Every so often, a book comes along that is simply masterful. Readers and writers alike marvel at its brilliance and attempt to figure out what, precisely, made it so stunning. Often, the answer eludes us. As writer Julian Barnes said of Canadian short story writer Alice Munro, “I have sometimes tried to work out how she does it but never succeeded, and I am happy in this failure ...”
We rave about the books we love and press them into the hands of friends, then wait eagerly for them to finish, craving the discussion to come. Sometimes we disagree – a book may be earth-shattering for one person but not another – so we must argue, and with gusto.
Our most cherished books follow us around, infusing our days with significance and inspiring new ideas about art and life.