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Who is Reading What?
A Celebrity Reading List: 2007

 

Dear Readers:

This is the 19th annual Who Reads What? list. This year there are diverse entries for fans to enjoy.  Steve Berry says that Hawaii is the first adult fiction book that he read at 14 and it "remains special".  Sandra Brown, author of 50 New York Times bestsellers remembers Mila 18.  She says it "illuminates the indominability of the human spirit".  Athlete Bob Burnquist says his choices of Fast Food NationEmperor Wears No Clothes, and The Spirits Book are "all amazing reading for different reasons". Robert Crais is a novelist who recommends The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett.  Crais makes the comment, "it's as brilliant today as when it was published".  

 

David Michael Green is an award-winning producer with 60 Minutes. He produced a documentary about Saddam Husein shown around the world. Green is a professor at Hofsta University. Green says, "I'm reading Web of Deceit by Barry Lando right now. I'm also reading Overthrow by Stephen Kinzer. Even though I'm only part way through both, I think they're extremely important books." Chris Hansen, the ACLU attorney who was lead counsel in Brown vs. the Board of Education, recommends Joseph Heller's Catch 22, a "brilliant and hilarious novel", and Robert Caro's The Power Broker, a biography of Robert Moses.

 

Carolyn Hart, writer, recommends Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynn Truss. Hart also treasures Edith Hamilton's timeless Witness to the Truth.  Hart says her favorite is Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians. Cartoonist Lynn Johnston of For Better or Worst recommends any book by Farley Mowat. Karen Kwaitkowski recommends four titles, that "taken together, they join purpose and loveliness in my mind." Of Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson and Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain she says, "These novels should gently nudge us awake".  She also recommends Leonard Read's I, Pencil and It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis.

 

Ursula Le Guin recommends Kim, by Rudyard Kipling, "a book for young adults, adults and old adults. It is an exciting  spy story, a vivid fascinating picture of India, and a book whose profound, sweet religiousness has influenced me all my life."  Le Guin is regarded as one of the best modern science fiction and fantasy authors. Le Guin wrote her first book at age eleven. Chris Madden is a design expert who celebrates the 30th anniversary this fall of her company, Chris Madden, Inc. She recommends Gifts from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck recommends Larry Ellison's Softwar.   He says, "It really encourages entrepreneurship, patience, optimism and hard work".  Larry Ellison is Oracle's chief executive officer.
Glenna Nowell,

Creator and Editor, "Who Reads What?"

Steve Berry Robert Crais Carolyn Hart Ursula K. Le Guin
Sandra Brown David Michael Greene Lynn Johnston Chris Madden
Bob Burnquist Chris Hansen Karen Kwiatkowski Wolfgang Puck

 

 

Name

Book(s) and Author(s)

Comments

Steve Berry

Author

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Hawaii 

by James Michener

 

The Sunne in Splendor 

by Sharon Kay Penman

One of my favorites is Hawaii, by James Michener. It was the first adult fiction book I read when I was 14 and it remains special. I also loved The Sunne in Splendor by Sharon Kay Penman. It's exactly what an historical fiction novel should be.

Sandra Brown

Author

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MILA 18 

by Leon Uris

Thank you for asking me to contribute to the "Who Reads What?" list.  I'm honored to be on such an illustrious roster. 
I thought long and hard about the book I would recommend, because so many have affected me in various ways.  Some inspired me to become a fiction writer, others I've read and reread for sheer entertainment, but the book I remember having the most impact on me is MILA 18 by Leon Uris.  It's about the Warsaw ghetto during WW II.  The story, based on fact, is a testament to man's staggering capacity for hatred, cruelty and violence.  But it also illuminates the indomitability of the human spirit, capable of devotion, valor and self-sacrificial love.   
Again, thank you for asking me to take part.  I cheer any program that advocates and encourages reading and the cultivation of new readers. All best, Sandra Brown
Bob Burnquist Skateboarder

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Fast Food Nation 

by Eric Schlosser

Emperor Wears No Clothes 

by Jack Herer

The Spirits Book 

by Allan Kardec

I would have to go with:
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer
The Spirits Book by Allan Kardec
All amazing reading for different reasons...

Bob Burnquist 

Robert Crais

Author

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The Maltese Falcon 

by Dashiell Hammett

For anyone interested in crime fiction I would recommend The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett. It's as brilliant today as when it was published.

David Michael Greene

Professor of Political Science and Author

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Web of Deceit 

by Barry Lando

 

Overthrow 

by Stephen Kinzer

I'm reading Web of Deceit by Barry Lando right now.  I'm also reading Overthrow by Stephen Kinzer.   Even though I'm only part way through both, I think they're extremely important books.

Chris Hansen 

Dateline Correspondent and ACLU Attorney

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Catch 22 

by Joseph Heller

 

The Power Broker 

by Robert Caro

 

Woman Suffrage and Politics 

by Carrie Chapman Catt and Nettie Rogers Shuler

 

Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens 

by J.M. Barrie

My two favorite books, I guess, are Joseph Heller's Catch 22 and Robert Caro's The Power Broker.  Catch 22 is a brilliant and hilarious novel about the irrationality of rules and the brutality of war.  Caro's Power Broker is a biography of a less well known but influential man of the 20th Century, Robert Moses.  But its not really about Moses.  It's about power and idealism.  (Anything by Caro is worth reading.  Try the third volume of the Lyndon Johnson biography, too.) 

 

For two obscure, hard to find, and I think out of print choices, try: Woman Suffrage and Politics by Carrie Chapman Catt and Nettie Rogers Shuler, a great book on how politics works, and Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens by J.M. Barrie (not the popular Peter Pan, the original one and a very different story from the one you know).

Carolyn Hart

Author

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Eats, Shoots and Leaves 

by Lynn Truss

 

Witness to the Truth: Christ and his Interpreters 

by Edith Hamilton

 

Ten Little Indians 

by Agatha Christie

Currently I am enjoying Eats, Shoots and Leaves, Lynn Truss's gloriously funny romp with punctuation.  I treasure Edith Hamilton's timeless Witness to the Truth: Christ and His Interpreters.   I delight in re-reading classic mysteries.  My favorite is Ten Little Indians by Agatha Christie, who is and was and always will be the world's greatest mystery writer.  

Lynn Johnston

For Better or For Worse cartoonist

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Any book by Farley Mowat!!! I recommend your readers look for (and enjoy) any book by FARLEY MOWAT!!!  All the best with your promotion.

Sincerely,
Lynn Johnston

Karen Kwiatkowski Retired USAF Lt. Colonel and Middle East Specialist

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Snow Falling on Cedars 

by David Guterson

 

Cold Mountain 

by Charles Frazier

 

It Can't Happen Here 

by Sinclair Lewis

 

I, Pencil 

by Leonard Read

I am honored to be asked for some of my favorites.  I want to share the titles of four standouts.  Taken together, they join purpose and loveliness in my mind.  David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars and Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain simply must be read and savored, for their powerful and beautiful survey of faith and humanity against the backdrop of two major constitutional crises faced (and not exactly resolved) by our young nation so far.  In an age where we insist on defining the whole world and our very own neighborhoods as "us" and "them," these novels should gently nudge us awake.  

 

For a short and sweet reminder of how the world really works, and why we must be in awe of the whole glorious process, I recommend Leonard Read's I, Pencil.  And I cannot recommend strongly enough an important book I just reread.  It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis flows like something out of yesterday's newspaper, only far more eloquent and frightening.  There are so many more books I'd like to recommend -- but these four by 20th century American writers will make for a nice start!
Sincerely,  Karen Kwiatkowski

Ursula K. Le Guin

Author

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Kim 

by Rudyard Kipling

You're asking people to recommend a favorite book for "Who Reads What?" and National Library Week. I recommend KIM, by Rudyard Kipling, a book for young adults, adults, and old adults. It is an exciting spy story, a vivid, fascinating picture of India , and a book whose profound, sweet religiousness has influenced me all my life.

Best wishes,
Ursula K. Le Guin

Chris Madden

Designer

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Gifts from the Sea 

by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

One of my favorite books and one that I refer to in the many speeches that I give to women around the country is Anne Morrow Lindbergh's exquisitely written little book, Gifts from the Sea.  Anne was married to the adventurer and American hero, Charles Lindberg, and was raising five children when she wrote, "what a curious act we women perform everyday of our lives.  It puts the trapeze artist to shame.  Look at us. We run a tightrope daily, balancing a pile of books on the head."  

 

Lindbergh went on to reflect, in words that could be uttered with absolute relevance today, "The problem is how to remain whole in the midst of the distractions of life;  how to remain balanced ...for to be a woman is to have interest and duties, ranging out in all directions from the central mother-core, like spokes from the hub of a wheel."

 

As I celebrate the 30th anniversary this fall of the founding of my company, Chris Madden Inc., I have continued to be drawn to this book and to the words of Anne Morrow Lindbergh for inspiration and guidance. I firmly believe, as I have written about in my own book, Women's Personal Spaces, that in order to give back to our relationships, careers, families, and passions, we must always pull in for short moments, or as Katharine Hepburn would have said, "refill the reservoir."  Only then can we return to the people and places of our lives renewed and refreshed.  

Wolfgang Puck Celebrity Chef

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Softwar 

by Larry Ellison

My favorite book right now is Larry Ellison's 
Softwar.  It really encourages entrepreneurship, patience, optimism and hard work

 

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