Friday, January 23, 2009

What the Celebrities Claim to Be Reading: Exactly What You'd Expect

What does Gwyneth Paltrow read when she's curled up by the winter fire? Why, Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre and Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, of course. Riiiiight...

According to the story at the Huffington Post, Christy Turlington prefers Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, and Austen's Pride and Prejudice. The only celebrity who seems to have read anything published in the last 50 years is Madonna, who recommends The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa. I've always suspected she's smarter than her peers.

6 comments:

Steph said...

I'm not clear about what makes Madonna's selections indicative of her higher intelligence. Is it because you think her choices are genuine reflections of her taste (whereas you suspect that Gwynnie is merely picking books that will make her look literary?), or do you actually think the other book choices are for a less intelligent reader? I don't personally care for Faulkner, but I wouldn't say his writing panders to dummies! ;)

Plus, for what it's worth, the list discusses Gwyneth's set's favorite books. It's a small point, but this doesn't mean that newer novels aren't being read, just that they aren't being loved!

Gwen Dawson said...

I suspect Gwyneth and Christie picked books they think will make them look smart and that they last read in high school. (Maybe I'm being overly cynical here.) Madonna's choices, although not all good choices, at least reflect a reading habit beyond required high school reading.

mike mitchell said...

What makes you think they read them in high school?

Steph said...

Fair enough. I suspected that was the case (rather than a denunciation of Jane Eyre), but just wanted to clarify! I'm actually a little surprised Gwyneth didn't put some Shakespeare on her list... ;)

Gwen Dawson said...

Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books, so I'm certainly not denouncing it!

rjnagle said...

I am currently doing online dating and found that on one person's profile, when asked to mention a recent book, she mentioned the book "How to Grill". I love it when people mention those kinds of titles. (At least they're being honest!)

It's hard to answer those questions, especially if you haven't read a lot recently or what you're currently reading is crap/unrepresentative of what you normally read. I think I mentioned Heroides on my online dating profile (when in fact the last book I got my hands on was James Morrow's satirical This is the Way the World Ends).

Politicians of course have to be circumspect about these kinds of questions, throwing out a few history titles rather than something daring.

In my experience, actors read a fair bit, especially in drama and the classics. Also, they read a lot of autobiographies and books on psychology.