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Who is Reading What?
A Celebrity Reading List: 1995

Dear Readers,

Gardiner residents are enthusiastic about books. Although Gardiner is a tiny community of 6,746 people, the library ranks 9th among the top circulating public libraries in Maine. Suggestions by celebrities help.

This is the 8th year that we have asked noted people to recommend their favorite books for the "Who Reads What?" list. The library now offers this list free, to help promote reading world wide.


Our 1995 celebrity recommendations range from classic authors like Charles Dickens and old time popular authors like Edgar Rice Burroughs and Jack London to the newest and most controversial writers--a myriad of wonderful works.


Whether you are a "print freak" like Charlton Heston, wish to get "lost in a good book" like Bill Gates, or are looking for books to "help you navigate," as Carolyn Chute says, you'll find something to your taste in this year's "Who Reads What?"


Barbara Bel Geddes thinks the list is a marvelous idea. We hope you agree, will try our fare, and share your favorites with your friends.


Glenna Nowell, Editor
"Who Reads What?"



Arnold "Red" Auerbach Julie Christie Lee Grant  Rhonda Fleming Mann
Alec Baldwin  Carolyn Chute  Julie Harris  Don Mclean
Nick Bantock Gary Crocker Charlton Heston Ed McMahon
Barbara Bel Geddes Tyne Daly Helen Hunt Burgess Meredith
Milton Berle Bob Dole Molly Ivins Sylvia Miles
Yogi Berra Hugh Downs John Jakes Patti Page
Mayim Bialik Olympia Dukakis Angus King Thom Peters
Dave Brubeck William Friedkin  Norman Lear Winona Ryder
LeVar Burton Beverly Garland Christopher Lee Buffy Sainte-Marie 
Butros Butros-Ghali  Bill Gates Yo-Yo Ma  
Pat Carroll Barry Goldwater Karl Malden  



Arnold "Red" Auerbach  
Basketball Coach

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Tarzan of the Apes  
by Edgar Rice Burroughs 


Tom Swift books

"In answer to your recent letter, when I was younger I read all the Tarzan and Tom Swift Books, etc. As I got older, I read books by Ken Follett and Len Deighton. Now I am inclined to read mysteries."
Alec Baldwin   

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To Kill a Mockingbird   
by Harper Lee 
"In some important ways, characters that we have grown to love in this story are worse off at its end, but they are wiser, and the family still has each other. This is a great story about facing life's difficulties and moving on, no matter what." 
Nick Bantock  

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A Chymical Wedding   
by Lindsey Clarke 


The Comte of Monte Cristo 
by Alexander Dumas 

"A quite amazing book about Alchemy, love and a lot of things I may have missed." 

"Revenge at it's best." 

Barbara Bel Geddes

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Peter Rabbit   
by Beatrix Potter 


Winnie the Pooh  
by A.A. Milne 


Crossing to Safety  
by Wallace Stegner 

Dear Miss Nowell, 

"You must be a great librarian. 'Who Reads What?' is a marvelous idea." 

Milton Berle   

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The life story of George S. Kaufman  "A favorite book is always difficult to select, but one that stands out in my memory is the life story of George S. Kaufman. The book is an honest, frivolous story about a man who was the antithesis of what you expected him to be. It gives a thoughtful and realistic portrait of a brilliant playwright. The many sides of his personality are exposed, and it is one of the most interesting books I've ever read. I highly recommend it." 
Yogi Berra   
Baseball Manager 

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Something of Value   
by Robert Ruark 
"A great book about loyalty to a belief in Africa. The Mau Mau were a dedicated tribe." 
Mayim Bialik  

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The Fountain Head  
Atlas Shrugged  
both by Ayn Rand 
"By far the most incredible books I have read. Enthralling and educational--opened up a whole other dimension to me." 
David Brubeck   Jazz Musician 

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Forty Days of Musa Dagh  
by Franz Werfel 
"I think this book written early in this century, is a fascinating part of history, which closely parallels what is going on today in Bosnia; and according to people aware of the international situation, there are 23 other places scattered throughout the world where similar ethnic wars are being waged upon innocent people. Forty Days of Musa Dagh is an inside perspective, a victim's point of view, on 'ethnic cleansing..'" 
Levar Burton  

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The Road Less Traveled  
by M. Scott Peck, MD


A Course in Miracles  
by Tara Singh 

"This book is a 'must read' for anyone who is serious about the human journey of self knowledge. Peck speaks to the heart in plain and easily digestible terms. I also high recommend A Course in Miracles, an exciting, no nonsense day-by-day adventure in changing our perception of the nature of reality." 
Butros Butros-Ghali   
Secretary-General of the United Nations 

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The Grammar of Politics  
by Harold Laski 
Pat Carroll   

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by Mrs. Gaskell 
"Cranford by Mrs. Gaskell is my all time favorite reading material. In the hurly burly of this more than modern world, the story of a quiet English village inhabited mostly by women and their daily routines continues to bring me peace and contentment. Mrs. Gaskell had an eerie sense of how important the small things in life can be; she writes of minutiae with humor and sensitivity. She gives a world of chaos a sense of order and harmony, would that we had more in our daily lives. 

There now, all done. I salute the notion that folks are interested in what other people are reading. It's the way we 'pass it on,' eh? Continued success in this venture." 

Julie Christie  

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Manufacturing Consent  
by Noam Chomsky 
Carolyn Chute  

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Dead Man Walking  
by Helen Prejean 


Jesus Before Christianity  
by Albert Nolan 


The Unsettling of America  
by Wendall Berry 


Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered  
by E.F. Schumacher 


Ground Zero: America's Secret Nuclear War  
by Carole Gallagher 


by George Orwell 


Grapes of Wrath  
by John Steinbeck 

"This should be required reading in all high schools, Then again in colleges, then again and again and again. Other books that have meant a lot to me are Jesus Before Christianity by Albert Nolan, The Unsettling of America by Wendall Berry, Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered by E.F. Schumacher, Ground Zero: America's Secret Nuclear War, by Carole Gallagher, 1984 by George Orwell, and Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Anybody who hasn't read these is not educated to live in America in the 1990's. These books can help you navigate!" 
Gary Crocker   

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Never Met a Man I Didn't Like: The Life and Writings of Will Rogers  
by Joseph H. Carter 
"Mr. Carter's book should be required reading in every public school in this country. The wit and wisdom of Will Rogers is timeless and should be revisited regularly. My personal favorite: 'Call me a 'rube' and a 'hick' but I'd rather be the man who bought the Brooklyn Bridge than the man who sold it." 
Tyne Daly   

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A Wrinkle in Time  
by Madeleine L'Engle 
Bob Dole   
Senate Majority Leader 

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Eisenhower the President  
by Steven Ambrose 
"I have discovered there is worth in any book, fiction or nonfiction, for the person who takes the time to read. As I decided to dedicate my life to public service, I have taken great interest in biographies of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Dwight Einsenhower, a fellow Kansan, has served as a role model throughout my career. Not only was Eisenhower an admirable Chief Executive, but he was also a great commander of those he led in the Army. To date, Eisenhower the President by Stephen Ambrose, remains my favorite source of Ike inspiration." 


Bob Dole 

Hugh Downs   
TV Journalist 

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Northwest Passage  
by Kenneth Roberts 
Olympia Dukakis

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The plays of Anton Chekov
William Friedkin

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Remembrance of Things Past 
by Marcel Proust 
"It's with some trepidation that I recommend Proust's masterpiece, knowing that it would not be to everyone's taste. Also, I think it helps to be of at least university age before it can be completely appreciated. As you know, to be fully savored, it requires an almost absolute commitment by the reader, which can be difficult because as Anatole France said, 'Life is short, Proust long.' But to anyone who is able to make the commitment, there is no greater reward in literature, and you will mark the change in your life from before Proust and after Proust." 
Beverly Garland   

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The Source  
by James Michener 
"I really learned about the Jewish faith--it changed the way I think." 
Bill Gates   
Chairman, Microsoft 

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Catcher in the Rye  
by J.D. Salinger 


A Lesson Before Dying  
by Ernest Gaines 


The periodical The Economist 

"I have always been an avid reader and lament the fact that I don't have more hours in the day to spend lost in a good book. 

One of my favorite books from childhood is The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I have read it so many times that I can quote large portions of it from memory. More recently, I have enjoyed A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines. It is powerfully written. 

"I like reading biographies and books about science, history, and business. My favorite periodical is The Economist. I can't imagine a life without reading and am pleased to contribute to your annual list which encourages people to seek out new books and old favorites."

Barry Goldwater   

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The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire  
by Edward Gibbon 
"The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire has always been one of my favorites, maybe even number one, but I have always loved to read, and all books are precious to me." 
Lee Grant   
Director, Actress 

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Fathers and Sons  
by Ivan Turgenev 


The diaries of Anais Nin 


The essays of Bertrand Russell 


The short stories of Anton Chekov, Grace Paley, Roald Dahl, and Collette 

Julie Harris   

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I Passed This Way  
by Sylvia Ashton-Warner 
"A teacher from New Zealand tells the story of her life." 
Charlton Heston   

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Huckleberry Finn  
by Mark Twain 
"Thanks for asking for a favorite book of mine; since I'm a confirmed print freak it is difficult to single out one. I would, however, suggest the complete works of Shakespeare or maybe Huckleberry Finn

"My best wishes to you for success with your program. I can think of little more important than reading." 

Helen Hunt   

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The Crossing  
by Cormac McCarthy 
"It took my breath away." 
Molly Ivins   
Journalist, Writer 

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Catcher in the Rye  
by J.D. Salinger 
"I think different books mean more to one at different times of life. When I was a teenager,  Catcher in the Rye was my soulmate. As an adult, I find the authors I reread every few years are Charles Dickens and Jane Austen." 
Angus King   
Governor of Maine 

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Plain Speaking  
by Merle Miller 
"Plain Speaking by Merle Miller is the best political book I have ever read. It is Harry Truman in his own refreshing words: honest, irreverent, wise, and with surprising historical perspective. Truman said that there's nothing new under the sun, only history we haven't learned yet. Our challenge is to learn those lessons of history, and act upon them." 


Angus King 

John Jakes   

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The Three Musketeers  
by Alexandre Dumas 


The Martian Chronicles  
by Ray Bradbury 


Bleak House  
by Charles Dickens 


The Great Gatsby  
by F. Scott Fitzgerald 


Books by James Lee Burke and Elmore Leonard 

"The question you pose is a tough one; there are just too many good and great books. I began to discover this when I took my first job in the 1940's as a page in a branch of the Chicago Public Library. But here goes. 

Two books that turned me to a writing career: The Three Musketeers [by Alexandre Dumas] and The Martian Chronicles [by Ray Bradbury]. 

Two books I treasure: Bleak House [by Charles Dickens] and The Great Gatsby [by F. Scott Fitzgerald]." 

"Two contemporary writers I read with great pleasure: James Lee Burke and Elmore Leonard." 

With good wishes, 

John Jakes 

Norman Lear  

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The Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson 
Christopher Lee   

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The Lord of the Rings   
by J.R.R. Tolkien 
"I read this book every year. It is, quite simply, unique. A work of magic and beauty, sprung from a mind of great intellectual power and knowledge. I know of no other author who has not only invented a new world, but has also formed new languages and writing. An entirely logical work." 
Yo-Yo Ma   
Concert Cellist 

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Haroun and the Sea of Stories  
by Salman Rushdie 
Karl Malden   

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Call of the Wild  
by Jack London 
"I think it was the first book I read in one sitting. Couldn't put it down. Today I read a great deal of Bio." 
Rhonda Fleming Mann   

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A Rustle of Angels  
by Marilynn Carlson Webber and William Webber 


The Hiding Place  
by Corrie Ten Boom 

"I'm happy to recommend a book I recently read-- A Rustle of Angels by Marilynn Carlson Webber and William Webber. I believe in angels and the good works they do and this book is full of personal real-life and beautiful firsthand experiences! Fascinating to read-- 

I also love The Hiding Place by Carrie Ten- Boom--an extraordinary story of love, bravery and forgiveness-- a must read!" 

Don McLean  

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A First Class Temperament 
by Geoffrey C. Ward 
"Bio of FDR prior to becoming president. This is one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read. I asked Mr. Ward why he stopped his narrative before FDR became president and he said when a man achieves high office he ceases to exist and becomes like the Cheshire cat, no cat-- only the smile." 
Ed McMahon   
TV Personality 

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The Prophet  
by Kahlil Gibran 


Treasure Island  
by R.L. Stevenson 


Without Remorse  
by Tom Clancy 


Master of the Game  
by Connie Bruck 


The Book of Virtues  
by William Bennett 

"One of my favorite books is The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. I also very much enjoyed Treasure Island when I was young, and all books pertaining to the sea. 

"I am currently reading three books: Tom Clancy's Without RemorseMaster of the Game (The Steven Ross Story) by Connie Bruck and William Bennett's The Book of Virtues." 

Burgess Meredith   

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So Far, So Good  
by Burgess Meredith 
"I enjoyed writing it--and it's a best seller!" 
Sylvia Miles   

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The Eustace Diamonds   
by Anthony Trollope 


Cousin Betty  
by Honoreé del Balzac 

"Enclosed my two choices, very hard to make I might add, given my voracious appetite for literature. I could have chosen James, Austen, Galsworthy, but I might never have answered your letter, and request, and been still pondering till the year 2000. 

"The Eustace Diamonds of Trollope's, which is part of the Phineas Finn and Palliser series of novels, deeply moved me, and resulted in my reading all of Anthony Trollope. I found him to be one of the most pleasurable of English authors and his books have given me years of enjoyable reading. "Cousin Betty of Balzac's, part of his human comedy (one hundred novels) also affected me and I've since read all of Balzac that I could find in English. 

"Reading is nourishment for me. I need literature as much as food!" 

Patti Page   

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The Fountainhead  
by Ayn Rand 


Hawaii Chesapeake, and Centennial  
by James Michener 

Thom Peters   
Management Consultant 

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Short stories by Paul Bowles and Reynolds Price 
Winona Ryder   

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Catcher in the Rye  
by J.D. Salinger 
Buffy Sainte-Marie   

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Indian Givers  
by Jack Weatherford 


Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
by Dee Brown  


Sacred Hoop  
by Paula Gunn Allen


Confederacy of Dunces  
by John Kennedy Toole  


by Virginia Woolf 


The Age of Innocence  
by Edith Wharton  


by Leslie Silko 

"Indian Givers by Jack Weatherford, Ph.D, by far the most thorough and readable book I've found about the contributions of Native American people to the world. Also, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown (Native American and feminist subject)." 

"A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. Funny, poignant, real New Orleans. Also, Orlando by Virginia Woolf, and The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, and Ceremony by Leslie Silko, Native American." 



Ex Libris


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