The books that we choose to keep—let alone read—can say a lot about who we are and how we see ourselves. In MY IDEAL BOOKSHELF, dozens of leading cultural figures share the books that matter to them most; books that define their dreams and ambitions and in many cases helped them find their way... read more
“I never had an office job for more than six months . . . Every time I took a job and walked into an office, I would break into a cold sweat as soon as I got there. I wanted to write; I always wanted to write. But I think I wasn't good enough at it to make a living until I merged it with cooking. I probably wasn't good enough at cooking to make a living at that, either, but the combination of the two seems to have worked for me.”Mark Bittman
“When I was younger, I sought out books. I was one of those kids who asked my mom to drop me at the library on Saturdays. That was where I spent my weekends. . . I loved being there. I felt safe in the library and with the librarians. I felt that I was valued and that my passion for reading was a good thing.”Rosanne Cash
“I'll let my mind wander, and suddenly someone's leg will have gotten really long and turned into a bicycle, except it's a centaur bicycle. Then I try to resolve that. If I can, then maybe I'll have something. It's a lot of trial and error, a lot of sitting and thinking for hours.”Zachary Kanin
“Tennis needs rules, a baseline, and a net. If you could hit the ball anywhere, it would be called golf. So it goes with creativity.”Ben Schott
“I really think you can't progress as a writer unless you read, and the ideal time to read is when you can read generously. It didn't even occur to me that I could have a book of my own in the library someday. That's how you should read.”David Sedaris
“There is room to do things differently.”Nadia Sirota
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