Gladwell, Franco, Patti Smith: These books changed me

The writer, actor and musician share what they're reading in illustrated form. An excerpt from "My Ideal Bookshelf"

Topics: Books, Patti Smith, James Franco, Malcolm Gladwell, My Ideal Bookshelf,

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    Gladwell, Franco, Patti Smith: These books changed me

    Patti Smith
    As a child, I would sit at my mother's feet and watch her drink coffee and smoke cigarettes with a book on her lap. Her absorption intrigued me. Although not yet in nursery school, I liked to look at her books, feel their paper, and lift the tissues from their frontispieces. I wanted to know what was in them, what captured her attention so deeply.

    Gladwell, Franco, Patti Smith: These books changed me

    James Franco
    My father gave me "As I Lay Dying" when I was 14. I loved it -- the structure, the style, but also the characters. I'm so used to learning about people through conversation, and this book is a great example of how you can understand character so differently. I thought "As I Lay Dying" was like a puzzle. For me, as a teenager, it was much more difficult to figure out what Faulkner was trying to do -- so it became a mystery I was obsessed with, something I wanted to unravel.

    Gladwell, Franco, Patti Smith: These books changed me

    Malcolm Gladwell
    These books are markers for ideas that I'm interested in. That's why it's so important to have physical books. When I see my bookshelf expanding, it gives me the impression that my brain is expanding, too.

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