The books they write about are also diverse: childhood books like Green Eggs and Ham (Gail McGovern), Grimm's Fairy Tales (Margaret Atwood), and Little House on the Prairie (Rosanne Cash) to The Sound and the Fury (Susan Orlean), David McCullough's John Adams (Beverly Johnson), and Fedrico Garcia Lorca (Juan Felipe Herrera). Alan Cheuse wrote on Ulysses by James Joyce and Peter Coyote on The Odyssey by Homer. There were books I loved, books I was familiar with, and books I had never heard of before.
It was great to know I was not alone in compulsively reading everything, even cereal packages (Fay Weldon), or that one book leads to another (Thomas Wolfe to Dostoevsky to Joyce to Proust for Peter Straub). Louis Bayard was impressed that Dickens was so powerful he could make a reader 'a kind of slave'--and loved the Classics Illustrated comics too.
I enjoyed every essay.
826National receives a portion of the book's proceeds to provide students ages 6-18 with opportunities to "explore their creativity and improve their writing skills." So along with delving into the inner lives of the famous you can support a cause, too.
I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
The Books That Changed My Life
Regan Arts, Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: March, 2016
$24.95 hard cover