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Great writers are great readers. And they have amazing stories to tell. Not just about the books they write, but about the books they read.
Anne Strainchamps and the producers behind “To the Best of Our Knowledge” have been asking authors for years to tell a story about that one book that left a mark. A book they can’t forget. A book that changed everything.
Now they’re sharing their stories with you, delivered in a weekly micro-podcast. New bite-sized episodes every Friday.
For decades, Stanley Crouch has cut a singular path through American culture. Once an aspiring jazz musician and later a noted cultural critic, he was friends with Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray, and later an intellectual mentor to Wynton Marsalis. For all of his intellectual virtuosity, we were still surprised to discover the book that Crouch wanted to recommend: Alejo Carpentier’s “Reasons of State.”More
Writer Brendan Koerner reviews Yukio Mishima's classic novel, "Confessions of a Mask."
Nic Pizzolatto bookmarks "Absalom, Absalom!" by William Faulkner.
Writer Benjamin Kunkel bookmarks Herman Daly's "Steady-State Economics."
Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard recommends a chilling read: "The Flame Alphabet" by Ben Marcus.
Eric Jarosinski bookmarks "Mythologies" by Roland Barthes.
Kim Stanley Robinson recommends "The Greatest Story of the 1920's That We Have: The U.S.A. Trilogy" by John Dos Passos.
Leslie Jamison bookmarks "Orphans" by Charles D'Ambrosio.
Nicola Griffith recommends Robin McKinley's "The Blue Sword."
What was a favorite childhood story? What do you think it reveals about you?
Has a book ever precipitated a life-changing realization, about yourself or someone else?
Is there a book you’ve hated – but can’t stop thinking about?
Is there a book that’s shaped your spiritual life — that opened a door to a new reality?
Has a book ever sparked a personal passion or obsession?
What book have you reread more than any other? Why?
Is there a book you consider a talisman, or a sacred object?