A Memoir

Book - 2008/07/08
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The author recounts his lifelong love affair with books, from his largely "bookless" boyhood and discovery of literature as a young man, to the evolution of his writing career and his passion as a book collector who opens bookstores of rare and collectible volumes.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2008/07/08
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781416583349
Branch Call Number: B MCMURTRY


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Jan 09, 2010

This is the 72nd of a series of titles selected by writer Yann Martel to provide to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, to encourage an appreciation of the arts and literature in particular in the PM, and to also help Harper with his stillness and thoughtfulness. Martel has regularly sent books from a wide range of literary traditions to Harper. Martel has devoted a Web site to the reading list and his kind, considered and often poignant covering letters with each volume. (All of his letters can be read at They are also now in printed form, in a book entitled, not surprisingly, What is Stephen Harper Reading? )

Martel's thoughtful persistence in this quest, started in April 2007, is both heartwrenching and highly commendable. He has never received a direct acknowledgement from Harper, and only some fairly form-letter responses from Harper's staff. He has also received a response from Industry Minister Tony Clement, but it wasn't directly related to any of Martel's book selections.

As well as being a successful novelist and screenwriter, Larry McMurtry has a personal book library of close to 30,000 books, and owns several bookstores. Books: a memoir is his ode to a life in books on so many levels. You would think and hope that a book like this could capture Harper's interest on one level or another. With Parliament on hold for an overly extended period, one hopes he might have time to finally dip into some of Martel's suggestions.


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