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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Celebrity bookshelves

How can I contain my glee that Hugh Laurie and I share one of the same favorite books?!!!! He says of Daniel Dennett's Darwin's Dangerous Idea:
Dennett looks at Darwin's idea of evolution in a philosophical and logical framework instead of a biological one. The book points out that if we truly wish to know what we are in the scheme of things, Darwin is the place to start. You think you can grasp the magnitude of Darwin's leap and its implications for all human life and thought. And then Dennett shows you that you're only on the ground floor of a majestic skyscraper. Beautiful.

This discovery almost makes up for my disappointment that House will be pre-empted by American Idol for the next few weeks.

The sublime Mr. Laurie's bookshelf is available on Oprah's Book Club, one of my favorite procrastination stations. I've checked through many celebrity bookshelves on the site, partially unwilling to believe that the books were selected and summarized by their publicists. I figured I'd have the most in common with Emma Thompson, but it turned out to be Amanda Peet, of all people. She includes Joan Didion's Play It As It Lays and Lorrie Moore's Self-Help, as well as a common favorite, Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried (the SIPs for that book are shit field, true war story, and water buffalo).

This week, New York magazine has a great interview with Colson Whitehead about five books picked at random from his bookcase (link from Bookslut). It's supposed to be a new feature, and I'm very excited about it. It may turn out to be a good way to select for diversity and honesty of picks.

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Anonymous Anonymous on Wed Mar 22, 04:16:00 PM:
nigella lawson and i agree that persuasion is the best of austen. that made my day. and i don't want to hear any derogating.
Blogger Meg Lyman on Wed Mar 22, 04:56:00 PM:
My deep, deep love for J. K. Rowling was only intensified when I saw that she loves Emma. I think it is my favorite of Austen's because I, too, love Mr. Knightley. He's my favorite Austen love interest.
Blogger Anna on Thu Mar 23, 01:36:00 AM:
Amanda Peet went to Columbia.