The Chomp

The Student News Site of Gateway Regional High School

The Chomp

The Student News Site of Gateway Regional High School

The Chomp

The Student News Site of Gateway Regional High School

Barrett’s Bookshelf

These Precious Days By Ann Patchett
Chicago Review of Books, These Precious Days by Ann Patchett
Chicago Review of Books, These Precious Days by Ann Patchett

I’d been afraid I’d somehow been given a life I hadn’t deserved, but that’s ridiculous. We don’t deserve anything—not the suffering and not the golden light. It just comes.

— Ann Patchett, These Precious Days

Ann Patchett, known primarily for her essays and novels, released her essay collection, These Precious Days, during the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2021. Featuring essays from magazines like Harper’s Magazine and The New Yorker, Patchett recounts tales from her childhood as an aspiring writer with a Chief of Police father who kept her determined, “believing in [her] failure more than her success.” She includes snapshots from her graduate school education at Iowa State, urging other aspiring writers not to break the bank with such a risky career plan, and waxes philosophically from her contently-childless adulthood with her loving husband Karl, friendly pup, Sparky, and eclectic friends: including Tom Hanks, Sooki (Hanks’ assistant), Kate DiCamillo, and Charlie Strobel (the living Saint).

Ann tells gripping stories about her life adventures as a writer, a daughter, and a mentor. She also refers to possibly her proudest creation, Parnassus Books. Parnassus Books is the dog-friendly independent bookstore that Ann created after noticing a lack of independent bookstores in Nashville. It is one of my life missions to go to this amazing bookstore, and I would be lying if I said that its close proximity wasn’t a factor in my decision to apply to Vanderbilt.

I highly recommend both Ann Patchett’s essays and fiction works, and I promise you will not be disappointed. Some of my favorites include: This Is The Story of a Happy Marriage, The Dutch House, and Truth and Beauty. Her most recent novel, Tom Lake, came out in early August, and it is definitely a must-read. I’m attending a Barnes & Noble-sponsored Zoom event with Patchett, where she will be discussing and answering questions relating to this new book.

Happy reading!

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About the Contributor
Laurel Rose Barrett, Editor-in-Chief
I'm Laurel Barrett, and I am in my second year as the Editor-in-Chief of The Chomp! I am currently a junior, and my favorite subjects are English and Science. My hobbies are reading, writing, and creating artistic projects, like posters and models. I am a lawyer in Mock Trial, a President of Book Club, and I am an NJ-JCL Executive Board Officer. I'm also a member of Latin Club, NHS, World Language Honors Society, and Gateway's Mentor Program. Additionally, I am the social media manager of a NJ non-profit called P.U.R.E. Girls, Inc. and enjoy volunteering at Angels Community Outreach. I plan to become a patent lawyer in the future and practice somewhere in New England. I look forward to interviewing featured teachers, writing opinion pieces, and creating book reviews for The Chomp this year! If you want to join our team, feel free to email me @[email protected].
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