
The group was puzzled how to describe this book. We were very impressed with the number of books she had read, and several of us were pleased that Lucy Mangan read and re-read her favourite books. However, being of an older generation, there were many titles that she read that we hadn't, so found it difficult to appreciate her notes on the titles. In the end we chose to discuss the books we read as children, using the questions as a starting point and had a lovely session of reminiscences, something we haven't had for some time.
WELL 150
A lovely trip down memory lane for many of us.
WELL 060
Not everyone liked the book, but we had an interesting discussion about our own childhood reading.
PICT 001
Generally favourable. Some found it long, and hard to focus when we weren't familiar with the stories.
PICT 005
Group all related to the first half as the writing style appealed, but it "petered out" in the second half.
WELL 046
Most of the group loved this book, and some brought along or recalled childhood books that had made a big impact earlier in life ( and in some cases, that had not stood the test of time!). A very Anglo-centric book - a few of us fondly recalled the New Zealand and Australian children's books that we had enjoyed.