By The Book by Pamela Paul (2014)

David Sedaris suggested Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea / Harry Potter audiobooks read by Stephen Fry / Is There No Place on Earth for Me?

Dave Eggers mentioned Stories Not for the Nervous (a Hitchcock collection).

Scott Turow loved Adam Johnson’s The Orphan Master’s Son.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was reading Incognito by David Eagleman.

“I’m always close to tears reading Judith Kerr‘s delightful children’s story The Tiger Who Came to Tea. It tells of a tiger who turns up, quite unexpectedly, at teatime at the house of a girl called Sophie and her mother. You’d expect them to panic, but they take the appearance of this visitor entirely in their stride– and their reaction is a subtle invitation for us to approach life’s unexpected challenges with resilience and good humour.” –Alain de Botton

“The most pleasurable reading experience I’ve had recently was just last week– jogging on the beach with an audiobook of Malcolm Gladwell’s What the Dog Saw. I was so engrossed in his essay “The Ketchup Conundrum” that I ran an extra mile just to find out how it ended.” –Dan Brown

Christopher Buckley is the author of Thank You for Smoking, Losing Mum and Pup, and But Enough About You, among other books.

(Interview with Sting)
If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?
Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius––Stoicism and the limitations of power.
“When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own– not of the same blood of birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine.”

(Interview with Amy Tan)
What book has had the greatest impact on you?
Probably the Bible… …Many of my stories also relate to undoing handed-down beliefs, whether they come from religion, society, or mothers. And my writing sensibility was also warped by a steady dose of gothic imagery, often related to religious sins or virtue: David braining Goliath, Samson’s bloody head missing a lock of hair, a stinking corpse arising to be kissed by relatives.


jacket illustration by Jillian Tamaki