I'm very impatient with a book that doesn't deliver on its promise of introducing me to a new world. Fortunately, I've been exposed to a number of amazing stories through my work. We interview many authors on the News Hour program, and I have been lucky enough to talk to a few of the people behind the selections on my list, including David McCullough and David Levering Lewis.
In some of the works I've chosen, I found an author who articulated a point that I couldn't have given words to myself. I find myself thinking, "Yes, that's it exactly." Other authors made me think about a certain set of facts or a historical figure in a new light. These writers are always willing to ask another question, hear another point of view, or seek out a contrary opinion. Maybe I'm drawn to their work because that's what good journalists do.
Looking back over my list, I realize there's one other thing that these books have done: They've shown me how much I have yet to learn.
Gwen Ifill is senior correspondent at The News Hour with Jim Lehrer and host of Washington Week on PBS.
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