Morningstar by Ann Hood


A memoir about the magic and inspiration of books from a beloved and best-selling author.In her admired works of fiction, including the recent The Book that Matters Most, Ann Hood explores the transformative power of literature. Now, with warmth and honesty, Hood reveals the personal story behind these works of fiction.Growing up in a mill town in Rhode Island, in a household that didn’t foster the love of literature, Hood nonetheless learned t...

Details Morningstar

Release DateAug 1st, 2017
PublisherW. W. Norton Company
Number of pages192 pages
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Writing, Books About Books, Biography, Biography Memoir

Reviews Morningstar

  • Hannah Greendale
    Ann Hood grew up in a household where books were neither owned nor read. Nonetheless, a shelf of books in her elementary school classroom became a refuge for her imagination. In this brief memoir, Hood shares her enduring love of reading and reveals which books transformed her life. How can I describe what reading gave to me? An escape from my lonely school days, where girls seemed to speak a language I didn’t understand. A glimpse into the pos...
  • Diane S ☔
    Another book about books, the second I have read in a short space of time. Nothing too different, an authors experience with her love of books and the books that changed her life, seeming to fall into her hands at just the right time. What resonated with me though was that her reading experiences, the books themselves, and even the time period when she read them , as well as her reactions when she read them, almost perfectly matched my own. One i...
  • Toni
    4.5 blissful reading stars!This book reminds me of my childhood, just four years earlier. Almost everything Ann remembers reading, doing as an adolescent in the awkward years of tweenager-hood, I can recall as well. My parents weren't Italian immigrants, but one generation removed, so not far from some traditions. This book may not be for everyone, but if you grew up, loving to read books, loving libraries, (and I suspect there are a few on GR's)...
  • Lesa
    Author Ann Hood is only a few months older than me. As a lifelong reader, her memoir, Morningstar: Growing Up with Books, made me nostalgic for my adolescence. No, not for the adolescence itself. For the discovery and freshness and awakening brought about by books. Only a few of the books we read were the same, and our childhoods were definitely different. But, she evokes a feeling and a time period that was magical.I cannot tell Ann Hood's story...
  • Robin
    Fantastic memoir and I devoured it in a day. I now have a need to re-read THE HARRAD EXPERIMENT. More thoughts to come.
  • Marika
    This is a slim book but it says so much and I could probably write a thesis on it. Noted author Ann Hood writes about learning to read and how the magical powers of reading transformed her life. She's the little girl who would rather stay indoors to read than go outside. She's the teenage girl who experiences romantic love in a book. She's the college student who thinks deeply about life. Simply said, Ann Hood has written a book that lovers of th...
  • Nancy
    When Ann Hood's memoir Morningstar: Growing Up With Books arrived in the mail, I opened it up to glance at it. I read the Introduction, in which Hood talks about her family and hometown and discovery of books, in particular, Louis May Alcott's Little Women. I made myself a cup of hot tea and settled in to read the first chapter.Before dinner, I had read the entire book. I could not put it down. Hood's voice and personality, her childhood yearning...
  • Kat
    I love reading books, and I love reading books about reading books. As an amateur reader I am fascinated by bibliomemoirs.Some writers concentrate on a memoir of a single year or period of personal reading; others focus on a gimmick (reading all the books on one library shelf, or a book a day) or a single author’s influence . One of my favorites is Susan Hill’s “Howards End Is on the Landing,” a brilliant book about her year of reading on...
  • Nancy
    A beautiful, bittersweet 'memoir in books'. Ann Hood tells us about the life changing and life affirming books that shaped her worldview while growing up in a small mill town in her native Rhode Island. Any book lover will instantly recognize themselves and begin to think back on the books that shaped their lives. We read about the books that Ann 'met up with' and how they helped her view and deal with the tumult of life, love, family, sex and a ...
  • Sharon
    Morningstar: Growing Up With Books is a love letter to literature, a charming collection of essays that will resonate with readers who have had their own world expanded thanks to the perfect book at the perfect time. Hood shares personal stories about an array of novels that opened her eyes to politics, family dynamics, relationships, and more. Chances are, dear reader, at least one of the vignettes will ring true for you as well. Thank you to No...
  • Kirsty
    I read Morningstar: Growing Up with Books from cover to cover on a plane, on my way to Bulgaria. The tome is both light and insightful, and reads like a love letter to books and reading, almost. I certainly enjoyed some sections more than others, but Hood's passion as a reader can be found on almost every page. Whilst almost too slight, it is well worth a read.
  • Cynthia
    A delightful, quick read!
  • Leanne
    Book nerds unite! Ann perfectly captures the magic, the allure and the special place that certain books play in our lives. Like a song, they can call to memory a particular moment in time and shape an entire lifetime. Ann Hood illustrates the special role books have played in her life on every page.
  • Andrienne
    Ann Hood shares her 10 favorite books and picks a theme around it. Whether it's pursuing a yet unknown dream or how to navigate around the opposite sex, each one is a reflection and an affirmation for a love of books.
  • Cindy Roesel
    Best-selling author, Ann Hood wrote one of my favorite novels last year, THE BOOK THAT MATTERS MOST (WWNorton).  We were delighted to meet her in New York City in May at BookExpo and get a signed copy of her new memoir, MORNINGSTAR: GROWING UP WITH BOOKS (WWNorton) that we're giving away to one lucky Thoughts on This 'n That blog follower. It speaks to the intimate relationship Ann has with reading and books.Ann grew up in Rhode Island inside a...
  • Debbi DuBose
    This is an exquisitely elegant Memoir: MORNINGSTAR: Growing Up With Books written by the delightful Ann Hood. I read Hood's charming novel: The Book That Matters Most just last year. If you are a Reader, you all know who you are, you'll love this book! Ann Hood is only a little over a year younger than I; so Ann and my's growing up years were basically at the same time. I related to her reading from a very young age, because when I began to read,...
  • Amanda Mae
    What a sweet memoir. Focusing each chapter on a book that meant a great deal to her, Ann Hood dives into her life, particularly as a young teen in the late 60s/early 70s, and how literature shaped her worldview and her perspective. I had not read all of the books she mentioned, but she has such effused enthusiasm for each I couldn't help but consider picking up some of them. Her recollections of The Bell Jar in particular reminded me of how much ...
  • Lisa
    A lovely book about Ann Hood's relationship with books. I flew through this book in one day. Hood highlights books that shaped her and her character. It is a very good read! So glad I came across it.One of my favorite quotes:"Even now I like to sometimes indulge in the guilty pleasure of reading a book that literary snobs would never consider reading. And I enjoy them, those paperbacks I don’t mind leaving behind on an airplane. They make long ...
  • R
    "Morningstar: Growing up with Books" by Ann Hood tells of the authors' love affair with books as a child and the books that shaped her. Each chapter tells us about a book that impacted the author in her life and how it shaped the way she saw the world. We are told of Sylvia Plath's "The Bell Jar" and John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath."In reading "The Grapes of Wrath" the author learns about writing. Through books the author learns how to love...
  • Amy
    i meandered my way through this because that's generally what i do with essays and short stories. read one, read another book, read another essay etc. it's quite a thoughtful meditation on reading and growing up with books. books that are memorable & influential to Ann Hood. she also provides plenty of info on her family and personal life --she worked as a flight attendant!--and writing. i've read some of the books mentioned and will likely read ...
  • Vanessa
    This is a book about books. It's an author's memoir of reading. She tells about all of the books that lead her through childhood and into the adult she eventually became. She picks topics that the books helped to guide her through and books that really resonated with her at the times when she read them. I thought it was really interesting. She picks some books that would not have been obvious choices and I admire her for that. She is clearly some...
  • Robin
    When I saw that author Ann Hood was appearing at Book Expo last month, I presumed that she was still promoting her last book, The Book That Matters Most and was quite disappointed when I rounded the corner near the Norton booth only to discover that I could have gotten a copy of this forthcoming book! Ack! Luckily W.W. Norton is part of NetGalley so I downloaded it last week and neglected my other reading to dive in! It's great fun for readers an...
  • Jennifer
    Received through FirstReads...This was just so delightful to read, as it was so relatable. Every few pages I found myself saying "me too, that's exactly right" (in my head, of course). All of the references to Simon and Garfunkel took me right back to when I was 12 yrs old, and knew every word of every song. Also the feeling that one would like to live inside a book. Yes, that is one of the most precious things books offer, an escape from this wo...
  • Katie
    I won this in a giveaway. This book is charming. While I was reading it, it made me think of all the books over the course of my life that defined who I was or took me off to exotic places I had never known. I loved how this was written, the way you learn things from books, or how books teach you about yourself. I didn't know what to expect when I first opened this but I was surprised and delighted with every page I turned. I would this to recomm...
  • Jamie
    I received an Advanced Reader Copy at bookexpo.I really enjoyed this memoir about how books shaped author Ann Hood. Booklovers everywhere can relate to how the right book put in your hands at the right moment can mean the world.Definitely recommend to anyone who loves books and the power they hold.
  • Judith
    The true joy and achievement of this book isn't necessarily in the titles Hood discusses, but the inroads they provide to her nuanced descriptions of her childhood in Rhode Island. A sweet little read, and one I'll probably go back to.
  • Chris
    Ann Hood sent me ARCs after she appeared at our library. She was insightful, witty and charming. The audience loved her. This book reflects all of that and more. I had forgotten my love for Marjorie Morningstar. I now want to read the few books she writes about that I have read.
  • Jinx:The:Poet (A.k.a.
    **Won on Goodreads Giveaway**
  • Heddy Panik
    Anyone who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s can relate to this--as well as any booklover!This was an ARC from Book Expo
  • Robin
    I found this heartwarming and interesting. It tells how different books touched the author's life.