The Writer’s Library: The Authors You Love on the Books that Changed Their Lives

Nancy Pearl and Jeff Schwager. HarperOne, $27.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-062-96850-0
Pearl, a librarian and critic, and Schwager, a journalist and playwright, bring boundless enthusiasm and curiosity to this eclectic and probing book of interviews. The 22 authors represented are a varied and never boring cohort, most of whom reminisce about beloved series from childhood, such as The Great Brain and Encyclopedia Brown (both adored by Andrew Sean Greer and Michael Chabon). All of the interviewees muse intently on what they value about touchstone writers: Madeline Miller enthuses about discovering Margaret Atwood and Lorrie Moore in high school, who “were just so exciting, linguistically, to read... I didn’t know you could use language like that,” while Laila Lalami praises V.S. Naipaul, particularly A House for Mr. Biswas, for his candid exploration of the “cross-cultural encounter.” Susan Choi recalls, with some embarrassment, trying to write her version of George Orwell’s 1984. As Pearl and Schwager note, “One of the best parts of talking about books with people... is discovering that you share a love of the same books.” Readers of this delightful compendium will relish the chance to find many of those shared loves, as well as discover new ones. Agent: Victoria Sanders, Victoria Sanders & Assoc. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 05/28/2020
Release date: 09/08/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-06-296851-7
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-0-06-302883-8
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