[Review] Writers: Their Lives and Works, Foreword by James Naughtie

Publisher and Publication Date: DK, Penguin Random House. 2018 is the first American edition.
Genre: Nonfiction. Biographies of writers.
Pages: 360.
Format: Hardcover. 8 by 10 1/2.
Source: Public library.
Audience: Readers who want to read about the lives and works of writers.
Rating: Excellent.

Link for the book @ Amazon.

Link for the book @ Barnes and Noble.

At this link, you will see several pages from the inside of the book. DK.


Writers is a delicious hardcover, large book to pour over.

Beginning with Dante Alighieri and ends with Arundhati Roy.

Six chapters in total. “Chapter 1 is Pre-19th Century.” “Chapter 2 is Early 19th Century.” “Chapter 3 is Late 19th Century.” “Chapter 4 is Early 20th Century.” “Chapter 5 is Mid-20th Century.” “Chapter 6 is Writing Today.”

My Thoughts:

Overall I love this book. I poured over it and devoured each page.

Several of the writers I’d not heard of before because they are from countries that I’d not read fictional works (at least very little.) For example, Mo Yan, Chinese. He was awarded the Noble Prize in Literature in 2012.

Writers is a compiling of writers from all over the world and through the centuries. It is an eclectic group. I like this. I appreciate this. However, the compiling is organized not by who I would chose. For example, J. R. R. Tolkien is given only a snippet and located in the Directory section. I am shocked! I’d like to see him given six pages. Not a mere snippet. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the book. It gave me an education on a broad range of writers that I had been unfamiliar.

And, one more thing I am disappointed about: C. S. Lewis is not mentioned.

What I love:

1. Visually appealing with illustrations on most pages.
2. Some of the writers are given four to six pages for a write-up. Most have two pages.
3. I enjoyed reading about their early life, writing journey, personal lives, and other experiences in life. For example, their journalism work during wars or travel adventures. I also enjoyed reading about those writers who were friends. They encouraged one another. A few had disagreements and went their separate ways.
4. Several, if not most of the women writers, were trail blazers. I admire their tenacity and perseverance.
5. Small personal stories are shared. For example, a writer friend came to visit Charles Dickens in his home. He overstayed and Dickens became impatient. The guest became embarrassed.
6. I love the desks and writing spaces that are included.
7. I love reading about the impact of writings that led to other writings which led to screen adaptions.


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