Before Jennifer Egan, Louise Erdrich, Luis Alberto Urrea, and Jonathan Lethem became revered authors, they were readers. In this book, America's favorite librarian Nancy Pearl and noted-playwright Jeff Schwager interview a diverse range of America's most influential writers about the books that shaped them and inspired them to leave their own literary mark.
If you’re an avid reader, it’s a safe bet that at least one of your favorite authors is included. I enjoyed reading the interviews with several of my favorites: Lethem, Egan, T. C. Boyle and Amor Towles ... Perhaps only a librarian or a professor would be familiar with every author in the book, and that’s another reason to read it. I discovered authors I’d vaguely heard of ... a great concept that is wonderfully executed. It would make a great holiday gift for the literati in your life.
The questions are well designed to give the author the opportunity to expand on their own lives and what, if any, specifics they have used in their writing ... The double interview they do with Michael Chabon his wife Ayelet Waldman is particularly interesting ... This is a very good read, especially at introducing writers at all levels to authors they may want to know more about.
Pearl, a librarian and critic, and Schwager, a journalist and playwright, bring boundless enthusiasm and curiosity to this eclectic and probing book of interviews ... All of the interviewees muse intently on what they value about touchstone writer ... Readers of this delightful compendium will relish the chance to find many of those shared loves, as well as discover new ones.