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Who is Reading What?
A Celebrity Reading List: 1994

Dear Readers,

This is the seventh annual Who Reads What list, a wondrous compendium that was born from the need to provide diverse reading with little money. Although Gardiner is a tiny community of 6,746 residents, its library ranks among the top circulating libraries in Maine, number nine of 228. It's a challenge to get people to read the many great books libraries have, rather than just the current bestsellers. The Who Reads What list works well.

 

The list's worldwide publicity brings uplifting letters from people who are finding the recommended books meaningful. To fill the many requests for copies of the list, we sought and found a "good guy" sponsor, Thomson Gale, to print and distribute 20,000 free copies.

President Bill Clinton says in this year's Who Reads What that "Reading has taught me to dream big dreams and make them come true." Librarians dream of people discovering books for education and entertainment, and to improve their lives. The list makes that a reality. I urge you to sample the treasures recommended here, and I hope you will share them with your friends.

Regards,

Glenna Nowell, Editor
"Who Reads What?"

 

 

Buzz Aldrin Carol Channing Harvey Golub Barbara Mandrell
Debbie Allen Bill Clinton Scott Hamilton Arthur Miller
Cleveland Amory Tim Conway Charlaine Harris Hayley Mills
Thomas H. Andrews Howard Cosell Al Hirt Joni Mitchell
Ed Asner Tony Curtis Angelica Huston Edmund Muskie
Margaret Atwood Sam Donaldson Victor K. Kiam II Martina Navratilova
Lauren Bacall Michael Eisner Billie Jean King Camille Paglia
F. Lee Bailey  Boomer Esiason Larry King Colin L. Powell
David Bowie Chris Evert Diane Ladd Vanessa Redgrave
Edmund G. Brown Annette Funicello Dorrothy Lamour  Janet Reno
Jimmy Buffett George Gallup, Jr. Shari Lewis Gena Rowlands
Johnny Cash David Geffen Joan Lunden Paul Tsongas
Oleg Cassini Estelle Getty  Ali MacGraw  

 

 

 

Buzz Aldrin 
Astronaut

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All of Tom Clancy's books
Debbie Allen 
Actress/Dancer

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They Came Before Columbus 
by Ivan Van Sertima
"This is one of my favorite books because it is a much needed source of history in regard to the presence of black Africans in ancient America. The author builds a pyramid of evidence using diaries, letters and journals of the explorers themselves, carbon 14 dated sculptures, charts, maps, recorded tales of griots, even skeletons found as recently as 1975. He creates history as if it were a novel."
Cleveland Amory 
Writer

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The Snow Goose 
by Paul Gallico
"A masterful story-teller tells a story that no one who reads it will ever forget."
Thomas H. Andrews 
Member of Congress, 1st District, Maine

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The Perennial Philosophy 
by Aldous Huxley
"While it is a difficult task to choose my favorite book, I would have to say it is The Perennial Philosophy by Aldous Huxley. I first read this wonderful book in college. It helped me expand my vision of the human experience. It introduced me to the depth and breadth of our humanity. It was a jumping-off point for further reading and discovery. The discovery continues to this day."
Ed Asner 
Actor

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The Last of the Just 
by Andre Schwarz- Bart
"A phenomenon of a book filled with tragedy and comedy; history and fantasy; pathos and perfidy. No novel has done so fine a job in delineating what has gone into the making of a Jew as this book does."
Margaret Atwood 
Writer

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Grimm's Fairy Tales 
by the Brothers Grimm
Lauren Bacall 
Actress

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All the Pretty Horses 
by Cormac McCarthy 

 

Remains of the Day 
by Kazuo Ishiguro

"The most beautiful writing I have read in years-- a joy to read." 

"Wonderful story--perfectly fascinatingly told."

F. Lee Bailey 
Attorney

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The Art of Cross-Examination 
by Francis P. Wellman
"The all-time classic." 
David Bowie 
Singer/Actor

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Fifth Business 
The Manticore 
The World of Business 
by Robertson Davies 

 

Nights at the Circus 
by Angela Carter 

 

Money 
by Martin Amis 

 

Brazzaville Beach 
by William Boyd 

 

The Viceroy of Ouidah 
by Bruce Chatwin 

 

Libra 
by Don Delillo

Dear Miss Nowell: 

"I was so delighted to have been asked to contribute to your list as I am an obsessive reader, and, it seems to me, I spend half my life recommending books to friends--and to complete strangers at times! 

However, actually putting my short list together nearly paralyzed me with indecision. I read something like three books a week, so trimming down became an exceptionally daunting prospect. 

These few are works that really stayed with me and I can assure the reader of a jolly good time with any of the following. Fifth BusinessThe Manticore, and World of Wonders by Robertson Davies. These books form a trilogy so read them in order. Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter. Wonderfully surreal. Money by Martin Amis. Funny, bitter, extremely British. Brazzaville Beach, by William Boyd. Caring, poignant and terribly romantic. The Viveroy of Ouidah by Bruce Chatwin. One of the greatest writers of this last twenty years. Libra by Don Delillo. Alarming and American. 

I should also note that if you like any of these books please don't hesitate to read the rest of the works by any of these authors. Their entire output is just great. I'd love to hear your opinion. 

Please ask me for another list next year as I keep remembering works that cast their spell on my sponge-like mind." 

Kind regards, 

David Bowie 

Edmund G. Brown 
Former Governor

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Democracy 
by Henry Adams
"In clear prose, he lays bare the basic contradictions of modern democracy." 
Jimmy Buffet
Singer/writer 

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Don't Stop the Carnival 
by Herman Wouk
Johnny Cash
Singer

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Gone South 
by Robert McGammon 

 

Gospel 
by Wilton Barnhardt 

 

The Twelfth Angel 
The Greatest Salesman in the World, Part 2 
by Og Mandino

 

Collected Poems 
by Edna St. Vincent Millay 

 

A Few Figs from Thistles 
by Edna St. Vincent Millay 

Oleg Cassini 
Designer

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The Memoirs of Casanova 
by Giacomo Casanova
". . . my favorite book." 
Carol Channing 
Actress

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The Healing and the Mind 
by Bill Moyers 

 

My Life in Art 
by Konstantin Stanislavski 

 

Dance to the Piper 
by Agnes de Mille 

"Bill Moyer's writings always give me a metaphysical lift. 

[My Life In Art] probably formed me and I didn't know it because I read it in the ninth grade. 

All of Agnes de Mille's literary works have had a profound influence on me and my career." 

Bill Clinton 
42nd President of the United States

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The Silver Chalice 
by Thomas Costain 

 

The Robe 
by Lloyd Douglas 

 

The Last of the Mohicans 
by James Fenimore Cooper 

 

100 Years of Solitude 
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez 

 

The Prince of Tides 
by Pat Conroy

Dear Glenna: 

"Thanks for your letter asking me about my reading habits. Reading has been an important part of my life since I began to read, with the help of my grandfather. My first and also my favorite books were the Dick and Jane readers. 

By the time I was around twelve, some of my favorite books were The Silver ChaliceThe Last of the Mohicans, and The Robe. As an adult I have thoroughly enjoyed 100 Years of Solitude and The Prince of Tides.

Both as Governor of Arkansas and now as President of the United States, I must spend a lot of time reading every day. Along with newspapers, magazines, and letters like yours, I also read about 70 fiction and nonfiction books each year. 

I can't imagine what my life would be like without reading. Reading has taught me to dream big dreams and make them come true. I'm encouraged by your interest in reading and hope that it will be as important in your life as it has been in mine." 

Sincerely, 

Bill Clinton 

Tim Conway
Actor

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Catcher in the Rye 
by J.D. Salinger
"The page with the author's name was torn so I never knew who wrote the book. The last three pages were also missing; perhaps you could rell me who the murder was." 
Howard Cosell
Sportscaster

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The Red and the Black 
by Marie Henri Beyle Stendahl
"Along with Proust, Flaubert and Hugo--classic French literature--Stendahl's The Red and the Black has been my favorite novel since my days at New York University."
Tony Curtis 
Actor

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Tony Curtis: The Autobiography 
by Tony Curtis
"I couldn't wait to find out how it ends."
Sam Donaldson 
Broadcast Journalist

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Plutarch's Lives 
by Plutarch
"Fascinating biography-- insight into early successful people." 
Michael Eisner 
CEO, Walt Disney Company

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The Scarlet Letter 
by Nathaniel Hawthorne
"Hawthorne is a compelling storyteller whose writing gives us a respect for and a better understanding of the complexities that make up a human being." 
Boomer Esiason  
Quarterback, New York Jets

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The Last Lion, Winston Spencer Churchill 
by William Manchester
"A great hero and a great book!"
Chris Evert 
Tennis Player

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The Prince of Tides 
by Pat Conroy 

 

Gone with the Wind 
by Margaret Mitchell 

Annette Funicello 
Actress

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The Holy Bible 
King James Version
"This book has all the stories you can think of, love--murder--government--greed, etc." 
George Gallup, Jr. 
Chairman, Gallup Institute

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The Tale of Two Cities 
by Charles Dickens
"I suppose my favorite book as a youth was The Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I found it to be not only a wonderfully exciting story, but also a powerful reminder that humans are capable of both profound evil and profound good. Dickens was writing for out times as well as his."
David Geffen 
Recording Company Executive

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The Fifties 
by David Halberstam
Estelle Getty 
Actress

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Marjorie Morningstar 
by Herman Wouk
"Almost the story of my life."
Harvey Golub 
CEO, American Express

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Exodus 
by Leon Uris 

 

Hawaii 
by James Michener 

 

Call of the Wild 
by Jack London 

 

A Bridge Too Far 
by Cornelius Ryan

Scott Hamilton
Olympic Figure Skater 

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The Bourne Identity 
by Robert Ludlum
"I love action and adventure books. I picked this book up and sat perfectly still while the story took me 300 mph cover to cover."
Charlaine Harris 
Writer

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Bucket Nut 
by Liza Cody
"The book that impressed me most this past year was Liza Cody's Bucket Nut. Liza Cody has always been a very good writer, but she has surpassed herself with Bucket Nut. It's a picture of a world and a character that I could not begin to imagine on my own, and I recommend it very highly. I am sure many of your readers have already met Anna Lee, the London detective who is the protagonist of Cody's other books; she appears as an incidental character in Bucket Nut. Seeing Anna from the outside is intriguing after seeing her from the inside, so to speak. 

I am flattered at being asked for my recommendation. There are so many books I enjoyed this past year that it was hard to pick one to head the list!" 

Sincerely, 

Charlaine Harris

Al Hirt 
Jazz Trumpeter

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The Fifties 
by David Halberstam
"Factual--good, bad and in between of the '50s--well written and enjoyable."
Angelica Huston 
Actress

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The House of Mirth 
The Age of Innocence 
by Edith Wharton
"Until recently, I'd read Edith Wharton's short stories but never her novels--She is an extraordinary storyteller, with an amazing gift for detail, whether it be the innermost workings of the human heart, or the rigors of social life in New York in the 1870's. She's as great to me as Henry James, and much more feminine!" 
Victor K. Kiam II 
Business Executive/Writer

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The Pelican Brief 
by John Grisham
"An exciting and moving experience. Once started it was impossible to put down."
Billie Jean King 
Tennis Player

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Days of Grace 
by Arthur Ashe
Larry King 
Talk Show Host

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Truman 
by David McCullogh
"A great bio. Pulitzer winner--not a dull page."
Diane Ladd 
Actress

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Don't Blame Mother 
by Paula J. Kaplan
"This psychiatrist states that most psychiatrists of the male gender blame Mother. . . 

And that this is no longer acceptable--there has to be mutual respect, understanding, cooperation, etc. between sexes, races, nations, etc. 

P.S.--It's a terrific book!" 

Dorothy Lamour 
Actress

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Me 
by Katherine Hepburn
Shari Lewis 
Puppeteer

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Return of the Native 
by Thomas Hardy
"Generally, the book I'm reading at the moment is my favorite--however, my all time fave is Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy. Great tragic strong female character, bucking the social mores." 
Joan Lunden 
Television Co-Host

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Little Women 
by Louis May Alcott
Ali MacGraw 
Actress

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The Great Gatsby 
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
"No matter how many times I read this--and no matter how many other, wonderful books I have read--The Great Gatsby remains one of those on the proverbial short list what treasures I would take in a small basket to that famous desert island!"
Barbara Mandrell 
Singer

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The Hiding Place 
by Corrie Ten-Boom
"The first three chapters were hard to get through, but after that I finished the book in one night. She was such a devout Christian and became the greatest heroine of my life."
Arthur Miller 
Writer

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Fatal Shore 
by Robert Hughes
"A great read and a fine history of the settlement of Australia."
Hayley Mills
Actress

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The Magic Findhorn 
by Paul Hawken
"The The Magic Findhorn by Paul Hawken is one of the most exciting books I've read for a long time. 

Anyone who wants to know what the New Age really means should read it. At a time when the world appears to be hurtling towards disaster there comes the miracle that is happening in Findhorn. 

It is a fantastic and true story about the birth of the New Age and a Spiritual Community." 

Joni Mitchell 
Singer

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Kim 
by Rudyard Kipling
Edmund Muskie 
Senator

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Lincoln at Gettysburg 
by Gary Wills 

 

In the Hands of Providence: Joshua Chamberlain 
by Alice Rains Trulock 

 

The Bridges of Madison County 
by Robert James Waller 

Martina Navratilova 
Tennis Player

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The Fountainhead 
by Ayn Rand
"The striving for excellence, sticking to your beliefs and ideals even if it means going against the popular tide. Accepting responsibility--wow, what a concept--too bad politicians don't read these books."
Camille Paglia 
Professor

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Auntie Mame 
by Patrick Dennis
"As I said in Sexual Personae, I consider Auntie Mame the most important novel written after World War Two. This cult classic of gay men is all about power of personality and the magic masks in ths Age of Hollywood."
Colin L. Powell
Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

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The Lion, the Witch & the Wadrobe 
by C.S. Lewis 

 

Volumes on Lincoln by Carl Sandburg 

"Reading is one of my favorite pastimes and there are so many books to recommend. One book which I enjoyed reading to my children is the first in a seven-book series called 'The Chronicles of Narnia' by C.S. Lewis. It is titled The Lion, the Witch & the Wadrobe. For an older age group, I would highly encourage reading Carl Sandburg's volumes on Lincoln." 

Sincerely, 

Colin L. Powell  
Chairman of the JCS

Vanessa Redgrave 
Actress

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Resurrection 
by Leo Tolstoy 

 

The Fall of Yugoslavia 
by Michael Glenny 

Janet Reno 
Attorney General

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Wind in the Willows 
by Kenneth Grahame 

 

Mary Poppins 
by P.L. Travers

"Wind in the Willows and Mary Poppins were two of the Attorney General's favorite childhood books. They helped to instill in her a sense of wonder, the humor and the spirit of life. At the present time, the Attorney General enjoys reading biographies and books about American history."
Gena Rowlands 
Actress

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The Wilder Shores of Love 
by Lesley Blanch
"Fascinating histories of some extraordinary women."
Paul Tsongas 
Former Senator

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Body and Soul 
by Frank Conroy

 

 

Ex Libris

 

Many noted and respected people are graciously sharing their favorite book titles for this fine assemblage, our seventh annual Who Reads What? reading list. Delve into the suggested historical, popular and classical works; be entertained, educated and inspired by books these eminent people recommend, and enjoy the telling of the tales.

 

If you like reading, please help libraries continue their work. Keep libraries a free and vital part of your community by remembering the library when making charitable, memorial or endowment gifts. Book fund donations are tax deductible and 100% will be spent on books. Libraries are still a place where your help can make a difference.

 

Who Reads What? 1994 is funded and distributed with price by Thomson Gale, publishers of the "What Do I Read Next?" volumes for readers young and old. For extra copies, please contact Thomson Gale Corporate Communications toll free at (800)347-4253, ext. 1294.

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