Each week a “name” of some sort (actors, politicians, authors, scientist) choose four books from their library and let us know why they love them. I choose to believe some publicist didn’t make the selections for them however there have been a few I highly suspected. It is one of my NY fantasies to be the feature of this column before the printing of newspapers completely disappears but since I don’t have a life worthy of a publicist to get me featured I’ve decided to feature myself this week.
IN MY LIBRARY - Kristen Kentner
I was not a reader growing up I was a TV watcher. I never had a love of words and was extremely intimidated by any book over one hundred pages or with no pictures. Knowing this is how my life with books began it makes me happy that I now own more books then anything else. When I was nineteen I donated the 476 VHS videotapes that had made up my movie collection and I started to read. I had to. If I was going to make it through college with a bunch of people that had been reading their whole lives I had to make up for a lot of lost time. Since that time I've covered the classics, business books, children’s literature, romance, biography…you name it, I’ve tried it. Along the way, I’ve discovered a love of history that I didn’t know I had and have made friends with characters I only new from their movie persona. I could list hundreds of books that have made an impact on me but lets start with four.
Where the Sidewalk Ends
by Shel Silverstein
One of the books I did read as a child and it has always stayed with me. I don’t know anything about poetry but the characters in this classic are so alive that I never cared what this book was characterized as. The illustrations are witty and wonderful and the poems cover nose picking, pancakes, garbage, deserted homes and most poetically childhood.
This I Remember
By Eleanor Roosevelt
Biography and memoir are two of my absolute favorite genres and choosing one to highlight is not easy, but Eleanor Roosevelt and I connect when I read this book. What puts this story ahead of the others is the complete honesty she shares about how hard she had to work to become the Eleanor Roosevelt history recorded. She may have been born into privilege, but nothing came easy for her and I admire that. This is not a gossip filled biography like the ones popular now. This is a memoir of a journey.
By Charles Kuralt
Could you imagine taking a year off to spend one month in twelve different places you love? Well, add that to my lotto dream list because I can and the idea first entered my mind thanks to this book. Travel books are very special to me because I don’t get to go many places, but they can be brought to me. Charles Kuralt is the master of travel writing and even if I never considered going to Ely, Minnesota he makes me want to pack up and hit the road. Charles Kuralt had the ability to find the most special thing any place had to offer and the even better ability to perfectly capture that thing with words.
The Most Beautiful Libraries In The World
Photographs by Guillaume De Laubier
Text by Jacques Bosser
Forward by James H. Billington, The Librarian of Congress
One day I am going to own a coffee table to display all of my amazing coffee table books, and this one will go on top of the pile. This book reminds me that all books used to be so revered that their homes were built with as much care and spectacle as a cathedral. I want to live in every photo and travel to every library featured…a book about how beautiful books are…and I look at it over and over.