The beautiful and brightly colored images of book spines that accompany each interview evoke the whimsy of a personal library on a quiet, rainy Saturday with a couch and blanket nearby. The brevity of the interviews and dynamic illustrations make this a perfect coffee table book: easily skimmed and a happy and inspiring conversation starter.
And here’s Kirkus:
The pieces are as unique as the people they represent and reveal the particular relationships participants have with the texts they mention. Lethem calls his choices “eccentric,” a reflection of a “decrepit attraction” to old books and the “literary history that lie[s]…waiting to be discovered” in early editions. Chef and restaurateur Alice Waters identifies her bookshelf as commemorating the texts that started her on her epicurean journey. Nair spotlights choices that not only introduced her to English, Urdu and Hindu poetry, but also to the writer who later became her husband. La Force and Mount’s joint efforts do “sentimentaliz[e] the book as object,” but what they achieve clearly demonstrates that, despite the encroachments of computers and the Internet, books still matter.