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Bookmarks are stories mined from our secret lives as readers. Stories of intimate relationships and life-changing encounters with books. Stories about the books we can’t forget.
In this weekly podcast, Anne and the producers at "To The Best Of Our Knowledge" ask writers and creators to share what they’ve read and how it shaped them.
Sometimes you stumble upon a book that sets you on a whole new path. For Israeli historian and philosopher Yuval Norah Harari — author of "Sapiens," "Homo Deus," and "21 Lessons for the 21st Century" — it wasn’t a novel, a memoir, or even a history book that changed his world. It was a book about chimpanzees.
The main character in Jeff VanderMeer’s other-worldly tale is a polymorphous bear who moves in magical and unexpected ways, and keeps secrets in his fur. It’s both a futuristic story and one with deep history, the kind of dystopian fiction that drew Yuknavitch in, again, and again.
The author of "Lincoln in the Bardo" recommends Victor Klemperer's two-volume diary that reads as a slow-motion picture of what the Holocaust looked like before it was known Holocaust.
Writer Anne Lamott says that the children’s classic made her feel like there was room in the world for imaginative, adventurous girls who just might wear mismatched knee socks.
Jean Rhys takes up a "mad" wife’s story in "Wide Sargasso Sea," an overlooked novel recommended by "Handmaid’s Tale" author Margaret Atwood.
Writer Lorrie Moore says Alice Munro’s book of short stories, "Carried Away," shows mastery of the architecture of the short story that is both brilliant and can’t be imitated.
Filmmaker Werner Herzog, whose films include "Grizzly Man" and "Cave of the Forgotten Dreams," recommends a nonfiction collection of J.A. Baker's observations of peregrine falcons, recorded in the early 1960s.
Martin Amis has written his fair share of novels and essay collections. For a writer, you expect their favorite books to be a source of inspiration. For Amis, Saul Bellow's 1953 novel is a source of writer's block.
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?