My Reading Life: Pat Conroy: Ever since I read The Water is Wide, I've loved Pat Conroy, and every book of his I've read since has made me love him more, excepting South of Broad -- I just didn't care for that book at all -- it was missing something -- the heart that's present in most Conroy novels. Anyway, to run across this new book where he talks about the books and the writers and the teachers and the librarians who influenced him and ultimately made him into a writer was a real thrill for me. Despite the fact that Conroy's usual writing weaknesses are present here -- he's often criticized, and not unfairly, for overblown prose -- this book was a delight to read since his strengths are present also. I read it in a day and I'd go back and read it again. Or I might simply pull out my favorite Conroy novel, The Prince of Tides, and read it for the fifth time, or possibly re-read Beach Music, which I've only read once.