Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The Book That Changed My Life: 71 Remarkable Writers Celebrate the Books That Matter Most to Them
The Book That Changed My Life: 
71 Remarkable Writers Celebrate the Books 
That Matter Most to Them
by Roxanne J. Coady
“The reader became the book; and summer night
Was like the conscious being of the book.”
― Wallace Stevens

While the first essay in this book is written by Dorothy Allison, whose novel, Bastard out of Carolina, I read several years ago, the book's other seventy short essays are by contemporary writers, many of whom I have not read and do not know. Nonetheless, this book is a great reference for readers. The contributors include the literatti, if not the famous (James Atlas, Nicholas Basbanes, Harold Bloom, Billy Collins, Frank McCourt, et. al.), and, at least to this reader, the less well known (Barbara Leaming, Carlos Eire, Da Chen, et. al.) There are the obligatory contributions from politicians, such as Sens. McCain and Lieberman, and a few from the usual bestseller suspects, like Patricia Cornwell and Dominick Dunne. The collection has interest for anyone who loves books and enjoys finding new authors. If you are willing to explore interesting and different books you should consider erading this book.

The Book that Changed My Life ed. by Roxanne J. Coady & Joy Johannessen. Gotham Books, New York. 2007 (2006)

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