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Bookworm

A Memoir of Childhood Reading
Narrated by: Lucy Mangan
Length: 7 hrs and 27 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (242 ratings)

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Summary

When Lucy Mangan was little, stories were everything. They opened up new worlds and cast light on all the complexities she encountered in this one.

She was whisked away to Narnia and Kirrin Island and Wonderland. She ventured down rabbit holes and womble burrows into midnight gardens and chocolate factories. She wandered the countryside with Milly-Molly-Mandy and played by the tracks with the Railway Children. With Charlotte's Web she discovered death, and with Judy Blume it was boys. No wonder she left the house only for her weekly trip to the library or to spend her pocket money on amassing her own at home.

In Bookworm, Lucy revisits her childhood reading with wit, love and gratitude. She relives our best-beloved books and their extraordinary creators and looks at the thousand subtle ways they shape our lives. She also disinters a few forgotten treasures to inspire the next generation of bookworms and set them on their way.

Lucy brings the favourite characters of our collective childhoods back to life - prompting endless rereadings, rediscoveries, and, inevitably, fierce debate - and brilliantly uses them to tell her own story, that of a born and unrepentant bookworm.

Cover credit: Laura Barrett

©2018 Lucy Mangan (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars
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just utterly fabulous.

I was delighted, moved and reminded of the best books and the best bits of my childhood. I laughed six different kinds of laugh and three different kinds of cry, including that ugly snivelling cry that can win actors a Bafta. Thank you, wonderful Lucy Mangan for this excellent history of children's literature by way of '80s kid memoir, love story, and recommended reading list.

8 people found this helpful

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reliving my youth

loved this, was as of I was back to my own childhood. I got excited every time she talked about a book I had read. easy listening and well read.

8 people found this helpful

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Nostalgic walk through my book reading childhood

I feel this book was written for me, it was a beautiful walk through my childhood. Reminding me of some books I’d forgotten about....did every teacher read The Phantom Tollbooth to their class?
I made lots of reasons to listen to huge chunks of this book...longer walks etc and I didn’t want it to end. Lucy is brilliant at narrating her own story and it felt as though it brought some depth and meaning to it that someone else couldn’t have.
As a child I was a bookworm and as an adult I’ve found as much joy in people as I do books....well almost. And I’m glad I’m called Cordelia than ‘Anne with an e’

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mixed feelings.<br />

I struggled to complete the final 3 chapters, I found the earlier chapters more autobiographical

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Do yourself a favour buy this book

I found myself lost in childhood memory and laughing out loud so often that my husband thought I was having a small fit.
Lucy’s ability to take you back to those days when the great joy in the world was a new fresh book that was yours alone is unique.
I have gone on to buy all her book and she must now write faster to keep up with my need to listen to her voice .
An absolute classic for all .

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Wonderful

I absolutely loved this book. Humorous and thought provoking. As a child I loved books and was also a bookworm, unfortunately my reading appetite was heavily censored by my parents and I realise now how many books I missed out on as a consequence. Time to go back and rectify that I think!
Full of wonderful ideas for books to buy my grandchildren, I had to keep stopping the book to write them down.
Thank you Lucy for writing such a beautiful book, and so beautifully read too.

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I loved it

What a wonderful and funny book. I haven't read as extensively as Lucy Mangan but that didn't spoil the enjoyment of hearing her years of bookwormery discovery; I often got looks as I commuted in as I realised that I was laughing out loud.

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I recognise that bookworm

I was a bookworm too but twenty years earlier so the books weren't always the same. However the wonder losing yourself in a book is universal. Well read and amusing. Now read Francis Spufford's "The boy that books built".

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Good premise

Think I would enjoy more if I read it myself or listened to a different narrator. This felt so fast and rushed.

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An Emotional & Joyous read

I am wondering if I am Lucy Mangan. So many book memories were stirred & I recaptured that strong emotional attachment to certain books. Some were not from my childhood but from my children’s ( The Owl who was afraid of the dark) . Im now going to find & re-read some old favourites and also seek out some that I missed (Toms Midnight Garden). I could have had a little weep at the end! Weirdly she also references Preston (a place of almost no fame but it’s where Ive lived since 1980 - having moved from North London!

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  • M. Ashby
  • 12-03-20

I love this!

Lucy Mangan is both witty and insightful in her descriptions of an endless array of children’s literature as well as funny stories of her childhood and family. Her voice, though not classically charming is moderate and soothing. I listen to this often as I fall asleep or if I need to go back to sleep and it works well. I am excited to read many of the titles she mentions and have learned a lot about the authors as well as the political climate at the time of publications. She does speak fast and has a definite English accent so listen to the sample to get an idea but this American lady loves it!

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  • Kelly
  • 18-01-20

sweet and nostalgic

What bookworm wouldn't love a book that pours the love on all our childhood favorite books?

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  • Lili
  • 20-08-19

Best suited for a British audience

While I appreciated the author’s passion for books, I came to realize that she and I had read only a handful of the same books. Being British, she recounts the huge volume of books she read during her childhood, and of course the majority were written by British authors.

I had not heard of, let alone read, most of them. There were many examples of classic children’s literature she did not mention or include, which disappointed me, and even with the books we both have in common, our views are miles apart on about half of them.

While it was kind of thrilling to hear her extol the wonders and virtues of one particular and beloved book we both treasure, I found my attention drifting away through much of the rest of the book.

The author performs her own narration, and I have to say between her accent, her speed, and some volume issues, it was perhaps not the best choice.

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  • Donna (Girl Who Reads)
  • 30-07-18

Interesting look at literature

It was interesting, particularly some of the historical tidbits that were shared about authors and books. At times, I felt like it was a survey of British literature but as she moved into adolescent books I started recognizing more of the titles.

A free audiobook was provided by Audible.

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  • Emmie Stuart
  • 03-07-18

A pure delight!

I can't say enough good things about Mangan's memoir. Her writing is smart, warm, and oh so relatable. I loved the audiobook so much that I ordered several copies of the hard copy and forced them on my mom, sister, and kindred-spirit friends.