Celebrity Picks: Louise Penny's Favorite Reads of 2018

Erin Kodicek on January 01, 2019

penny.JPGAward-winning, and beloved, mystery maven Louise Penny continues her popular Inspector Gamache series with Kingdom of the Blind, which finds Armand the executor of a stranger’s unusual will, the terms of which become more clear when a body is discovered…

So what has Ms. Penny been reading this year? See her picks and why she chose them below, and look here for the latest celebrity favorites. For even more recommendations, learn more about the Amazon Books Editors' picks for the Best Books of the Year.

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Books for Living by Will Schwalbe

A follow-up to his majestic The End of Your Life Book Club, Books for Living is a love letter to reading and readers. In it, Will talks about the 26 books that changed his life. Changed his mind. Changed his course. From Stuart Little to The Odyssey. It’s a map of the places deep inside ourselves where only books can take us. This is a gift to all of us who have spent our lives loving stories.

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A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

Ignatius J. Reilly rides again! Pompous, ponderous, deluded, magnificent. I read this when it first came out and it so amazed, amused and moved me that I knew I’d have to re-visit it one day. That day come a month or so ago, and let me tell you, John Kennedy Toole continues to astound. A Confederacy of Dunces is both grand and intimate, hilarious and affecting as Ignatius navigates his own world, one few others actually see. Or share. Except us.

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W.H. Auden: Collected Poems by W.H. Auden

I fear I might be running the risk of sounding pretentious by talking about a poet, but Auden is such an influence on my life and work that I feel compelled to include him. These are poems I have beside me as I write, and read often. Like "Musée des Beaux Arts", about contemplating masterpieces in a gallery. ‘About suffering they were never wrong…’ Or the famous, "Stop all the Clocks", ‘He was my North, my South, my East and West/My working week and my Sunday rest…’ When asked by aspiring writers for advice, I always suggest reading poetry. Auden is the one I turn to, as a writer. As a person. ‘Goodness existed: that was the new knowledge…

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