Friday, June 19, 2009

How to Buy a Love of Reading ~ Tanya Egan Gibson

Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Pub. Date: May 2009

Courtesy of Tanya Egan Gibson & Dutton/Penguin:

To Carley Wells, words are the enemy. Her tutor’s innumerable SAT flashcards. Her personal trainer’s “fifty-seven pounds overweight” assessment. And the endless reading assignments from her English teacher, Mr. Nagel. When Nagel reports to her parents that she has answered “What is your favorite book” with “Never met one I liked,” they decide to fix what he calls her “intellectual impoverishment.” They will commission a book to be written just for her—one she’ll have to love—that will impress her teacher and the whole town of Fox Glen with their family’s devotion to the arts. They will be patrons— the Medicis of Long Island. They will buy their daughter The Love Of Reading.

Impossible though it is for Carley to imagine loving books, she is in love with a young bibliophile who cares about them more than anything. Anything, that is, but a good bottle of scotch. Hunter Cay, Carley’s best friend and Fox Glen’s resident golden boy, is becoming a stranger to her lately as he drowns himself in F. Scott Fitzgerald, booze, and Vicodin.

When the Wellses move writer Bree McEnroy—author of a failed meta-novel about Odysseus’ failed journey home through the Internet—into their mansion to write Carley’s book, Carley’s sole interest in the project is to distract Hunter from drinking and give them something to share. But as Hunter’s behavior becomes erratic and dangerous, she finds herself increasingly drawn into the fictional world Bree has created, and begins to understand for the first time the power of stories—those we read, those we want to believe in, and most of all, those we tell ourselves about ourselves. Stories powerful enough to destroy a person. Or save her.

Tanya Egan Gibson's intriguing debut How to Buy a Love of Reading is w/o a doubt an engrossing novel.

Gibson's cast of characters are engaging, delightful & interesting. Gibson's writing is truly beautiful.

Juggling all the characters points of view while keeping How to Buy a Love of Reading flowing smoothly instead of tumbling into murky verbiage is where Gibson shines.

Gibson's players are painted w/ rich, robust colors mesmerizing you right from the start. The characters simply soar from the page performing just for you.

Gibson hit the nail on the head showcasing the wealthy lifestyles of Long Islanders. It is rather sad how the rich try to out "money" their own but it is an ongoing occurrence. Gibson's unique take on what money can & can not buy is forceful. Can money really buy a love of reading? As a reader, I'd love to have an unending flow of money (listening book universe) to buy books, bookcases, book gadgets & airfare to attend all of those ultra fabulous book events. Granted, money can buy me all the books on the planet but a hunger for it money just can't buy. My fervor for reading stems from the core of who I am; infact, it shapes who I am in a lot of ways.

Gibson does a sensational job incorporating a lot of modern concepts into How to Buy a Love of Reading. Gibson highlights the obsession many individuals have w/ reality television by skillfully showcasing Carly's obsession w/ the unimaginative genre.

Gibson integrates How to Buy A Love of Reading w/ hot social topics as the novel prudently deals w/unrequited love, weight, body image, self-esteem, alcoholism & drug abuse.

Despite the fact that Gibson's vastly well written & intricate characters are financially affluent, emotionally & spiritually they are impoverished beings. Kudos to Gibson for unmasking the crux of the moneyed & spotlighting the creatures they sincerely are.

Gibson's players may start out as shallow well-heeled hoi polloi but Gibson's eloquent writing unveils a depth to the characters that is delightfully surprising!

Bottom line, literature is something that inspires you, extends your awareness, enhances your life & gives you choices beyond compare!

How to Buy a Love of Reading does start off rather measured but takes off & doesn't let go.
Gibson has you so engaged you find yourself lost in the lives of Carley, Bree & Hunter. So, if you are having trouble @ the beginning, whatever you do... don't give up!

I still find it hard to believe this is Tanya Egan Gibson's debut novel. Where's Ashton? Tanya, am I being punk'd?

Hurry, grab a copy of How to Buy a Love of Reading!

Check out Tanya's awesome website @


  1. Great review. I'm going to be putting this one on my ever growing TBR pile!

  2. Thanks Nise', it was a great read. A thinking person's read.

  3. This book has been on my wishlist for a while. I love the cover! It sounds like such an intriguing story line. Great review!

  4. Melanie, thank you. This was an enjoyable book & one to savor not rush through w/o digesting the contents. lol.