Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Books That Mattered: "All the King's Men" and more

The Committee Room pauses to reflect that, in most cases, we only dimly recall books years after our reading of them is done. Some books get completely forgotten. Lasting bonds are forged with only a small percentage of the books that come into our lives. These might be called the books that mattered.

In The Books That Mattered: A Reader's Memoir, writer and editor Frye Gaillard considers books -- both fiction and non-fiction -- that have mattered most to him. "I had always wanted to write a book about books, those that had brought me the greatest delight through the years," Gaillard writes in the book's prologue."I wanted to offer a reader's tribute, but more than that, a kind of reader's memoir, a recounting of exactly why and when these volumes had mattered "

Gaillard tried to keep the list to twenty-five titles but somehow it grew to over thirty. His selections are not necessarily what he considers to be the best books ever written "but simply those that have mattered most to me."