“Having been raised on a mediocre diet of American television and mainstream Hollywood movies, I can count on one hand the actors of Asian descent who made an impression on me growing up. Their performances have stayed with me, like a novel you may never read again but pack with you every time you move.”
An excerpt from My Ideal Bookshelf, a book where 100 “leading cultural figures” like Judd Apatow, David Sedaris, and Stephenie Meyer discuss the books that have meant the most to them. Here’s Apatow:
“In eighth grade, I read Ladies and Gentlemen – Lenny Bruce!! [by Albert Goldman and Lawrence Schiller] I cut out the photos and made an elaborate book report for extra credit. It was gorgeous. My English teacher, Mr Board, claimed to have lost it, but I know he stole it and cherishes it to this day.
“Part of what inspired me to read more was a road trip I took with Owen Wilson in 1997. Owen was so well read – he even knew what The New Yorker was! I was embarrassed that the last book I had probably read was Stephen King’s Firestarter, when I was 13. He recommended Frederick Exley’s A Fan’s Notes, which I loved so much that I went on a reading tear for a few years. I remember Owen’s saying to me: ‘I’m jealous that you get to read it for the first time.’ I didn’t understand what he meant then, but I do now.”