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Who is Reading What?
A Celebrity Reading List: 2000

Dear Readers,

This is the thirteenth annual Who Reads What? reading list.  Glenn Adams of Associated Press writes the story each year, ensuring nation-wide coverage for National Library Week.  Other sources pick up his story world wide.  People read it in Bermuda, Taiwan, and Jerusalem, sometimes sending clippings back with notes of what they read, and how much value and joy they find in reading. 


This year 2000 list offers a wonderful mix of reading.  There were two duplicates.  British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Broadway's Betty Buckley both like Lord of the Rings, and Barbara Taylor Bradford and David Copperfield recommend Dickens' David Copperfield. Singer Lisa Loeb, who e-mailed her suggestion, likes the bizarre twists in Roald Dahl's short story collection Kiss Kiss

My favorite reading this year is Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond.  This is a Pulitzer prize winning book detailing 13,000 years of history and civilization. It reads like a fascinating novel, leaving the reader with new insights and many questions about our future. 

I hope you will enjoy the books on this list and encourage others to read those you recommend.


Glenna Nowell 
“Who Reads What?” Editor 
Gardiner Public Library 
Gardiner, Maine 04345


Gillian Anderson David Copperfield Gary Remal Gary Trudeau
Tony Blair David Flanagan Christina Ricci Eli Wallach
Barbara Taylor Bradford Jeff Foxworthy Nolan Ryan  
Betty Buckley Faith Hill Olympia Snowe  
Jackie Collins Lisa Loeb Sada Thompson  



Gillian Anderson 
Actor, recommends

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When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron Editor’s Note: The books' subtitle: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, is an apt description. Chodron is a Buddhist teacher who details advice on how to free ourselves from suffering. This is not a simple how-to manual, but a book that offers profound wisdom and help with life’s problems.
Tony Blair Prime Minister of Great Britain, recommends

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The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

by J.R.R. Tolkien 


by Sir Walter Scott

When he was a child the Prime Minister enjoyed Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson. He also enjoyed The Lord of the Rings by J.R. Tolkien, a book of great imagination and surprise, which he has, in recent years, been able to read again with his children. Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott is another of his favourites.
Barbara Taylor Bradford 
Writer, recommends

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Wuthering Heights
by Emily Bronte  

David Copperfield
by Charles Dickens

Any of the English classics such as Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte; David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. I have always read the English classical authors and found them inspiring, especially the two mentioned above. Since I was born and bred in England, Yorkshire to be exact, I was reared on the Bronte sisters, those wonderful writers who lived in Haworth on the Yorkshire moors. I consider Emily Bronte, author of Wuthering Heights, to be one of the great geniuses of English Literature. I was also given Dickens to read as a child, as my mother was a voracious reader. By the age of twelve I had read most of Charles Dickens’ works, and what a social commentator he was, as well as a master storyteller. Obviously the same can be said about the Bronte sisters. I like the works of Colette, Daphne Du Maurier, and Thomas Hardy. Hemingway and Fitzgerald are other favorites. I also like historical biographies. It was my mother who instilled in me a love of books. She taught me to read when I was four and I haven’t stopped reading since then. In a way she force fed me books, but it didn’t seem like that at the time. I have always said that a love of books and of reading begins at the mother's knee!
Betty Buckley 
Actor, recommends

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The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

by J.R.R. Tolkien 

The Black Stallion
by Walter Farley 

The Mists of Avalon
by Marian Zimmer Bradley

I am happy to share some of my childhood favorites to promote lifelong reading in the community. The three that I enjoyed the most were Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, The Black Stallion by Walter Farley, and Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Jackie Collins 
Writer, recommends

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The Great Gatsby 

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. An evocative mind trip. Fabulous characters and a memorable story
David Copperfield
Magician, recommends

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David Copperfield
by Charles Dickens
After careful reflection, I have decided that I would like you to list my favorite book as David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. The main character in the novel is an orphaned child who spends his life searching for ownership of something in his life. In my life, it was magic that gave me a sense of accomplishment, a community with similar interests, and an opportunity to prove my own self-worth.

I hope that you continue to publish the celebrity reading list for many more years. The tremendous influence that such a list can have on young lives is immeasurable. I wish you all the best.

David Flanagan
Business executive, recommends

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King Leopold’s Ghost

by Adam Hochschild

I’ve just finished reading this account of how the Belgian King took over and ran the Congo, and the rise of the international protest movement against this cruel regime. It is a very readable insight into a region of the world whose history is unfamiliar to most of us; an informative description of the first modern humanitarian movement and a fascinating portrayal of the bizarre character of the king.
Jeff Foxworthy 
Comic, recommends

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The Bible This is a great book. It starts off with a bang and has many fascinating chapters. The ending is a page turner too! I would highly recommend this book!
Faith Hill 
Singer, recommends

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Reading I just want to take a moment to tell you how important reading is to me. I understand that often you feel that you don’t have time to read, or that you feel like you’re doing homework if you read; however, I’ve discovered that without it, my everyday way of life would be almost impossible. If I couldn’t read, I wouldn’t be able to read contracts, write new songs, or read the letters that my fans send to me. In addition to my work, reading also helps me to enjoy my personal time. I can write letters to my family and friends, read magazines and books, and learn about all sorts of new things. One way or another I am always using my reading skills.

Reading shouldn’t be something you hate to do because it can be so much fun. Each book you read allows you to star in your own adventure. You can be a beautiful princess or an heroic soldier who saves the day--any character you want! You will also learn many new and exciting things from reading books. Most of all, reading will help you achieve your dreams no matter what they may be, so I hope you will continue to read and also encourage your friends to do the same.

Lisa Loeb 
Singer, recommends

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Kiss, Kiss 

by Roald Dahl

This is a collection of short stories. The plots all involve bizarre twists that surprise and satisfy me. Roald Dahl has a special talent for writing characters and scenarios that further the reality of the often Twilight Zone type of situations.
Gary J. Remal 
Journalist, recommends

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The Best and the Brightest by David Halberstam In the The Best and the Brightest David Halberstam teaches lessons worthy of attention from every American because it shows both the promise and the danger inherent in the U.S. presidency which affects us all. Halberstam opens vistas, not only on John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, but on the American presidency itself, executive power and the impact of individual personality on this unique political institution. 

The Best and the Brightest served as a primer to me as a neophyte political scientist and continues to provide insights into the best and worst traits wielded by any executive.

Christina Ricci 
Actor, recommends

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The Chronicles of Narnia Series 

by C.S. Lewis

Editor's note:  Seven books comprise the Chronicles of Narnia :
1. The Magicians Nephew
2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
3. The Horse and His Boy
4. Prince Caspian
5. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
6. The Silver Chair, and
7. The Last Battle.

These wise and wonderful tales of a mythical kingdom are true masterpieces of children's literature.

Nolan Ryan 
Baseball player, recommends

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Lonesome Dove 

by Larry McMurtry

Editor’s note:  When Augustus came out on the porch the blue pigs were eating a rattlesnake--not a big one. So begins McMurtry’s epic novel of a cattle drive in the late 1800’s, filled with adventure, love, friendships, dreams, betrayal and unforgettable characters.
Olympia Snowe
United States Senator, recommends

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Five Days In London 

by John Lukacs

I'm currently reading Five Days in London: May 1940 by John Lukacs, which details the debate from May 24-28, 1940, within Winston Churchill's war cabinet that sent Britain on its course for war with Germany. Lukacs argues that these five days made a tremendous difference not only in the history of Great Britain, but also in the world; that-in his words-Hitler failed because Churchill prevailed.

Five Days in London is a fascinating account of Churchill’s deliberations with his war cabinet that included Neville Chamberlain, Alexander Cadogan, Harold Nicholson, and Lord Halifax. This book offers a new perspective by focusing on the five critical days leading up to Great Britain’s decision to stand and fight Hitler, when Churchill’s arguments triumphed over those within his cabinet who favored appeasement.

Sada Thompson
Actor, recommends

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Little Women 

by Louisa May Alcott 


Ten Little Indians

by Agatha Christie

Lady Jane

by Mrs. Jamison 

Period Piece

by Gwen Raverat 

The Ten Grandmothers

by Alice Marriot 


by Hart Davis Letters 

Speak Memory 

by Vladimir Nabokov 

Morte D'Urban 

by J.F. Powers 

Diary of Helena Morley 

by Elizabeth Bishop

My childhood favorites were Lady Jane by Mrs. Jamison and Rogue Moon about a girl who becomes a pirate. Those were the ones I read over and over, along with Little Women which was first read to me by my father.

A little later I read Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians in Saturday Evening Post installments to my mother, racing home after school on a couple of months of Thursdays.

In years to come everything I could lay my hands on:

Classics: Shakespeare, the Russian novelists, essays of Hazlitt and Montaigne.

Old favorites: Period Piece by Gwen Raverat, The Ten Grandmothers by Alice Marriot, Lyttleton by Hart Davis Letters, Speak Memory by Vladimir Nabakov, Morte D’Urban by J.F. Powers, Diary of Helena Morley by Elizabeth Bishop.

New favorites: Lorre Moore, Michael Ondaatje, Richard Russo, James Wilcox, Penelope Fitzgerald.

Looking forward to: Randalll Jarrell’s essays, the new translation of Charterhouse of Parma and Dawn Powell’s letters.

Gary Trudeau 
Cartoonist & Writer, recommends

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The New New Thing 

by Michael Lewis

Editor’s note:   Business journalist Michael Lewis has written a fascinating account of entrepreneur Jim Clark, founder of Silicon Graphics and Netscape, and Clark’s creation of Healtheon, his third billion-dollar company. This offers a new view of the future of the Internet, and an insider’s vision of Silicon Valley’s business.
Eli Wallach
Actor, recommends

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Angela’s Ashes 

by Frank McCourt
Up In The Old Hotel 

by Joseph Mitchell 
Kazan-A Life 

by Elia Kazan 

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt- A Dickensian novel based on the poverty of the Irish--and brilliantly written. Elia Kazan: A Life -The autobiography of a talented genius of a film director and his trials and tribulations. Up in the Old House and Other Stories by Joseph Mitchell--A great read by a wonderful writer.