The Book That Changed My Life: 71 Remarkable Writers Celebrate the Books That Matter Most to Them
by Roxanne J. Coady
October 19th 2006 by Gotham
Hardcover, 224 pages
1592402100 (isbn13: 9781592402106)
rating: 3 of 5 stars
"It's funny that reading and valuing words is now what anchors my life."
Roxanne J. Coady is the owner of R.J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, Connecticut. Together with editor Joy Johannessen, she put together a collection of essays from authors who have all, at one time or another, done readings of their works at her store. Each brief essay tells of one (or sometimes two) books which "changed the life" of the author.
I had hoped there'd be an amount of freshness, of surprise, in the essays. Instead, I found the sorts of references you'd expect. Alice Hoffman wrote about Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger); Anita Diamant about A Room of One's Own (Virginia Woolf); Graeme Base wrote about The Lord of the Rings (J.R.R. Tolkien). There are a few novelties, that sent me to Goodreads to look up a title, like Tomie dePaola's essay about Kristin Lavransdatter (Sigrid Undset). Also, you can find out the meaningful books in the lives of Joe Lieberman and John McCain.