Synopses & Reviews
With the goal of promoting literacy (and with proceeds going to the Read to Grow Foundation), here are 65 spirited testaments to the transformative power of reading from 65 distinguished contributors, as compiled by bookseller Roxanne Coady and editor Joy Johannessen.
Books change lives, and if you have any doubts on that score, you need only dip into this joyous celebration of reading by 65 people who have distinguished themselves in various fields, from sports, to cooking, to journalism and the arts. In brief and lively essays, the contributors wrestlers, actors, singers, monks, Nobel Prize winners, chefs, politicians, writers tell about the single book that changed the way they see themselves and the world around them.
A sampling of contributors includes: Elizabeth Berg on The Catcher in the Rye; Harold Bloom on Little, Big; Steven Brill on The Making of the President, 1960; Da Chen on The Count of Monte Cristo; Maureen Corrigan on David Copperfield; Nelson DeMille on Atlas Shrugged; Tomie dePaola on Kristin Lavransdatter; Anita Diamant on A Room of One's Own; Linda Fairstein on The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes; Sebastian Junger on Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee; Wally Lamb on To Kill a Mockingbird; John McCain on For Whom the Bell Tolls; Lisa Scottoline on Angela's Ashes; Susan Vreeland on To Kill a Mockingbird; and many more.
"You could think of it as a big bag of literary potato chips....Every essay has something interesting to say, and the books that are praised make a valuable guide to good reading." Hartford Courant
"Most moving are the recollections of books that 'saved' someone and made him or her feel less alone or less strange." Library Journal
The 71 authors offer
happy hoorays and heartfelt blessings
The Book That Changed My Life takes a refreshingly populist approach in this collection of 71 lively favorite-book essays... A welcoming and inspiring book about books that will engage teens curious about books and writers, or in need of an unthreatening invitation to experience the pleasures of books."
"What I love about Coady's The Book that Changed My Life is the way it captures a passion that has been muted by earthly concerns about money and competition and sell-through; like a lot of us, these authors clearly love books and its biz."
Sara Nelson, Publishers Weekly
[Coady and Johannassen] have compiled a wonderful cross section of contributors and a wildly diverse group of books. From the Bible (Sen. Joseph Lieberman) to To Kill a Mockingbird (author Wally Lamb), the contents of this book will encourage quick perusal, a checking of titles, or the generation of a must-read list.
STARRED Library Journal
Bet you cant read just one.
After years of hosting authors and writers of every caliber, level of fame and expertise, Roxanne Coady has finally joined their ranks.
New Haven Register
"Editor Joy Johannessen and bookseller Roxanne Coady have gather together a star-studded roster of authors... [whose] passion for their books is downright contagious, making you want to rush to the shelves to pay homage to your own personal bests."
" [A] stunning collection of original essays."
A Connecticut bookseller and a New York publishing vet corral an impressive assemblage of noted writers to contribute brief essays on the one book that they will forever remember. Many of the pairings of writer and book are delightfully unexpected (Nelson DeMille on Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged!"). Of course, many classics appear among the favorites, but this anthology also contains many remarkable books that merit rediscovery, such as Sebastian Junger on Dee Brown's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee."
Now in paperback, a delightful collection of essays on the transformative power of reading In The Book That Changed My Life
, our most admired writers, doctors, professors, religious leaders, politicians, chefs, and CEO s share the books that mean the most to them. For Doris Kearns Goodwin it was Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August
, which inspired her to enter a field, history writing, traditionally reserved for men. For Jacques Pépin it was The Myth of Sisyphus
, which taught him the importance of personal responsibility, dignity, and goodness in the midst of existentialist France. A testament to the life-altering importance of literature, this book inspires us to return to old favorites and seek out new treasures. All proceeds go to The Read to Grow Foundation, which partners with urban hospitals to provide books and literacy information to newborns and their families.
About the Author
Roxanne Coady, founder of R. J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, Connecticut, won the Publishers Weekly
Bookseller of the Year Award in 1995. In 1996, Coady founded the Read to Grow Foundation, which, in partnership with urban hospitals throughout Connecticut, has provided books and literacy information to tens of thousands of children and families.
Joy Johannessen has been an editor/executive editor at Grove Press, Oxford University Press, HarperCollins, and Delphinium Books. Among the writers she has worked with are Dorothy Allison, Harold Bloom, Michael Cunningham, Nien Cheng, and Arthur Miller.