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Who is Reading What?
A Celebrity Reading List: 1996

Dear Readers,

Although Gardiner is a tiny community of 6,746 people, our library ranks 8th among Maine's top circulating public libraries. Our residents are voracious readers.


The Who Reads What list began in 1988, born from the need to promote diverse reading with little money. We wanted to inspire people to read the wonderful books waiting on library shelves. Recommendations from people who are admired and respected help.


This year's celebrity suggestions range through the classics, children's favorites, contemporary works, and the scholarly. Find your favorites to enjoy again or try a new recommendation.


Gloria Estefan claims, "There is no better hobby than reading," and Cheryl Tiegs says, "Books make me happy." We concur, and endorse H. Norman Schwarzkopf's wish, "May you all find joy in reading as I have."


Glenna Nowell, Editor
"Who Reads What?"



Loni Anderson

Al Gore Mandy Patinkin Betty Turock
Michael Ansara Bryant Gumbel Harold Prince Dennis Weaver
Ellen Burstyn Christie Hefner Anthony Quinn Caspar Weinberger
Brett Butler Betty Hutton Pat Schroeder Simon Wiesenthal
James Carville Frank Keating H. Norman Schwarzkopf Paul Winfield
Mary Higgins Clark Howard Keel Willard Scott James Woods 
Gloria Estefan Tabitha King John M. Shalikashvili  
Dianne Feinstein Nelson Mandela Cheryl Tiegs  
Jeff Goldblum Robert Mitchum Kathleen Turner  



Loni Anderson

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New York Dead 
by Stuart Woods
"Page turner mystery not easy to second guess. Action starts on page 1. Fun to read with someone-- take turns reading a chapter a night to each other. Maybe take it on vaction because you won't be able to put it down."
Michael Ansara 

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All the Pretty Horses 
by Cormac McCarthy  
The Crossing 
by Cormac McCarthy 
by Oriana Fallaci
"First two earthy, spiritual. Deep thought with unusual style of writing. The last book, 
Inshulla, is engrossing and again, unusual and very penetrating. I like books that make you think and feel deeply."
Ellen Burstyn 

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The Care of the Soul 
by Thomas Moore  
The Seat of the Soul 
by Gary Zukav 
"Both these books are profound and inspirational but not simplistic or tied to any one religion."
Brett Butler 

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The Hamlet 
The Town 
The Mansion 
all by William Faulkner
"Despite being Southern, I didn't read William Faulkner until I was almost thirty. Then I read The Town and was completely enthralled. Since that was the second of the trilogy, I got the other two right away and couldn't put them down. It was hard to get the 'hang' of his writing, but sticking with it paid off. This trilogy wasn't critically acclaimed--for Faulkner--but I loved them. The stories within them are funny, humane, and the narration is relentlessly beautiful. By the time I finished them, I realized that I wasn't only coming to the end of some of my favorite writing, but that I was also watching a great artist through the forty years it took him to complete the series 

Favorite 'lighter' reading: S.J. Perelman--Despite his archaic references (due to the fact that humor is often reliant on current topics), he makes me laugh harder than any other writer. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabakov, and Catch 22 by Joseph Heller are probably my favorite novels. For general reading, I like poetry and history because I can just pick them up and start anywhere. Last year, someone gave me the histories of the twelve ceasars by both Tacitus and Suetonius--you don't find history any juicier than that. 

Thank you so much for asking me what I read! My only problem was stopping once I tried to think of what I enjoyed. Now that I look at the list, I realize, with the exception of Joseph Heller, that I chose only dead white guys. Of course I've read more, but these were on my mind. Good luck in your endeavor to promote reading in any way, shape or form. With the advent of 600 channels on TV, every little bit can help!"

James Carville

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To Kill a Mockingbird 
by Harper Lee
"This is a book that teaches us that people of great courage recognize that people who are different and act different are not just to be tolerated, but should be cherished. May you always recognize the riches of diversity are always superior to the poverty of intolerance."
Mary Higgins Clark 

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Ladder of Years 
by Anne Tyler
"Anne Tyler is one of the best writers in the business today. She combines wonderful story telling with lyric, exquisite prose."
Gloria Estefan

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Charlotte's Web 
by E.B. White 
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn 
by Betty Smith
"My favorite book in elementary school was 
Charlotte's Web [by E.B. White], and in high school I enjoyed A Tree Grows in Brooklyn [by Betty Smith] most. 

Every day I read for enjoyment. Reading takes me away from my everyday life and allows me to see other places and learn to understand other people unlike myself. I enjoy the discovery process as well as the way reading passes the time. There is no better hobby than reading!"

Diane Feinstein 
U.S. Senator from California

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The Disuniting of America  
by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
"While there are many different books that I have read and found enormously rewarding, I would like to focus on one that has helped inform my approach to serving in the United States Senate. That book is The Disuniting of America by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. 

I find this book to be a penetrating analysis of what ails America today. It describes and laments the process of fragmentation that, if not reversed, could very well lay the groundwork for decades of increased turmoil in our society. 

As a senator, my highest priority is to address the problem of violence in our society. Schlesinger's book is more an analysis of why this is occurring than a prescription for solving the problem, but understanding must precede action."

Jeff Goldblum 

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Seven Habits of Highly Effective People  
by Stephen Covey
Al Gore 
Vice President of the United States

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Mr. Popper's Penguins 
by Richard and Florence Atwater
"My favorite book when I was growing up was Mr. Popper's Penguins [by Richard and Florence Atwater.] Since that time, I have continued to enjoy reading, and I try to read as many books as I can. I encourage all young people to read a variety of books and to recognize the importance of reading. The more you know and understand about people and different subjects, the more you will be able to help shape the future. The new knowledge you gain will enable you to contribute to the United States, the world, and those around you." 
Bryant Gumbel 

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The Autobiography of Malcolm X "The one book that made the biggest impression on me was The Autobiography of Malcolm X--a must read for every African-American. 

These days for recreation I'm drawn to mysteries and suspense novels-- making me a big fan of people like John Sanford, Clive Barker and Eric Van Lustbader."

Christie Hefner 
CEO, Playboy Enterprises, Inc.

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by Isabelle Allende
"First read The House of the Spirits but then turned to this moving and eloquent tale of family life in South America."
Betty Hutton 

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Omnir Opera 
by Gilbert K. Chesterton
Frank Keating
Governor of Oklahoma

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The Old Man and the Sea 
by Ernest Hemingway
"Reading is very important and I am pleased to hear that you are enticing people to read books suggested by their favorite celebrities. My favorite book is The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway."
Howard Keel 

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both by James Michener 

Louis L'Amour books 

Larry McMurty books

Tabitha King 

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Blood Meridian 
by Cormac McCarthy
"This might be the Great American novel. It is mythic in its scope, poetic in its language, and biblically violent."
Nelson Mandela
President of South Africa

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War and Peace 
by Leo Tolstoy
Robert Mitchum  

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by Peter Hoeg
"A search for the structure of time in crippled adolescence."
Mandy Patinkin

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The Alienist 
by Caleb Carr 

Time and Again 
by Jack Finney

Harold Prince 
Broadway Director

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Sentimental Education 
by Gustave Flaubert
"I'm dictating this from London, so excuse the brevity of it. I suppose if you read a book more than once, it indicates that it has extra special meaning for you. Gustave Flaubert's Sentimental Education is one of those books. I believe I've read it three times. To my mind, it's one of the best novels ever written."
Anthony Quinn

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Of Time and the River 
by Thomas Wolfe 
Pat Schroeder 
U.S. Representative from Colorado

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Peter Rabbit 
by Beatrix Potter
"As a child I loved Peter's mischievousness. 

Anything Dave Barry writes--I need laughs."

H. Norman Schwarzkopf 
General, U.S. Army, retired

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White Fang 
by Jack London
"As a strong supporter of reading and education, I am delighted to support the annual Who Reads What? list. As a child, one of my favorite books was White Fang by Jack London."
Willard Scott 
TV Personality

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The Little Engine That Could "In a phone conversation Willard Scott's staff related a quote from Willard's favorite book, The Little Engine That Could. Willard says he has fond memories of his mother reading the book, and that the message of the book--"I think I can, I think I can," is one of his personal philosophies."
General John M. Shalikashvili 
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

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Doctor Zhivago 
by Boris Pasternak 
Cheryl Tiegs 

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An American Tragedy 
by Theodore Dreiser
"This book got me 'hooked' on reading when I was in my late teens. I will never forget the experience and will be forever indebted. People always ask what I would have done if I hadn't become a model, and my immediate response is, 'I'D BE A LIBRARIAN!' Books make me happy."
Kathleen Turner 

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The Book of Daniel  
by E.L. Doctorow
"Such a book of ideas of society and justice--love and loyalties. Beautifully written."
Betty Turock 
President, American Library Association

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Anna Karenina  
by Leo Tolstoy
"I first read this book when I was in high school. Since then, I've reread it many times, each time realizing something I've missed in times past. As a teenager I discovered how overpowering Anna's love was for her. As a young woman, I celebrated Anna's strength in a society that preferred to think of women as weak. Now I value Anna's ability to compromise her life, even when the stakes lead to the ultimate loss."
Dennis Weaver 

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Autobiography of a Yogi 
by Paramahansa Yogananda
"It brings science and religion closer together and points out the same basic truths are the foundation of all true religions."
Simon Wiesenthal 
Writer and Nazi Hunter

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Justice Not Vengeance  
The Sunflower, with a Symposium 
both by Simon Wiesenthal 
"Reading has become such an important part of my life and I have been impressed and thrilled by so many books (e.g. those by Joseph Roth) that I find it very difficult to select one or more as my favorites. So what lies nearer than to recommend to readers two of the books I wrote myself: Justice Not Vengeance, in which I have tried to describe what has been my main concern for more than half my life, i.e. getting Nazi criminals to answer for themselves in a court of law, and The Sunflower, with a Symposium, which deals with a timeless theme: Who has the right to forgive?"
Paul Winfield 

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Books by Walt Mosley "I love Walter's ability to evoke the LA of the 40's and 50's, which is where I grew up."
Caspar Weinberger 
Chairman, Forbes Magazine

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Churchill: The Unruly Giant
by Norman Rose 


Long Sunset 
by Anthony Montague



Macmillan: 1957-1986 
by Alistair Horne 


F.E. Smith: First Earl of Birkenhead 
by John Campbell 


The Path to Power 
by Margaret Thatcher 


Original Sin  
P.D. James 

"...Books about Winston Churchill continue to flood the stores, a testimony to his greatness. But in order to be published now, an author must apparently strive to be different and be critical of Churchill. In Churchill: The Unruly Giant by Norman Rose, the author finds new things to criticize. 

A more conventional view of Churchill is Anthony Montague Browne's Long Sunset... Although Churchill is not portrayed as flawless, his gigantic presence, his humanity and his sense of fun shine through this work... 

Macmillan: 1957-1986 by Alistair Horne. ...Macmillan was one of the most interesting of England's prime ministers, and he regarded politics as a required activity for his class and became increasingly adept at it. Through a lifetime of personal unhappiness, Macmillan developed the strength to rise above shattering blows, covering his pain with flippant remarks... This is a superb biography of a brilliant and wise leader. 

F.E. Smith: First Earl of Birkenhead by John Campbell. ...Great sarcastic wit, intense preparation [as one of the greatest English barristers of his time] and driving ambition were the hallmarks of his success... This is a thorough, well-written study, penned with a pace that makes it read like a novel. 

The Path to Power is the conclusion of the autobiography of that remarkable world leader, Margaret Thatcher... It lets all see her humane, appealing qualities, her compassion and her great skills in a way that has not previously been done... 

Last, purely for enjoyment, I devoured P.D. James' lastest Inspector Dalgliesh detective novel, Original Sin... and highly recommend it. 

Reprinted in part by permission of Forbes Magazine, August 28, 1995, FORBESINC., 1995. "

James Woods 

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A Death in the Family 
by James Agee
"Having lost my father at an early age, the impact of Agee's story had special resonance for me.  Only later as a lover of reading did I discover with greater objectivity what a superlative writer this great American man was."



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