Celebs Share Their Summer Reading Picks

We asked authors, designers and more, "Where are you going? What book are you taking?"

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Judith Jamison, Dancer

"I'm going to Berlin in June as part of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's summer international," says the ballet company's artistic director.

Judith Jamison, Author

"[I'm taking] the Joy Book by Prem Raja Baba and Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns because I'm endlessly interested in self-improvement and enlightenment."

Lubov Azria, Designer

"In the summertime, we usually enjoy a family vacation in France. This year will likely be either Cannes or Saint Tropez," says the BCBG Max Azria designer. "[I'm taking] Life by Keith Richards, Loving Frank by Nancy Horan, Personal History by Katharine Graham and Just Kids by Patti Smith."

Ann Patchett, Author

"I'll be on book tour all summer," says State of Wonder author Patchett. "There won't be any vacation, but there will be plenty of travel."

 

Melissa Ann Pinney

Ann Patchet, Author

"I'm starting out with Dickens's Our Mutual Friend. I love to read everywhere but especially on planes. There are no interruptions, no phone calls, plenty of time and since I still read books on paper no one tells me I have to turn it off."

Anne Fontaine, Designer

Fontaine is traveling to Corsica with her family, where she'll dive into The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. "I like to read books about how one can better manage their life and business," she says. "I also enjoy reading about culture and history."

J. Courtney Sullivan, Author

"In August, my boyfriend and I will pack up our bathing suits, our books, our sun block and our dog and head to the shores of southern Maine," says Sullivan whose latest novel shares the name of her annual vacation destination. 

James E. Weiel

J. Courtney Sullivan, Author

"I always pack about 18 books when I go away for a week and end up reading two of them. As a huge Flannery O'Connor fan, I am eager to read A Good Hard Look, a [new] novel about her life by Ann Napolitano. And I can't wait to dig into the latest Ann Patchett novel, State of Wonder. I would read anything by Patchett, up to and including her grocery list."

Philippa Gregory, Author

The Other Boleyn Girl scribe is heading to her villa on the outskirts of Nice this summer. "I always take resarch books . . . history is my great love and I would rather read a good history or new biography than something which is very light," says Greogry, who'll also tackle the novel War and Peace on her vacation. Novels, afterall, can come in handy.

Philippa Gregory, Author

"I once went on an arduous camping trip with a friend and we fell-out in the midge infested highlands of Scotland," Gregory says. "The only friendly voice I heard on that trip was the steady thoughtful tones of Virginia Woolf. I read A Room of One's Own for the first time, fell in love with Woolf's amused brilliance and recognized in her my own sense of so often being out of step with the world, but in step with my own thoughts." Gregory's new novel, The Lady of Rivers, will be out in October.

Jackie Collins, Author

"My vacations are usually working ones, so I will be promoting my new book Goddess of Vengeance in London and hopefully spending time strolling through the flea market in Paris," says Collins (jackiecollins.com). 

Greg Gorman

Jackie Collins, Author

"I'm taking Booky Wook 2 by Russell Brand 'cause I think he's hilarious. And Michael Caine's The Elephant in Hollywood. He's a good friend and tells amazing stories of his early Hollywood days." Follow her @jackiecollins

Janet Evanovich, Author

"My summer vacation is always a book tour," says Evanovich, who will be promoting Smokin' Seventeen, her latest Stephanie Plum mystery, this summer. 

Roland Scarpa

Janet Evanovich, Author

"I never know how much reading time I'm going to get, so I always take magazines with me, everything from Cooking Light to Architectural Digest to Vanity Fair. I'm also looking forward to reading The Jungle by Clive Cussler and Jack Du Brul."

Bethenny Frankel, Entrepreneur

"I am going on a peaceful beach vacation with my baby girl and husband. I need to check out for awhile. It's been a crazy year," says the Bethenny Ever After star who recently sold her Skinnygirl cocktail brand for a reported $120 million. 

Bethenny Frankel, Entrepreneur

"I think Chelsea Handler is hilarious, so I'm taking one of her books, Are You There Vodka? It's me, Chelsea. I also heard that Jen Lancaster mentioned me in her book My Fair Lazy so I'm bringing that one too." Frankel's latest book, A Place of Yes, is out now.

Amy Smilovic, Designer

"My next vacation will be at The Cloister in Sea Island, Georgia visiting my parents who live nearby in St. Simons," says the Tibi designer. "This is the one trip each year that my mother takes over the kids and I actually get some great downtime to catch up on my book of the moment. I'm always interested in historical fiction and the top of my list is New York by Edward Rutherford."

Lisa See, Author

"We just returned from a three week trip to Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand to celebrate our thirtieth wedding anniversary," says See, whose new novel is Dreams of Joy. "The Topas Eco-Lodge, our hotel in Sapa, Vietnam, was beautiful but it was really out there geographically, and it was also environmentally conscious."

Lisa See, Author

"We had little hot water, no hair dryer, no TV. I love my husband, and this was a romantic trip, but the nights were long. I was very happy to have some great books (Room by Emma Donoghue, Bangkok Haunts by John Burdett, Swamplandia! by Karen Russell) to read."

Cynthia Rowley, Designer

"I'm headed to Machu Picchu in Peru, staying at the Luxury Collection's Tambo Del Inka for a few days with my mom and my girls. I always make sure to bring a blank paper book for sketching and then, alternately, the most enthralling new book I can get my hands on. This trip, it's an advance copy of my friend James Frey's new book, The Final Testament of the Holy Bible."

 

 

Want more great reads for your vacation? Click here for a slideshow of this summer's best beach books.

 

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First Published Wed, 2011-06-01 14:22

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