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Must List 2009: Books

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Q&A With Libba Bray
Must Y.A. Author

AGE
45
WHY HER
The author of the best-selling Gemma Doyle Trilogy returns Sept. 22 with another young-adult gem, Going Bovine. It’s the darkly comic tale of 16-year-old slacker Cameron Smith, who sets out on an epic journey to find the cure for his mad cow disease.

What was your inspiration for the book?
My mom told me about a man with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease [mad cow], and he had hallucinations. I was haunted by that: How horrible it must be when you can’t trust your reality.

There’s a lot of sex, drugs, alcohol, and death.
Whenever somebody’s surprised, it’s always an adult. They just want to turn a blind eye and think that teens aren’t dealing with that.

What’s next for you?
A satire about teen beauty queens. A planeload goes down on a deserted island. It’s Lord of the Flies meets Mean Girls.

What’s on your Must List?
Doctor Who and So You Think You Can Dance. That shows range.

Melissa Gilbert
Must Guilty Pleasure

AGE
45
WHY HER
The actress formerly known as Half Pint (a.k.a. Laura) from Little House on the Prairie doesn’t show an ounce of inhibition in her juicy memoir, Prairie Tale.
TATTLE TALES
Gilbert showed ex-fiancé Rob Lowe a version of Tale, but the actress is anxious to hear how other celebs will respond to dirt she dished (one tidbit: Gilbert claims her ex-husband, Bo Brinkman, had a one-night stand with Shannen Doherty). Says Gilbert: ”Now we’ll get to hear who hates me because of it, who loves me, and who sues me.”
NEXT
Gilbert will tour in a musical stage production of Little House, only now she’s playing Laura’s ma, Caroline, and her 13-year-old son will be joining her as part of the chorus.
ON HER MUST LIST
Dexter‘s season 3 DVD will accompany Gilbert on the road.


Advice from the Authors
We asked two celebrated novelists for their summer-reading recommendations

Ursula K. Le Guin
– Grace Paley, Long Walks and Intimate Talks
”A small book full of good humor, good gossip, and wisdom.”
– Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle
”You thought America won World War II? Think again!”
– Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse
– ”Summer at the seaside, family, visitors, pain, love, the passing of years. The most beautiful of the great novels.”

Jodi Picoult
– Ann Patchett, The Patron Saint of Liars
”A novel about a home for unwed mothers.”
– Michelle Wildgen, You’re Not You
”The literal act of giving voice to ALS-afflicted Kate, who can no longer speak, helps young Bec find her own.”
– Stefan Merrill Block, The Story of Forgetting
”A novel about Alzheimer’s that makes me desperate to know what Block will do next.”


Brigitte Lacombe
Must Shutterbug

The renowned photographer talks about shooting a few of the famous faces that grace her stunning new book, Lacombe anima | persona (June 30).

LEONARDO DICAPRIO AND MARTIN SCORSESE, ON THE AVIATOR SET, 2003
”I love the relationship between them. It started as master and student and evolved into an equal one. This moment is very intense.”
MERYL STREEP, 2002
”I’ve been photographing her since ’78 as much as she lets me — she cannot bear being in front of the camera. She seems to have no vanity, no interest in contemplating her own beauty.”
BARACK OBAMA, 2006
”It was before he announced he was going to run for president. I was taken by his charisma and grace and brilliance.”

Written by Benjamin Svetkey, Jeff Jensen, Dan Snierson, Ken Tucker, Lynette Rice, Chris Nashawaty, Karen Valby, Dave Karger, Adam B. Vary, Missy Schwartz

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