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For the Love of Books: 10/12/08
For the Love of Books is a collection of 115 essays on the books that have made life time impressions. They are written by authors asked (and sometimes pestered) by Ronald B. Shwartz to talk on the books that inspired them to become writers.
It's pretty obvious which authors were pestered and which ones responded eagerly. There's a lot of antagonism in many of the authors. I skimmed through most of these reluctant answers.
Among the responses, Dave Barry's was my favorite. He was clearly one of the eager participants. His response also seemed to most genuine. He starts his list of with silly things like the Archie and Batman comics. From there he moves on to other favorites: Catcher in the Rye and Catch-22. From there he and I part ways in our reading tastes but I may have to go back and read his recommendations based the first half of his essay.
In the back of For the Love of Books is an extensive bibliography of the books described by one or more of the authors. Ronald Shwartz estimates the list at five hundred books. Among the most frequently mentioned are the King James Bible, the Torah, Moby Dick, Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby and the works of Charles Dickens.