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Who is Reading What?
A Celebrity Reading List: 2001

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the 14th annual Who Reads What? reading list—the little publication with the big reputation! You'll be happy to know that, once again, the list offers a variety of interesting, exciting—even surprising—reading suggestions from many well-known individuals. Throughout the list you'll notice that most of the respondents are very inspired by reading—many of whom have been from an early age!


Since 1988, the Gardiner Public Library, in the tiny community of Gardiner, Maine, has tapped into the entertainment, political, sports and social communities, in hopes of having famous and influential people share their favorite books with the rest of the world.


And share they have.


Inside this year's edition of Who Reads What?, you'll find out which book has Annie Lennox singing praises. Which authors, authors Elmore Leonard and Ken Follett hold in highest regards. And which book has Gov. Jesse Ventura's vote for the best.


Once you've looked through the list, I encourage you to visit your neighborhood library and seek out the suggestions by this year's participants. Discuss and share these recommendations with your family and friends. By doing so, you'll be helping libraries promote lifelong reading in your community.



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

Kofi A. Annan George Grizzard Annie Lennox Sarah McLachlan
Kenneth Branagh Janis Ian Elmore Leonard Laurie Metcalf
Chevy Chase Lainie Kazan Tina Louise Michelle Phillips
Eddie Cheever, Jr. Philip Knight Johnny Mathis Brooke Shields
Ken Follet William Kristol Rue McClanahan Jesse Ventura




Kofi A. Annan 
Secretary-General, United Nations

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by Hermann Hesse


All the Pretty Horses 
by Cormac McCarthy

I am pleased to respond to your letter asking about my "favorite" book for the Who Reads What? List. This is, indeed, a difficult choice. Two works come readily to mind: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, and All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy.

Like many works of fiction, these stories chronicle journeys taken by their protagonists—albeit through very different settings. Hermann Hesse's classic is an exploration of the self, as much as of the world. Cormac McCarthy's story is a "newer" classic but its story, too, takes readers beyond barriers of geography, culture and age. In both, the environment—the physical world—is itself a character that shapes events and the actions of the other characters. This aspect appeals to me because I am convinced that while we must embrace technology and what it can do to improve the quality of people's lives, we must not lose sight of the intimate relationship between ourselves and the environment.

Thank you for inviting me to contribute to your list for this year's National Library Week. I wish you continued success with this excellent initiative.

Yours sincerely,

Kofi A. Annan

Kenneth Branagh 
Director, actor

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David Copperfield by Charles Dickens A truly great novel.
Chevy Chase 

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Trails Plowed Under by Charles M. Russell Our greatest painter and sculptor of horses - better than Remington.  Also, great frontier-American humor in his story-telling.  Russell was a roper and a night wrangler; lived with Indians in Montana for 11 years - funny, funny reading!
Eddie Cheever, Jr. 
Owner/Driver, CART Team Cheever

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The Illustrated "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking Hawking's formidable mind opens up a part of our universe that, to many of us, has remained closed due to the complexity of the subject.
Ken Follet 

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Casino Royale 
by Ian Fleming
I was twelve years old when I read Casino Royale by Ian Fleming. It was the first James Bond story I had read, and it changed my life. I was captivated by the tough hero who knew all about cars, guns, gambling, cocktails, and—most important—women. I had been a reader since the age of four but I had never come across suspense of such intensity. When I began to write novels myself, what I wanted to do more than anything else was create the same kind of suspense for my readers.
George Grizzard 

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The Warden and Barchester Towers
by Anthony Tollope
I also love the books of Ed McBain and Robert B. Parker, Endora Welty and John Updike, Ruth Rendall and the poems of Robert Frost.
Janis Ian 

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A Wrinkle in Time
by Madeleine L'Engle

Half Magic
by Edward Eager

I loved A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle it—changed my life. Also, Edward Eager's Half Magic.

Books rock!

Lainie Kazan
Actor, singer

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by Joyce Carol Oates

The Red Tent 
by Anita Diamant

Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates: Beautifully written. Sensitive. Insightful glimpse into the psychology of an American icon. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant: Deeply affecting. A rich story about Biblical women from a woman's point of view. A rich and deep novel.
Philip Knight
CEO, Nike, Inc.

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Blind Assassin 
by Margaret Atwood
Thank you for your recent letter inviting me to participate in your Who Reads What? list.

I would have to say that I read a lot and the best book of the year 2000 is Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood.


Philip H. Knight

William Kristol
Editor, The Weekly Standard

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Democracy in America 
by Alexis de Tocqueville
The best book on America, and one of the best on politics simply.

Annie Lennox

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When Things Fall Apart 
by Pema Chüdrön
Pema Chüdrön is a rather special Buddhist teacher. Being a Western woman, she fully appreciates the difficulties of our complex modern world and is skillfully able to interpret ancient traditional Tibetan teachings in a straightforward and accessible lay. I very much recommend this book to anyone who is struggling to come to terms with how to apply philosophical concepts to the ordinary struggles of daily life.

Elmore Leonard

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The Blind Assassin 
by Margaret Atwood
It's the best book I've read this year. Margaret Atwood is the complete novelist. Her style and imagery draw you into the setting and you can't wait to find out what happens.
Tina Louise

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Emerson's Essays
by Ralph Waldo Emerson
My favorite is Self Reliance. It's amazing I've underlined so much of it. Right from the start he states, "To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men—that is genius". Also: "God will not have his work made manifest by cowards."

Johnny Mathis

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I love biographies and cookbooks. I read biographies quite a bit and enjoy cookbooks as if they were novels.

Rue McClanahan

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Gone with the Wind 
by Margaret Mitchell


Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain


James Thurber


Jitterbug Perfume
by Tom Robbins


The Legend of Mike Flamond 
by Morrow Wilson

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell,
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain and Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins.  I read Gone with the Wind in the 6th grade, and no book has as yet won my heart more.

I prefer Mark Twain's writing nowadays, and James Thurber's, most all of their turn-out.  For sheer fun and astonishment, Jitterbug Perfume tickled my funny bone. My husband's novels are marvelous to read, particularly The Legend of Mike Flamond, his current effort. His name is Morrow Wilson.

Sarah McLachlan

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Letters to a Young a Poet 
by Ranier Maria Rilke
This is one of my favorite books that I always come back to for inspiration.
Laurie Metcalf 

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Amy & Isabelle 

by Elizabeth Strout

Michelle Phillips

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When Nietzsche Wept 
by Irvin D. Yalom
loved it!
Artist and author of Succulent Wild Woman and other titles

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I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
by Maya Angelou


Harold and the Purple Crayon 
by Crockett Johnson


Goneaway Lake
by Elizabeth Enright


My Family And Other Animals 
by Gerald Durrell


by Robyn Davidson

I spent most of my time in the apple tree branches, in my backyard, reading until I was forced to go in for dinner.

Books and libraries literally saved my life…I lived in my imagination, and inside the pages of books.

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou is one of the life-saving books. Also Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson and Goneaway Lake by Elizabeth Enright. Others I recommend are: My Family And Other Animals by Gerald Durrell and Tracks by Robyn Davidson. Thank you for asking this question and for having this program! It is difficult to stop listing books!!

Brooke Shields 

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The Hours 
by Michael Cunningham


The Samurai's Garden 
by Gail Tsukiyama


The Girl with the Pearl Earring 
by Tracy Chevalier

In support of National Library Week and the Who Reads What? list, it is my pleasure to provide you with a list of books that I have recently read and thoroughly enjoyed:
  • The Hours by Michael Cunningham
  • The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama
  • The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
Thank you for including me in your upcoming promotion.

Very truly yours,

Brooke Shields

Jessie Ventura
Governor, Minnesota

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Rogue Warrior 
by Richard Marcinko


Who should be on our list for the year 2002?

Let us know if you have a suggestion. Write Gardiner Public Library at 152 Water Street, Gardiner, ME 04345 or email Gardiner Public Library


Ex Libris

Please help keep the world's public libraries strong and free.

Artist and author SARK, writes that "books and libraries literally saved my life." If you also value libraries, please give a tax-deductible gift to your favorite library.


Now more than ever, libraries and librarians are challenged to keep current services while stretching to seek accurate and precise information from the profusion of new sources and data. As charities, libraries are a good deal—100% of your donation could be used for books and electronic resources.


For many more reading suggestions, please visit the Gardiner Public Library's Web site at www.gpl.lib.me.us for every Who Reads What? list since 1988.


Who Reads What? 2001 is funded and distributed by Thomson Gale, a world leader in reference and research publishing. To order additional copies of Who Reads What? 2001, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:


Thomson Gale

Attn. Corporate Communications

27500 Drake Road

Farmington Hills, MI 48331


If you value reading, please help libraries continue their work. Libraries are still a place where your help can make a difference. 

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