Favorite Books of the Famous
That Ben Affleck loves to read comes as no surprise to those who remember his Oscar win for best original screenplay. Recently recognized as a renaissance man of the film industry, Affleck is as comfortable directing award-winning films as he is talking about the Middle East.
When "Knocked Up" producer and director Judd Apatow dropped out of college, he didn't stay home playing video games – he read books.
As the Most Senior Correspondent of "The Daily Show," Samantha Bee spends lots of time traveling to and from interviews – great for squeezing in reading time. Bee says she loves to tackle books that deal with issues of aging and human relationships.
Yale literature professor Harold Bloom has strong, sometimes polarizing views about books. When asked about his favorite, he says he picked the one in which "I found myself more truly and more strange."
George H. W. Bush
Former president George H. W. Bush lists an oft-banned book as one of his favorites and says it "helped shape my life."
This "Hotel Rwanda" actor and humanitarian says that you'll "never read a book that could better make you understand what it feels like to be subjugated."
Voracious reader and former president Bill Clinton loves to churn through popular thrillers and mysteries, but his favorite book touches on themes of trauma and abuse.
Anderson Cooper says he grew up with "a mild form of dyslexia" that required special instruction, but he still developed a love of reading and writing.
The favorite book of billionaire businessman Mark Cuban may have helped him rise to the top. He says "it encouraged me to think as an individual, take risks to reach my goals, and responsibility for my successes and failures."
As a writer, producer, director and journalist, Nora Ephron has made a career out of knowing what makes a good story. Ephron attributes her love of reading to "the state of rapture that occurs when I read a wonderful book."
TV news host Chris Matthews says he didn't read many non-required books in college – but every night after studying he'd pick up his favorite book and read.
President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama was a best-selling author before he became president. He and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, wrote a note to author Yann Martel expressing their appreciation for his book, "Life of Pi" – but it’s not the president's favorite.
When First Lady Michelle Obama recalls her favorite book, she remembers it was "one of the first books that I loved and read cover to cover in one day – not because anybody made me read it but because the book was good."
A passionate reader, this actress and musician ranks her first book as her favorite. Her mother read it to her when she was just 10 years old, and it's held a special place in her heart ever since.
English heartthrob Robert Pattinson shared one of his favorite books with Oprah last year. An eclectic reader, Pattinson's recent literary tastes have taken a poetic twist.
For comedian and "Blades of Glory" star Amy Poehler, "reading was a way to make friends or enemies, a way to discover how all these different people exist in the world and to rub shoulders with them."
New mother Natalie Portman completed her Harvardpsychology degree in 2003. In Portman's opinion, "the best psychology is in literature. It's so much easier to understand a character than a theory. You can recognize yourself—or other people—in a different way."
When sportswriter Bill Simmons was a young man, he had some tough career decisions to make – and his favorite book helped point the way. Simmons says that "at that point in my life, I wasn't sure whether I wanted to attend law school or become a writer, and that book literally made the decision for me."
Though acting has made Kristen Stewart a wealthy woman, the "Twilight" star wants to earn a college degree and perhaps begin a new career. The enigmatic leading lady's favored authors include French absurdist Albert Camus and gritty American novelist John Steinbeck.
Jay-Z says his favorite book is one of "two books that I absolutely live my life by. Growing up, I was always curious about religion. This book made the most sense to me; it's about the way you live your life"