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These Precious Days

Updated: Mar 30, 2022

By Ann Patchett

A Collection of Delightful and Thought-Provoking Essays



Ann Patchett uses a collection of twenty-three essays written during the pandemic to share with us an intimate picture of what she thinks matters most in the precarious world. Death will eventually find us all, but the trick she says “is to find in joy in the interim and make good use of the days we have”

When Patchett chooses an early advance reader copy of actor and producer Tom Hank’s short story collection to read, she has no idea that this choice would be life-changing. It would introduce her to a remarkable woman – Tom’s brilliant assistant, Sooki—with who she would form a profound bond. The title essay These Precious Days is a surprising and moving meditation on their unexpected friendship that explores the meaning of friendship.

“Without ever meaning to, my father taught me at a very early age to give up on the idea of approval. I wish I could bottle that freedom now and give it to every young writer I meet, with an extra bottle for the women.“


Patchett has been one of my favorite author’s of all time for the past decade or more. I snap up everything she writes. THESE PRECIOUS DAYS, a collection of essays was delightful and thought-provoking.

My favorites stories included:

  • her relationships with her three fathers,

  • how knitting saved her life,

  • her book cover selections, and

  • how the American Academy of Art and Letters taught her about death.

The story of her friendship with Sookie was the perfect capstone. I don’t say this often because there so many books in the world to read and time is truly limited, but this is one book I would definitely read again. THESE PRECIOUS DAYS is a highly recommended reading or listening experience.

Ann Patchett writing is solid, soulful and touching. It’s her personal stories, she wrote what she knew best! She talks about her family and friends, her relationship with her husband and her work. Every single story, even the one about her wearing her mothers nightgown to the prom was riveting. Her narration of the book was as it should be. Delivery, pacing and inflections…well done!

“Contrary to popular belief, love does not need understanding to thrive.”

“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written in the history of this generation. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lots of others or strikes out against injustice, he stands forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.“

Publisher HarperAudio

Published November 23, 2021

Narrated Ann Patchett

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