For this ultimate book-lover's guide, more than one hundred famous writers have contributed original essays in response to the question, "What books have left the greatest impression on you and why?" The result is not a contrived list of Western civilization's "Great Books" but a heartfelt commentary on books--classic and otherwise--by the writers readers most admire.
In a world of burgeoning book clubs, For the Love of Books offers literally hundreds of wonderfully readable recommendations. Contributors include: Diane Ackerman, Ann Beattie, Amy Bloom, Robert Bly, Rita Mae Brown, Christopher Buckley, Ethan Canin, John Casey, Gretel Ehrlich, Penelope Fitzgerald, Gail Godwin, Nadine Gordimer, Pete Hamill, Jonathan Harr, Tracy Kidder, Caroline Knapp, Elmore Leonard, Doris Lessing, Frank McCourt, Elizabeth McCracken, Arthur Miller, Michael Ondaatje, Cynthia Ozick, Robert B. Parker, Anna Quindlen, Carol Shields, Mona Simpson, John Updike, Wendy Wasserstein, Tobias Wolff, and many others.
For the Love of Books is an invitation to fall in love with the books these writers love--and a fascinating window into the creative mind.
From the Introduction by Ronald B. Shwartz:
This book may be seen as an homage to an old lost love of reading. Or as penance if not redemption for an English major's misstep in 1975, when I went to law school. All I really had back then, fresh out of college, was a certain lingering attachment to the liberal arts and a love of words. But I steered clear of graduate school; it was rumored to be a cold clinic in which to deconstruct literature, a place where bad things happened to good books. The law, by contrast, was said to be the refuge of choice for cerebral types with free-floating ambition but otherwise without calling. So off I went, a twenty-year old dilettante, acting on faith that law school could offer an advanced education for the generalist. I imagined that somehow I could end up reading books for fun and profit en route to becoming a man of letters. I was disabused at once by the faintly Edwardian legal scholar who announced:
"Up to this point, you have read ...
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Bloom's engaging prose and brilliant insights will send you hurrying back to old favorites and entice you to discover new ones. His ultimate faith in the restorative power of literature resonates on every page of this infinitely rewarding and important book.
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