115 writers -- from Norman Mailer to Peggy Noonan, Oliver Stone to Nadine Gordimer -- describe the most important three to six (and often more) books in their lives. It's not all Melville and Dostoevsky and Dickens; Dave Barry cites Archie comics, James McBride praises Spiderman, and Lillian Ross remembers the Bobbsey Twins. There are also plenty of chuckles, as when Vonnegut thrashes Hemingway's _A Farewell to Arms_ and Wendy Wasserstein reveals that Robert Frost's "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening" can be sung to the tune of "Hernando's Hideaway." Mostly, this book will make you hungry to read even more -- not just the great and obscure volumes cited by the interviewees, but some of the interviewees you may not ever have heard of before.
This report prepared by David Loftus