Reader's Companion: A Book Lover's Guide to the Most Important Books in Every Field of Knowledge as Chosen by the Experts

Overview

A book lover's guide to the most important books in every field of knowledge. In this unique compendium, politicians, historians, movie stars, religious figures, and writers themselves give advice on which books are the finest and which ones have most shaped their lives. An easy-to-use guide which delves into the bookcases of the most accomplished individuals.

A book lover's guide to the most important books in every field of knowledge. In this unique compendium, ...

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Overview

A book lover's guide to the most important books in every field of knowledge. In this unique compendium, politicians, historians, movie stars, religious figures, and writers themselves give advice on which books are the finest and which ones have most shaped their lives. An easy-to-use guide which delves into the bookcases of the most accomplished individuals.

A book lover's guide to the most important books in every field of knowledge. In this unique compendium, politicians, historians, movie stars, religious figures, and writers themselves give advice on which books are the finest and which ones have most shaped their lives. An easy-to-use guide which delves into the bookcases of the most accomplished individuals.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Despite its potential use in readers advisory, collection development, and reference, the big appeal of this little book lies in the voyeuristic fun, the People magazine-like pleasure of getting inside the heads and reading habits of noted writers, thinkers, scholars, and artists. Bratman and Lewis have asked a wide variety of people, noted in their fields, to contribute a list of books that have significantly affected their lives or careers. Hence, we hear Bill Bradley and Oliver Stone on politics, Robert Ludlum and Marge Piercy on fiction, Jonathan Kozol on poverty, Robert Coles on the family, Arthur Ashe on sports, James McPherson on the Civil War, and Jonathan Spence on China. Avoiding the temptation to narrow the focus or standardize the presentation, these contributors offer diverse responses. The result is nine broad subject chapters (current affairs, the arts, the nature of society, science, etc.) containing the responses of the individual ``experts'' on aspects of each topic. Some of the experts give essays explaining their reading, some annotations justifying their selections, and some only spare lists. This is not a comprehensive work in any way, but it is fun and thought-provoking.-Paul D'Alessandro, Portland P.L., Me.
Ray Olson
Here's an irresistibly browsable concept brought off well enough. Bratman and Lewis asked experts what they'd recommend as reading in their fields and sort the answers into nine broad topical chapters. Typical contributors are M. F. K. Fisher on food, Albert Shanker on labor, both John Kenneth Galbraith and Lester Thurow on economics, and Martin Marty on Christianity (alas, the only contributor on the subject). Occasionally, there are provocative surprises--witness Howard Fast on McCarthyism; himself a target of anti-Communist hysteria, he recommends four books, two by himself, also "Scoundrel Time" by the greatly discredited Lillian Hellman as "clear and (by my belief) unbiased"; we can hear William F. Buckley howling already. And it's dismaying that while 21 novelists recommend in literature (mostly fiction, natch), only two oddballs recommend in poetry. Dismaying, too, is that the only music represented is American popular song of the Gershwin era--no rock, no jazz, no classical, no folk. Heck, it's still a fascinating book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780737283266
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 7/28/1994
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 276

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