I’m a sucker for books like Remarkable Reads. J. Peder Zane collects 34 essays by a variety of writers about the books that most affected them. I enjoyed most of the accounts of the writers about the books they chose. I predict you will want to read (or reread) many of these books after you finish the essays about them. I was surprised at the range of books surveyed in this volume. Remarkable Reads is a browser’s (and reader’s) delight! GRADE: A
Introduction: Adventures in Reading by J. Peder Zane
Bebe Moore Campbell The Most Memorable Book I Read: THE CAT IN THE HAT by Dr. Seuss
Jonathan Lethem The Loneliest Book I Read: THE HAPPY VALLEY by Eric Berne
Betty Adock The Most Enchanting Book I Read: ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES
Denise Gess The Most Important Book I Read: THE STRANGER by Albert Camus
Lee K. Abbott The Most Daunting Book I Read: ABSALOM, ABSALOM! by William Faulkner
Scott Weidensaul The Most Resonant Book I Read: A SAND COUNTY ALMANAC by Aldo Leopold
Frederick Busch The Most Dangerous Book I Read: THE DARING YOUNG MAN ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE & OTHER STORIES by William Saroyan
Robert Morgan The Wisest Book I Read: DOCTOR ZHIVAGO by Boris Pasternak
Eric Wright The Classiest Book I Read: HOWARD’S END by E. M. Forster
Anthony Walton The Most Eloquent Book I Read: ROCK SPRINGS by Richard Ford
Joan Barfoot The Maddest Book I Read: THE GOLDEN NOTEBOOK by Doris Lessing
Marianne Gingher The Most Double-D-Daring Book I Read: THE ROBBER BRIDEGROOM by Eudora Welty
J. Peder Zane The Most Hippest Book I Read: CIVILIZATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS by Sigmund Freud
Haven Kimmel The Most Familiar Book I Read: SOUTH OF THE BIG FOUR by Don Kurtz
H.W. Brands The Most Incomprehensible Book I Read: THE EDUCATION OF HENRY ADAMS by Henry Adams
Ben Marcus The Most Devastating Book I Read: THE EASTER PARADE by Richard Yates
Lydia Millet The Most Apocalyptic Book I Read: THE WAR WITH THE NEWTS by Karel Capek
Nasdijj The Saddest Book I Read: TO TAME A LAND by Louis L’Amour
Bret Lott The Most Fragile Book I Read: THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J. D. Salinger
Jill McCorkle The Most Beautiful Book I Read: SHOT IN THE HEART by Mikal Gilmore
Charles Frazier The Most Tempting Book I Read: THE TARAHUMARA by Antonin Artaud
Elizabeth Hay The Most Fearless Book I Read: 5001 NIGHTS AT THE MOVIES by Pauline Kael
Aimee Bender The Most Intuitive Book I Read: THE WIND-UP BIRD CHRONICLE by Haruki Murakami
Margot Livesey The Most Scottish Book I Read: SUNSET SONGS by Lewis Grassick Gibbon
Clyde Edgerton The Most Technically Elegant Book I Read: STICK AND RUDDER by Wolfgang Langwiesche
Peter Cameron The Queerest Book I Read: THE SCAPEGOAT by Jocelyn Brooke
Fred Chappell The Most Exotic Book I Read: THE WORM OUROBOROS by E. R. Eddison
Sven Birkerts The Most Smokin’ Book I Read: CONFESSIONS OF ZENO by Italo Svevo
Peggy Payne The Most Seductive Books I Read: LITERATURE FROM INDIA
Howard Bahr The Most Elegant Book I Read: LANTERNS ON THE LEVEE by William Alexander Percy
Peter Gay The Most Surprising Book I Read: I BEAR WITNESS: A DIARY OF THE NAZI YEARS by Victor Klemperer
Marvin Hunt The Most Disappointing Book I Read: HOTEL HONOLULU by Paul Theroux
Doris Betts The Most Unpleasant Book I Read: AMERICAN PSYCHO by Bret Easton Ellis
Lee Smith The Most Luminous Book I Read: THE LITTLE LOCKSMITH by Katharine Butler Hathaway


  1. wolf

    This list reminds me again that there are just too many books – and not enough time to read them!

    I’ve read probably a thrird of them, surely less than half …

  2. Patti Abbott

    Would hate to be listed as the most disappointing book someone read. Even if it’s more about the subject than the author.

  3. George Kelley

    Patti, a couple of my friends who are in a “literary” book club were very disappointed by James Joyce’s ULYSSES, last month’s choice. After being named as the BEST NOVEL OF THE 20th CENTURY, my friends’s expectations were higher than Joyce’s book could reach.

  4. Jeff Meyerson

    You know I’m a sucker for books like this too, and I rely on you to tell us about them. I put it on hold. I’ve read just over a third of the titles.

  5. Rick Robinson

    I’ve read just 4, maybe 5 of them, and after looking at the list that’s probably enough. I knew Jeff would love this one and get it, in the way he often knows when I’ll not like one of your reviewed books.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *