The Books That Mattered: A Reader's Memoir

The Books That Mattered: A Reader's Memoir

by Frye Gaillard


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The Books That Mattered: A Reader's Memoir by Frye Gaillard

Frye Gaillard’s first encounters with books were disappointing. As a child he never cared much for fairy tales – “stories of cannibalism and mayhem in which giants and witches, tigers and wolves did their best to eat small children.” But at the age of nine, he discovered Johnny Tremain, a children’s novel of the Revolutionary War, which began a lifetime love affair with books, recounted here as a reader’s tribute to the writings that enriched and altered his life. In a series of carefully crafted, often deeply personal essays, Gaillard blends memoir, history and critical analysis to explore the works of Harper Lee, Anne Frank, James Baldwin, Robert Penn Warren, John Steinbeck, and many others. As this heartfelt reminiscence makes clear, the books that chose Frye Gaillard shaped him like an extended family. Reading The Books that Mattered: A Reader’s Memoir will make you study your own shelves to find clues into your own literary heart.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781588382870
Publisher: NewSouth, Incorporated
Publication date: 09/28/2012
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Frye Galliard is a writer in residence at the University of South Alabama and award-winning author of more than 20 books, including Watermelon Wine: The Spirit of Country Music, TheQuilt: And the Poetry of Alabama Music, Journey to the Wilderness: War, Memory, and a Southern Family’s Civil War Letters, The Books That Mattered: A Reader’s Memoir, and Go South to Freedom, all published by NewSouth Books. His book A Hard Rain: America in the 1960s, Our Decade of Hope and Innocence Lost is forthcoming from NewSouth. He is the winner of the Lillian Smith Award, the Clarence Cason Award for Non-Fiction, the Alabama Library Association Book of the Year Award, and the 2016 Eugene Current-Garcia Award For Distinction in Literary Scholarship.

Table of Contents

Prologue xi

1 Once Upon a Time 3

2 Southern Voices 21

3 Across the Divide 40

4 The Power of the Truth 58

5 Darkness 76

6 Just Telling a Story 94

7 Poetry, Prose, and a Sense of Place 111

8 Forgotten Histories 129

9 Family Values 147

10 The Classics and the Glory of the Stars 165

Epilogue-The Beat Goes On 184

Notes and Acknowledgments 193

Literary Index 199

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The Books That Mattered: A Reader's Memoir 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow. What a fascinating book. I enjoyed reading. Mr. Gaillard is a wonderful storyteller.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a long time fan of Frye Gaillard's work I was eager to read "The Books That Mattered," grabbed an early copy and loved it.This is a five star wor and here are some reasons: First, as an avid reader, I was introduced to some unfamiliar works including "Snow Falling on Cedars, "At Play in the Fields of the Lord." Well, I've read them now and am richer for it. and was reminded of other wonderful rereads. None of this would have happened without Frye's book.And--I learned much, and sympathetically, about our great black writers. Partway through it occurred to me that a copy of this book would make a wonderful blueprint for the beginnings  of a young person's library. I have four grandchildren and guess what? Each of them now has a copy.And Frye's style reminds one of Churchill's tribute to the majesty of the simple English sentence. Five Stars.." 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dearly loved this book! It is delivered beautifully and with passion and sensitivity. I come away inspired to reread some of my personal favorites with renewed enthusiasm and to add many of Gaillard's to my reading list. I think that "The Books That Mattered" matters a great should be an addition to the shelves or coffee tables of any lover of literature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago