There are books which for mysterious reasons remain in the mind
long after they are read, writes playwright Arthur Miller
in For the Love of Books: 115 Celebrated Writers on the Books
They Love Most (Grosset/Putman). Edited by Ronald B. Shwartz,
JD77, this collection reveals the books that have influenced
and entertained some of the Western worlds best-known authors.
Asking writers to Identify those 3-6 books that have in some
way influenced or affected you most deeply, spoken to
you loudest, and explain whyin personal terms, Shwartz
received a range of responses, from Mario Puzos spartan list
to Frank McCourts lengthy discourse. Classics from J.D. Salinger,
Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, and James Joyce earn frequent mention,
balanced by childhood favorites such as Harold and the Purple Crayon
and the Archie, Spiderman, and Superman comic books. Contributors
with U of C ties include Kurt Vonnegut, AM71, who cites
The Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters and The
Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen; Joseph Epstein,
AB59, who returns to Max Beerbohms And Even Now
more than any other book; and professor Mark Strand, who
sees himself in Fernando Pessoas The Book of Disquiet.
In short, For the Love of Books is the ultimate reading
list: a collection of book recommendations from some of todays
leading literary lights.M.D.B.