Best Books in 2014 from an Unlikely Source

You have seen a lot of the “Best Books of 2014.”  On December 12, 2014, the Wall Street Journal published responses from fifty different celebrities and experts who responded to the question about what their favorites for the year were.   You can read the entire article by clicking here.

Monica LewinskyOne of these that caught my eye in that article was Monica Lewinsky.  Far removed from the President Clinton scandal, Lewinsky is a frequent contributor to Vanity Fair magazine.  Few are aware that she studied at the London School of Economics.   She has managed to brush aside all the negative publicity from her past and has moved forward with a promising career.  I found her responses to be heartfelt.

I thought you would be interested in reading her selections, from the quote below.

Binge reading? Yes. You lock the doors, cancel all appointments, order in and fall in love with a book. And if that book is a 600-plus-page tome, and you actually fret when you hit the middle and realize that there are only 300 pages left, well . . . such is “I Am Pilgrim,” by Terry Hayes. Written in a heart-stopping pace, this literary thriller lands somewhere between “Homeland” and “Breaking Bad” and then transports you to a whole different level. It is part spy novel, part psychological thriller. Twists and turns. Emotionally complex characters. Relevant geopolitical issues. I picked up the book in London, where it was recommended to me and came out a year before the American pub date. Bringing it back to New York, I badgered everyone I knew: “You Gaudi Pop-Ups Covermust read this book.” Only one friend didn’t finish it, because there is a fair amount of gruesome violence. Another favorite book of the year was my dear friend Alan Cumming ’s brave and heartbreaking memoir on his complicated paternal relationship, identity and survival. “Not My Father’s Son” is an important read particularly because of the issues of alienation that a LGBTQ youth—or anyone, really—who is bullied may feel and face. Lastly, Courtney Watson McCarthy ’s “Gaudi Pop-Ups” is a magical book I discovered this year: “Visual” books, particularly one about such a master, spark creativity. I loved it.

For some reason, I find her selections credible, and it has nothing to do with her past.  Rather, I think she has become a discriminating critic.  I will read two of these soon – the Hayes and Cumming books.  I am not that much of a visual person, so I will pass on the McCarthy book.

I didn’t publish a list of my “best books” for the year.  I don’t know anyone who would be interested in what I think they are.  And, certainly, I was not asked to do so by this publication.

But, what about you?  How do you think her selections measure up?

I am a PilgrimNot My Father's Son Cover





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