aka YA Literature

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Sarah Michelle Gellar (& Other Stuff)

In the October issue of Self magazine, the photo spread of Sarah Michelle Gellar mentions that she collects first editions of children's books, particularly Dr. Seuss (I wonder if all these books in the photo shoot are her first editions or if they're just props). I thought this was pretty neat, but it got me thinking about those "Books That Made a Difference to ___" articles every month in O Magazine, where a celebrity shares about five books that "made a difference" to them. I love this feature of the magazine, but I always wonder just how truthful celebrities are being. I mean, they are usually pretty heavy and serious books. For instance, Hugh Jackman's books in the November issue include Banker to the Poor, Cloudstreet, The Grapes of Wrath, Siddhartha, and Long Walk to Freedom. And sometimes celebrities include children's books as well. I kind of wonder where the Nora Roberts and Dan Brown books are. Here are my questions:

Do celebrities really read this many "serious" books?
Does O Magazine just select celebrities who do read these kinds of books?
Do the celebrities read "lighter" stuff but those are not the books that "made a difference" to them? The title of the feature isn't "favorite books," afterall.
Is there any chance (some) celebrities are fronting a little on the books they choose to seem "deeper" (for lack of a better word)?

All right, Cody and Holly (and anyone else!), what books would you choose for your feature in O Magazine?


Stephanie said...

I think your third point is correct. Sure, they probably read all kinds of lighter stuff, right? But the question is about the books that made a difference.

My books that made a difference would include Mountains Beyond Mountains, by Kidder, Life of Pi, by Martel, and as a teen The Outsiders, by Hinton.

Cody said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cody said...

The Five Books that Most Influenced My Life

1. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien - This the first book I can remember truly loving. I think I would credit this as the book that made me love reading.

2. The Source by James A. Michener - This is the first book I read my Michener and marked the start of my love affair with his novels. I read little else between the ages of 15-20.

3. Is It a Choice: Answers to 300 of the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Gay and Lesbian People - When I was in high school I can remember "stealing" this book from the library (I returned...just never checked it out). We teens in rural Indiana 15 years ago didn't have near the resources the teens have nowadays..but this book helped me through some real issues!

4. Modern Art - I would say that this was the only textbook I read from cover-to-cover in college. I credit this book in influencing my decision to get out of education and pursue a degree in Art History...which lead me to need a Masters in something that was actually useful...which brought me to Library Science.

5. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer - This is the first YA novel I can remember reading and truly loving. I'll credit Ms. Meyer with starting my love of YA literature.

Sheryl said...

Hey, I'd put Twilight on my list for the same reason!

Cody said...

OK, Sheryl, don't think you're exempt from posting your list! I want to see the full list.

Sheryl said...

All right, here are books that have made a difference to me. I already mentioned Twilight because it was the first YA book that I read and enjoyed and it got me into reading YA lit.

Gone With the Wind
It's just my favorite book and I can read it over and over again. I think I first read it in middle school.

Where the Sidewalk Ends
This got me loving poetry and words as a child, which I still love as an adult.

To the Lighthouse by Viginia Woolf
The first time I read this as a freshman in college, it made no sense and I thought Woolf was absurd. I read it again as a senior and loved it. I read everything she wrote. I admire her for her writing skill and for her advocacy for women and women's unique writing style. I remember feeling profoundly affected by this book and its implications for me as an intelligent woman.

The Villa by Nora Roberts
A friend had me read this a couple of years after I graduated from college. It was the first book I'd read for pleasure in an extremely long time and it was the first romance novel I'd ever read (except maybe for some unsuccessful dabbles in Danielle Steel in high school). I really liked it, and it got me reading romance novels and just generally for pleasure.

If I just get 5, those are mine. I'd like to include Laura Ingalls Wilder too since I devoured her books as a child, and I adore Hamlet too.