I may not always share Oprah’s taste in books, but I certainly admire the way she makes people want to read. In my dream world, she happens upon my book, loves it and invites me on her show, after which I never have to work again. Not that I have a book. Yet.
This week, Oprah.com published a list of 15 New Yorkers’ Favorite Books, which includes some of our favorite women. Here are some highlights.
“When I was growing up, I was a voracious reader; I loved sitting in my house and jumping into new worlds … Reading was a way to make friends or enemies, a way to discover how all these different people exist in the world.”
I Like You, by Amy Sedaris
“My favorite tip is that when you’re having a party, you should fill your medicine cabinet with marbles — so that when people are snooping, they get caught … The book is hilarious, beautifully designed, and captures Amy in so many ways.”
Traveling Mercies, by Anne Lamott
“One of the lines from this book that I love is: ‘All you can do is show up for someone in crisis. Your there-ness…can be life giving, because often everyone else is in hiding.’ That’s just killer.”
“I’m a little obsessed with stories about middle-aged men who can’t grow up. I’m interested because I don’t want to be blindsided by aging. I don’t want to wake up one day and say, ‘Wait a second! Who is this person looking back at me?’”
The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion
“The book reminded me of when my grandmother died. I was working, getting stuff done — but it was as if a little shroud were over my head. One day I thought, ‘Oh, the sky is blue.’ And I realized I hadn’t lifted my eyes off the ground for a year.”
The Whole Woman, by Germaine Greer
“Her book provokes you and makes you answer questions that you never knew you wanted to be asked. Note: Not a good beach read — unless you prefer to suntan angrily.”
“I studied psychology in school, and the best psychology is in literature. It’s so much easier to understand a character than a theory.”
The Ministry of Special Cases, by Nathan Englander
“What’s most interesting to me is, as one character makes clear, the truth tellers in life are so often written off as crazy.”
Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell
“This was the present I gave everyone I knew for three years. … It’s one of the most beautiful, entertaining, challenging books — something that takes all your attention.”
“The truth is, my only hobby is reading in bed with tea.”
Wild Swans, by Jung Chang
“Chang combines the tectonic shifts in China with her family’s experiences, and the result is a beautiful and layered memoir.”
The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing, by Melissa Bank
“I so appreciate Bank’s acute observations and distinctly female take in these interconnected stories.”
Others on the list include Nora Ephron, Liz Smith, Gwyneth Paltrow, Diane Keaton, Claire Danes, Keri Russell — and a few good men, too. Check out all 15 New Yorkers and their books and tell us what you think.
My favorite books of the moment? I’d have to say The Invention of Hugo Cabret, a unique Young Adult book by Brian Selznick that combines text and detailed drawings to tell a story. I’ve never seen anything like it and I recommend it without reservation. Plus, it’s gorgeous. I’m about to start The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, so it probably will be my favorite by the end of the weekend. I’m fickle like that.
How about you? What books have made a difference to you? What is your favorite book right now?