Warm and Illuminating: Read an Extract from These Precious Days by Ann Patchett

Warm and Illuminating: Read an Extract from These Precious Days by Ann Patchett

The days are shorter now, it stays dark longer. I tell myself this is why my husband and dog and I have slept until six thirty this morning. We never sleep until six thirty. An entirely different set of neighbourhood dogs are out when Sparky and I go for our walk. At five thirty, our usual time, it’s just Chloe the German shepherd and a handful of runners: Byron the cardiologist, who lives a few blocks away and works at the same hospital as my husband, Henry from across the street, our neighbour Bob. But at six thirty Scout the English setter is out, Violet the Havanese, Moose and Shaka the chocolate Labs, and Molly. I don’t know what Molly is. All of the runners have run home. It’s a dog party.

We discuss Isabella’s new harness, which is a smart houndstooth. Isabella is the prettiest little Cavalier King Charles spaniel that has ever been put on this earth. She is the kind of dog I’d want to carry in my purse at Bergdorf’s were I the sort of person who went to Bergdorf’s with a spaniel in my purse.

When we come home, I fill the blender with spinach, a banana, an avocado, two dates, some lemon juice, water and ice, and my husband and I drink the results for breakfast. From time to time I believe I’ve found The Answer to Life, and right now I think it’s spinach. Sparky and I go to Parnassus. There are as many dogs in the bookstore as there are dogs on my street. Opie, a large hound, belongs to Andy the store manager. Belle comes to work with Cat. Bear, who is ancient and has to wear a belt with a Kotex in it because otherwise he pees on the books, belongs to Sissy. Mary Todd Lincoln, a fancy dappled dachshund, lives in a cross-body sling on Niki’s chest.

The dogs mostly stay in the back, where it’s easier to beg for treats. The dog treats are kept in the staff bathroom, and whenever Sissy goes into the bathroom the dogs stand outside the door in a pack and wait for her. Sissy slides dog biscuits under the door. We yell at her to stop because Opie is better at the game than the rest of them and winds up getting all the biscuits. Opie’s vet has made it clear he’s supposed to be cutting back…

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A Wondrous Essay Collection: Read Our Review of These Precious Days by Ann Patchett

Review | Our Review

22 November 2021

A Wondrous Essay Collection: Read Our Review of These Precious Days by Ann Patchett

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      Publisher details

      These Precious Days
      Ann Patchett
      Non Fiction
      23 November, 2021


      An irresistible collection of essays and memoir from the internationally bestselling, Women's Prize-winning author of The Dutch HouseAny story that starts will also end.' As a writer, Ann Patchett knows what the outcome of her fiction will be. Life, however, often takes turns we do not see coming. Patchett ponders this as she explores family, friendship, marriage, failure, success, and what it all means.Ranging from the personal – her portrait of the three men she called her fathers; how a chance encounter with Tom Hanks led to one of the most important friendships of her life; how to answer when someone asks why you don't have children – to the sublime – the unexpected influence of Snoopy; the importance of knitting; the pleasure to be found in children's books – each essay transforms the particular into the universal, letting us all see our own worlds anew.Illuminating, penetrating, funny and generous, These Precious Days is joyful time spent in the company of one of our greatest living authors.
      Ann Patchett
      About the author

      Ann Patchett

      Ann Patchett is the author of six novels and three works of nonfiction. She is the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award, England's Orange Prize for Bel Canto, and the Book Sense Book of the Year, and was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. She is the co-owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband, Karl, and their dog, Sparky.

      Books by Ann Patchett


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