Celebrity Picks: Sean Hayes's and Scott Icenogle's Favorite Reads of 2018

Adrian Liang on December 24, 2018
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Sean Hayes and Scott Icenogle became a husband-and-husband writing team after they found themselves wondering about the origin stories of various characters in The Nutcracker, one of their favorite performances. In their debut illustrated children's book, Plum, they create a delightful tale about how a young Sugar Plum Fairy got her wings.

Hayes is best known for his role as Jack in television's Will & Grace, and Icenogle is a music composer. Plum is their first book together, and hopefully they will be able to share more of their own Nutcracker-inspired stories in the years to come.


Sean Hayes's favorite reads of 2018

A lot of the time I’ve allotted for reading is dedicated to scripts and screenplays so when I do get a free moment to read a book, it’s a welcome sidetrack. —Sean Hayes

The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin

Besides the fact that I am a fan of the author, this is one of my favorite books because I easily identify with Daniel P. Cambridge and his “obsessive compulsive multi-phobic anxiety disorder.” Not that I suffer as deeply as Daniel (I hope?), but Steve has a gift of conveying the pathos of a handicapped protagonist through witty precision - and I find myself laughing out loud.

The Figure in the Shadows by John Bellairs

I only read one or two of these as a kid and something recently triggered my memory of the love I had for these books - enough to make me order every single John Bellairs book off of Amazon for the pure, selfish reason of experiencing nostalgia. And I’m so glad I did. When I have time, I whip through one of them and am completely mesmerized by John’s ability to create imagery through the use of prose and tone. Much like what J.K. Rowling achieved with Harry in the Harry Potter series, John actually makes you feel like you’re seeing and feeling everything that Lewis Barnavelt is experiencing. Sure, it’s not written for adults but that’s why I love reading them - it makes me feel like a kid again.


Scott Icenogle's favorite reads of 2018

I enjoy reading and I really enjoy watching stories (through film and television) that allow me to escape. I don’t look for books about self-improvement and all of that. It’s not what I need in my life, to be honest. I like escapism in all forms. So, below are two books I recently re-read that provide that little bit of real-world departure that I sometimes need. —Scott Icenogle

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

I recently re-read this book in my attempt to shut-off my mind from the rest of my busy day. I found that this wonderful story by J.K. Rowling really put me into the mindset of a young boy who approached the world and life with an “anything is possible” point-of-view. I love books that do that. But what’s so great about this and all of the subsequent books of the Harry Potter world, they just simply fulfill that fantasy that so many kids (and adults) have of using magic to make their lives better. And with the level of description and detail in these books, you truly do feel as though you are there, which makes the escapism so much more real.

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Dr. No by Ian Fleming

When I was a kid, my grandfather used to read all of the James Bond novels by Ian Fleming. I would go up to his reading room where he had all of these novels on a bookshelf and I would peruse them to try and see why he read these novels over and over again. It wasn’t until I saw the James Bond films that I understood his love of these stories. And from that day forward, I became a huge fan of James Bond. I had never read the novels until recently and I thought it would be fun to look into the pages of what my grandfather loved so much. So, for me, this novel and all of the subsequent ones provide me that real world escapism that fulfills that fantasy a lot of guys have of being a spy who travels the world, comes into contact with lots of cool, interesting people, and provides your not-so-everyday experiences of “saving the day.”

Authors' photo credit: Chris Haston


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