Authors Ann Patchett and Daniel Pink talk what makes a great book


Ann Patchett, author of “This is the Story of a Happy Marriage” and Daniel Pink, author of “To Sell is Human,” sat down with Jeffrey Brown in Washington’s Politics and Prose bookstore to talk about the factors that make a great book.

“The mark of a truly great book for me is one that makes me forget that I’m reading,” Patchett said. “One that actually turns off the critical component of my mind.”

Pink, who underlines thoroughly while reading, said the key for him is the urge to share what he’s just read. “I come across something and underline it and go: I’ve got to tell somebody what I just found out.”

Patchett adds that she’s become a better reader since she’s become the owner of a bookstore. She owns Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee.

“I think for any passionate reader,” she said, “the experience of reading a book that you love is not complete until you can turn around and say, ‘You have to read this book. This is so important to me.'”

Ann Patchett and Daniel Pink’s favorite books of 2014:

From Ann:

“Brown Girl Dreaming” A memoir written in verse by Jacqueline Woodson

“Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant” A memoir and graphic novel By Roz Chast

“My Favorite Things” A visual narrative by Maira Kalman

“Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free” by Héctor Tobar

From Daniel:

“Dataclysm” by OK Cupid co-founder Christian Rudder

“The Meaning of Human Existence” A philosophical examination by biologist E. O. Wilson

“Drunk Tank Pink” A social psychology by Adam Alter

On Tuesday’s NewsHour, Patchett and Pink explain what makes these books their favorites of 2014: