Stefanie Powers: My six best books – Gods, Graves and Scholars and more

May 11, 2018
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GODS, GRAVES AND SCHOLARS

By CW Ceram

Out of print

I was given this history of archaeology when I was 12. It was a weighty book but if we went to the beach I always liked digging and I had an insatiable curiosity.

My interest has never waned. I’ve been on a lot of digs, most recently at a cluster of Mayan cities.

CRADLE TO CRADLE

By Michael Braungart and William McDonough

Vintage, £8.99

This speaks to my concern about wildlife and the pollutants humanity has created. It is an extraordinary book that looks at retooling industry to make products that are intended to be recycled.

It should be required reading in schools and for heads of corporations.

THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN

By Simon Winchester

Out of print

This is the story of the greatest contributor to the Oxford English Dictionary. You can’t imagine it would hold your attention but it’s riveting.

I am devoted to anything by this author. His books are based on good storytelling that feels like fiction but is absolutely true. I picked this up by chance in a bookshop years ago.

THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH

By Ken Follett

Pan, £9.99

This is about the age of cathedrals and it’s extraordinary how he illuminates the medieval period with facts about the amalgamation of power between the Church and the lords and how that produced the guilds of craftsmen and then the market towns.

FICTIONS

by Jorge Luis borges

Penguin, £8.99

I read this collection of short stories in Spanish first. They’re poetic, his use of language is magnificent and there’s a surrealism to his storytelling that always brings about awe in the reader.

ON THE ROAD

By Jack Kerouac

Penguin, £8.99

This harks back to the 1960s. I was still in high school but my older brother was a beatnik living in San Francisco so this was required reading.

Kerouac took conventional Americana and turned it upside down and there was a romanticism about it.



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