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Great writers are great readers. And they have amazing stories to tell. Not just about the books they write, but about the books they read.  Anne Strainchamps and the producers behind “To the Best of Our Knowledge” have been asking authors for years to tell a story about that one book that left a mark. A book they can’t forget. A book that changed everything. Now they’re sharing these stories with you, delivered in a weekly micro-podcast. New bite-sized episodes every Friday. Learn more at ttbook.org/bookmarks.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Alice Walker on 'Disturbing The Peace'

Alice Walker recommends Richard Yates' novel following an advertising executive whose seemingly successful life quietly fractures under the pressure of mundanity, alcoholism, anger, and recklessness. She says she was drawn to the book because Yates' world was so different from hers. —This author recommends— Disturbing the Peace: A Novel —More from this author— Interview: What To Do With An Arrow In Your Heart


15 Nov 2019

Rank #1

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Orhan Pamuk on 'Anna Karenina'

The Turkish writer and Nobel laureate says his favorite novel — the 800-plus-page Russian novel bursting with characters living the life of imperial Russian society — is a complex miracle of a book. —This author recommends— Anna Karenina —More from this author— Interview: Orhan Pamul on 'Snow'—Sonic Sidebar: Orhan Pamuk on The Arabian Nights—Interview: Orhan Pamuk on Fundamentalist Islam—Interview: Why Write? Nobel Prize-Winner Orhan Pamuk Offers His Take—Interview: Istanbul with Orhan Pamuk


8 May 2020

Rank #2

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Philip Pullman on 'The Pocket Atlas of the World'

Philip Pullman — author of the fantasy classic "His Dark Materials" — is clearly attuned to the imaginative world of children. In fact, he was a middle school English teacher before he became a best-selling novelist. So maybe it’s not surprising that the book that exerted such a pull on his own imagination was "The Pocket Atlas of the World," which he first encountered at the age of nine. —This author recommends— Pocket World Atlas —More from this author— Interview: Why Philip Pullman Is Obsessed With Panpsychism—Interview: 'His Dark Materials' Author Philip Pullman On The Consciousness Of All Things


13 Mar 2020

Rank #3

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Jericho Brown on 'The Witches of Eastwick'

As a black, gay poet, Jericho Brown considers it “hilarious” that he discovered sex through one of the whitest writers in American history — John Updike.  —This author recommends— The Witches of Eastwick —More from this author— Interview: Can A Poem Be A Kind Of Prayer?


22 Nov 2019

Rank #4

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Werner Herzog on 'The Peregrine'

Filmmaker Werner Herzog, whose films include "Grizzly Man" and "Cave of the Forgotten Dreams," recommends a nonfiction collection of J.A. Baker's observations of peregrine falcons, recorded in the early 1960s. —This author recommends— The Peregrine (New York Review Books Classics) —More from this author— Interview: Why Werner Herzog Is Awe-Struck


6 Dec 2019

Rank #5

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Kazuo Ishiguro on 'Prayers for the Stolen'

Famed novelist Kazuo Ishiguro recommends “Prayers for the Stolen,” by Jennifer Clement —a harrowing tale about young children who are abducted in the midst of Mexican drug wars. —This author recommends— Prayers for the Stolen —More from this author— Interview: Kazuo Ishiguro on 'Never Let Me Go'—Interview: Kazuo Ishiguro on 'The Buried Giant'


24 Apr 2020

Rank #6

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Anne Lamott on 'Pippi Longstocking'

Writer Anne Lamott says that the children’s classic made her feel like there was room in the world for imaginative, adventurous girls who just might wear mismatched knee socks.  —This author recommends— Pippi Longstocking —More from this author— Interview: Hope Is Faith In Life Itself


27 Dec 2019

Rank #7

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Martin Amis on 'The Adventures of Augie March'

Martin Amis has written his fair share of novels and essay collections. For a writer, you expect their favorite books to be a source of inspiration. For Amis, Saul Bellow's 1953 novel is a source of writer's block. —This author recommends— The Adventures of Augie March (Penguin Classics) —More from this author— Interview: When Should An Author Call It Quits?


29 Nov 2019

Rank #8

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Margaret Atwood on 'Wide Sargasso Sea'

Jean Rhys takes up a "mad" wife’s story in "Wide Sargasso Sea," an overlooked novel recommended by "Handmaid’s Tale" author Margaret Atwood. —This author recommends— Wide Sargasso Sea —More from this author —Interview: Margaret Atwood Blends Dystopia and Social Satire —Interview: 'Handmaid’s Tale' Author Margaret Atwood on the Roots of Dystopia


20 Dec 2019

Rank #9

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Jacqueline Woodson on 'If Beale Street Could Talk'

The author of "Another Brooklyn" recommends a James Baldwin novel she says belongs on everyone's bookshelf. —This author recommends— If Beale Street Could Talk (Vintage International) —More from this author— Interview: Four Girls Growing Up In 'Another Brooklyn'


1 May 2020

Rank #10