Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books

Edited by Leah Price. Yale Univ., $20 (208p) ISBN 978-0300170924
"You are . . . what you read.” This book takes 13 authors from across genres and strips them, exposing their essence through a close look at their most private possessions—their books. A list of 10 favorite reads and a short interview accompany beautifully composed photographs of each private collection. Among the modern literary notables profiled are Philip Pullman (The Golden Compass), Junot Díaz (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao), and Allison Bechdel (Fun Home), all of whom impart intimate details—or lack thereof—of the relationship they share with their personal libraries, relating everything from the first book they ever purchased to how they feel about what will happen to their amassed wealth of literature after they're gone. Though Price aims to explore the nature of a bookshelf to reveal truths about its owner, perhaps more fascinating is how, while immersed in wonder about how these books may have shaped each author's work, readers are given the chance to compare their own reading lists with those of their favorites. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/14/2011
Release date: 11/01/2011
Ebook - 208 pages - 978-0-300-18058-9
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