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Lend Me A Tenor at The George Street Playhouse; PC: T. Charles Erickson

FAQ

What are Ken's favorite books?

I've rarely met a book I didn't like. If you came to my house, you'd see that I'm sort of a book addict. I just love buying new books, paging through them, reading a few passages here and there and getting the feel of them. I've got to stop soon or my house will explode.

As for favorite individual books, let's start with fiction.

My favorite novels of all time include:

Tom Jones, by Henry Fielding

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

Emma, by Jane Austen

Okay, all of Jane Austen (my absolute favorite author after Shakespeare)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Innocents Abroad and Life On The Mississippi by Mark Twain

The Pickwick Papers, Nicholas Nickleby and A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Treasure Islandby Robert Louis Stevenson

Portrait of A Lady, The Europeans, and The Spoils of Poynton by Henry James

Ulysses by James Joyce

The Good Companions, by J.B. Priestley

Lucky Jim, by Kingsley Amis

A Damsel in Distress by P.G. Wodehouse

The Clicking of Cuthbert by P.G. Wodehouse

Okay, all of Wodehouse

Excellent Women and A Glass of Blessings by Barbara Pym

At Freddie’s by Penelope Fitzgerald

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

The Fixer by Bernard Malamud

Leaven of Malice by Robertson Davies

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon


My mother got me hooked on mysteries early on, and my favorites include:

Everything by Rex Stout, especially Too Many Cooks, Death of A Dude, Some Buried Caesar and The Black Mountain

Gaudy Night, Busman's Honeymoon, Strong Poison and Clouds of Witness by Dorothy Sayers

All the Rumpole books by John Mortimer

The Final Solution by Michael Chabon

And of course the Sherlock Holmes stories

Favorite non-fiction:

The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell (which I read endlessly)

Also, John Wain’s biography of Samuel Johnson, not the masterpiece that Boswell’s is, but a terrific overview.

My Early Life by Winston Churchill

The Last Lion, a biography of Winston Churchill by William Manchester (the first volume is much better than the first)

In Search of Churchill
by Martin Gilbert

After The Fact by James West Davidson

The Verdi-Boito Correspondence, Verdi

A Biography by Mary Jane Phillips-Matz

The Collected Letters of George Bernard Shaw

John Adams
by David McCullough

The Lyttleton-Hart Davis Letters (all 6 volumes)

Sir Peter Hall's Diaries (the best theatre book of all time)

Men At Work by George F. Will (the best baseball book ever)

The Collected Letters of Noel Coward

Notes From A Small Island
by Bill Bryson

(pretty much anything by Bill Bryson)

The Life of Jane Austen by Clare Tomalin

Will In The World by Stephen Greenblatt

Shakespeare: A Life in Drama, and Shakespeare for All Time by Stanley Wells

Favorite Periodicals:

The Guardian Review
from England

Opera News


I generally have about 20 books by my bedside to dip into at bedtime, but the one’s I’m currently reading in earnest are:

The Memoirs of Sir George Solti

American Writers At Home by J.D. McClatchey


Benjamin Franklin
by Walter Isaacson

Selected Poems
by Robert Louis Stevenson

...and I love reading about opera.

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