I received Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch from a giveaway over at Bookin' with Bingo and didn't really know what to expect.
From the Cover:
Tolstoy and the Purple Chair tells the story of the Sankovitch family: Nina's family, who barely escaped death in Belarus during World War II; her four rambunctious children, who offer up their own book recommendations while helping out with the cooking and cleaning; and Anne-Marie, her oldest sister and idol, with whom Nina shared the pleasure of books, even in her last moments of life.
After her sister's death Ms. Sankovitch takes a year off and challenges herself to read a book each day. In between book reviews she tells of her sister's death at the age of forty-six, the horrendous story of her father's family, many of whom died in Poland during World War II, and her efforts to escape through reading. Her favorite place to read was a purple chair. While I found some of the book depressing, I loved the book reviews and it also contains a complete list of all the books Ms. Sankovitch read during the year - quite an achievement.