For the Love of Books

Ronald Shwartz wrote to various writers and asked them to identify those 3-6 books that have in some way influenced or affected them most deeply, ‘spoken to’ you the loudest, and explain why – in personal terms. Many of the books, of course, are outside our period while others are poetry or non-fiction but here are the most popular novels of our period. The responses were fairly varied – remember they were choosing books that most influenced them, not necessarily the best books – and few got more than two votes. Ulysses and A la recherche du temps perdu were clear winners with nine votes each. Catcher in the Rye got six votes. The other big winners were outside our period (Shakespeare, Moby Dick, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Twain). Look Homeward, Angel got four votes. Absalom, Absalom!, Faulkner‘s Three Famous Short Novels, The Good Soldier, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man , Lolita and To the Lighthouse each got three votes.