We Asked 10 Wise People to Choose 10 Wise Books


Working with the curated bookstore, One Grand Books, with branches at BlackBarn in Chelsea Market, NYC, at the Arclight Cinema in Hollywood, as well as in the Catskills town of Narrowsburg in upstate New York, we put together a list of ten books selected by ten luminaries to help us all find meaning into today’s scrambled world.


1. The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson
(Selected by Michael Pollan)
“Sentence by sentence, some of the most stimulating thoughts anywhere.”
2. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
(Selected by Gabrielle Union)
“The first book I read as a young adult that truly spoke to me about egocentric beauty ideals and white supremacy. I saw myself clearly in these pages as Pecola searched to be seen. A powerful, powerful book.”


Books selected by Michael Pollan, Gabrielle Union, and Greta Gerwig


3. The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson
(Selected by Greta Gerwig)
This book doesn’t fit neatly into a category. It’s personal but also global. It doesn’t prescribe anything; it raises questions. It allows the reader to feel as if they are watching this brilliant woman think in real time. It seems as if you are inside her mind with her. It’s funny and sexy and made me cry. And it is one of the best books on being a stepmother I’ve ever encountered.”
4. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
(Selected by Rose McGowan)
“The hopelessness of character assassination and being trapped by evil people’s lies is something I know a little about. I fell in love with Dàntes and his quest for justice long ago. Dumas’ writing helped form me. I wish I could thank him in person, but this’ll have to do.”
5. What Are People For? by Wendell Berry
(Selected by Alice Waters)
“Berry puts that stake in the ground. He’s a poet as well as a wonderful writer, and his message is simple: Nature is our teacher. We just need to listen and feel it, and try not to get in its way.”


Books chosen by Rose McGowan, Alice Waters, and Roxane Gay

6. We are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby
(Selected by Roxane Gay)
“I can’t, nor do I want, to unsee the essays in this collection. Irby is well known as a humorist, and the essays in “We Are Never Meeting in Real Life” are, indeed, very funny. They are also poignant, and incredibly honest. Humor makes way for vulnerability and by the end of this book you will have cried as much as you laughed about what it means to be a black woman, what it is to live with chronic illness, how poverty marks you, how love always finds a way.”
7. My Prizes: An Accounting by Thomas Bernhard
(Selected by John Waters)
“Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth! The Austrian intellectual sourpuss hilariously rejects every literary award he was ever given. Refusal as an art form.”
8. Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
(Selected by Chelsea Handler)
“Rebecca Solnit goes deep with statistics, personal stories, and others’ accounts of how brutal this world can be for women, the history of how we’ve been treated, and what it will take to change the conversation: MEN. We need them to be as outraged as we are and join our fight.”


Books selected by Chelsea Handler, John Waters, and Dev Hynes


9. The Last Interviews: James Baldwin
(Selected by Dev Hynes/Blood Orange)
“I’m a sucker for this morbid yet informative series which chronologically prints interviews from deceased artists ending with their last interview. Baldwin’s words could be applicable today.”
10. But What If We’re Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman
(Selected by Trevor Noah)
“A question the architects of apartheid should have stopped and asked themselves at the start, and a question I try to ask about my own deeply held convictions every day.”


Rose McGowan Lands 5-Part Docuseries on E!


Rose McGowan, who’s been making headlines recently as an early accuser of Harvey Weinstein and outspoken supporter of the #MeToo movement, has landed a five-part docuseries on the E! network, Deadline reports.

The series, titled Citizen Rose, comes as McGowan is finishing her memoir, Brave. 

“You are formally invited into my mind and world,” she offers. “I am thrilled to partner with E! to amplify my message of bravery, art, joy and survival. As I ready my book, Brave, I realized I wanted to show how we can heal through art even when being hounded by evil. I want to have a conversation with everyone, and most especially you, about looking at things differently and seeing beauty everywhere. E!’s tremendous reach and impressive platform allow me to globally communicate the importance of living a brave life.”

The show will begin with a two-hour special on January 30, followed by four additional episodes in the spring.

“Rose McGowan’s courage in addressing sexual abuse and harassment in Hollywood ignited a conversation and inspired other women to speak out against their abusers,” commented Amy Introcaso-Davis, Executive Vice President of Development and Production at E!. “We look forward to taking viewers inside this talented, dynamic woman’s world as the first allegations unfold and she becomes a leading voice in a critical cultural change.”

‘Conan the Barbarian”s Rose McGowan’s ADD Playlist

When Rose McGowan has trouble sleeping, she doesn’t turn to the sounds of a Brazilian rainstorm or fornicating dolphins for help. Instead, she flips on an episode of True Crime with Aphrodite Jones. “It’s basically all murder and mayhem, but with soothing voiceovers,” she deadpans from her suite at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, where she’s staying while her house undergoes renovations.

That the 37-year-old actor finds solace in savagery isn’t too surprising when one considers her career. McGowan, who has starred in such seminally twisted films as The Doom Generation, Scream, and Jawbreaker, will next appear as a wicked enchantress in the big-budget remake of Conan the Barbarian, out August 19. “I’m so impressed by how insane and magnificent I look in the film,” she says. “I was in prosthetics for five hours each day, from 2 until 7 in the morning. The whole experience was otherworldly and beautiful, and I really loved what was being created. It was nice to feel that way.”

McGowan hasn’t been involved in a high-profile project since the 2007 release of Grindhouse, Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s giddily trashy double-feature. When asked about her absence, she says, “I took two years off because my father died. I pulled out of three films to deal with it. We had $85 million to shoot Barbarella in Germany, but Robert [Rodriguez, to whom McGowan was engaged until they split in 2009] didn’t want to shoot there.”

Her personal tumult over the past few years seems to have colored her taste in music (with, perhaps, the exception of the final entry on this list), but McGowan politely dismisses the idea. “It’s basically just the ADD playlist in my brain,” she says. “I can go from listening to Eminem to AC/DC to Patsy Cline in a half hour.” Or, you know, a song about bloodsucking vampires in the Big Easy.

Concrete Blonde’s “Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)” How sexy is this song? It’s so playful and dark, and it’s very New Orleans. I’ve often thought I’d make a pretty great vampire, and I always feel at home in New Orleans—with the spirit and the people. When you’re walking around Oak Alley Plantation at night surrounded by the heavy scent of magnolia trees, playing this song on repeat, it’s pretty heady stuff.

Arcade Fire’s “We Used to Wait” This one reminds me so much of waiting by the mailbox. My parents are divorced, and when I was a kid I used to wait for letters from my mom when I was at my father’s house. He had a winding driveway and I remember taking long walks down to the end of it, and sitting out there by the mailbox all day. There’s such longing in this song for a time when you’re young and things are simple. Forget waiting by the mailbox—who even writes letters anymore? It makes me so sad, because it’s such a classy, genteel thing to have a nice set of personalized stationery. Not long ago, some douche at a restaurant sent over to my table a bottle of wine, so I sent him back a bowl of soup. You have to be creative in your thanks sometimes.

La Roux’s “In for the Kill (Skream Remix)” This song is so dusty. Listen to it while lying on your couch after you’ve been up all night having fun with your friends. I’m not involved in nightlife—never really was—but that’s often been a great misconception about me. I’d rather spend time at my friends’ houses playing backgammon. I love backgammon.

Billy Joel’s “She’s Always a Woman” This one can make me cry. We’re no longer in an era when people dedicate things to each other on anything but AM radio, but somebody I used to love—I won’t tell you who—would play this song and say that it was all about me. The woman Billy Joel is singing about clearly has the upper hand.

Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” Haven’t we all had that relationship? The one I apply it to wasn’t so much about my being scorned; it was more like he scorned a situation that could have been so amazing and beautiful, but this is what he did and this is who he left. It was a case of this person being unable to be anything but himself, which was unacceptable. I didn’t want to include too many crybaby songs, but that’s exactly what I’ve done, huh? I’ll sit in my car playing this one over and over again, crying, and then I’ll think, My garage smells funny and I’m feeling awfully lightheaded! Oh, yeah, I’ve been sitting in here with the engine on, crying to this song for 30 minutes.

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds’ “Where the Wild Roses Grow,” Featuring Kylie Minogue When I was little, I used to choreograph ballets in my head that I set to pretty much any song I’d been listening to. I still do that, but now it’s with ideas about how it would look on film. I can no longer separate film visions from my audio pleasure. When I go on a trip and see something—a view or a landmark—I think, It looks just like it does in the movies. I just got back from Auschwitz. I truly think, had I heard a German accent anywhere in my vicinity, I would have lunged at them and killed them. There was a point, when I came across the room filled with all the babies’ shoes, where it took everything in me not to fall to the floor and start screaming like a madman. By the time I hit the gas chambers, I never wanted to stop screaming.

Belinda Carlisle’s “Avec Le Temps” This song feels like when you’re by yourself and you sink to the floor heaving with sobs, but you feel strangely cleansed afterward. Music is often a really personal experience for me. I don’t really go to shows, but I did see Dolly Parton at the Greek Theatre a few years ago. Dolly’s music resonates with me because it’s all about being underestimated and misinterpreted, which is common in my life. Lots of people vomit up so much information about themselves, and I find that to be so repellent. Since I don’t really talk about myself, people make up stories about me. I am strong—this is true—but I hate when people say, “She’s definitely not the girl next door.” I’ve lived next door to somebody my entire life.

Pat Benatar’s “We Belong” This song is so beautiful. I always say that I believe I’m a gay man in a woman’s body, which my boyfriend [financier Rob Adams] doesn’t like. I’ve known this to be true for a long time, but I only realized I was even gayer than all of my gay friends when I made one of them go to a Zac Efron movie. He was like, “Seriously? You’re dragging me to see a Zac Efron movie and you’re playing the Flashdance soundtrack?”

Kay Starr’s “Wheel of Fortune” This one reminds me that life is like one big pair of crossed fingers. That’s sad to think, isn’t it? I hide sadness well. Put on some bright lipstick and nobody will ever know. That’s how I live my life, darling. I’m not even sure what I’m wistful for—I’ve just always felt a bit out of time. It’s a fish-out-of-water feeling, like I’ve gotten lost in some stitch in time and deposited in the wrong place. My mannerisms, my everything, just feel… wrong.

Lady Gaga’s “Telephone (Crookers Vocal Remix),” Featuring Beyoncé I wanted to end this list with something highbrow. I do fight training five to six days a week, for about two hours each day. I tend to do a lot of martial arts in movies—for whatever reason I’m either trying to save the world or kill the world, so I figure I’d might as well be good at it.

13 Hollywood Mistresses Worth Cheating For

Tiger Woods may be up to his putter in a mistress scandal, but what’s most disturbing about this particular case of martial infidelity is that Tiger’s wife is a ridiculously attractive Nordic supermodel. Despite this fact, the man still found it necessary to cheat with strange picked up at various bars across the country. Sure, some of the girls in question aren’t too shabby either, but was it really worth it? Now, no one here is advocating cheating on wives or significant others, but if you are a celebrity and you do decide to cheat, at least shoot for an upgrade. For example!

(‘DiggThis’)image1. Kevin Federline Cheated on Shar Jackson with Britney Spears. It’s sad to say, but when looking at the options, I don’t think any man on earth really blames K-Fed for his decision. It’s like when you own a clunker, and some executive does a suicidal plummet off of the roof of his office and the keys to his Benz just happen to land in your hand. What, you’re not going to trade up?

image2. Billy Crudup Cheated on Mary-Louise Parker with Claire Danes. Now I know there may be some heated debate on this one, but let the record show that this bout of infidelity took place prior to Parker’s sexy turn on Weeds. What makes this a particularly nasty split is that Parker was pregnant when Billy broke their bond. What goes around comes around, as Danes eventually cheated on Billy with Hugh Dancy while filming Evening. Oh well, Billy, you had a good run.

image3. Donald Trump Cheated on Ivana Trump with Marla Maples. Money may not buy happiness, but in Ivana’s case, the rumored $20 million and change from her divorce certainly must have helped. Was it any surprise that Donald cheated? Not likely. It was more of a surprise that he managed to get a woman as hot as Marla Maples. Come to think of it, maybe money really does buy happiness. Though apparently, it doesn’t buy a good toupee. However, do you really need a good toupee when you’ve got money to close the deal?

image4. Paul Hogan Cheated on Noelene Hogan with Linda Kozlowski. Paul and Noelene were the Australian equivalent of Brangelina for many years. Then Hogan met Linda Kozlowski on the set of Crocodile Dundee and saw her in that one-piece bathing suit. The rest is history, mate. Apparently it was a love at first sight scenario, because the two are still together and even have a son between them. Good job Paul. I mean, if you’re going to cheat, at least.

image5. Brad Pitt Cheated on Jennifer Aniston with Angelina Jolie. If you didn’t know about this one, then hopefully a landslide will take down that rock you’ve been living under. While it’s hard for a man to imagine how anyone could cheat on Jennifer Aniston, it’s harder for a man to imagine not sleeping with Angelina Jolie given the opportunity. Jen is hot, but the concept of “Branifer” just isn’t as clever. Also, think of the African children saved by this union!

image6. David Letterman Cheated on Regina Lasko with Stephanie Birkitt. Well, all right, Letterman’s given himself enough grief over this one. Among others.

image7. Balthazar Getty Cheated on Rosetta Getty with Sienna Miller. While Balthazar has kids with Rosetta, he clearly made the right choice in picking Sienna Miller, according to cheater calculus. Truly, if you’re going to pick someone to break up your marriage, don’t you want to pick the girl that you know won’t last long? See also: Jude Law.

image8. Marc Anthony Cheated on Dayanara Torres with Jennifer Lopez. No one can deny that Dayanara Torres is attractive, but when presented with J-Lo on a hook, who wouldn’t take the bait? Clearly it was worth the trouble, because people actually know who Marc Anthony is now. He’s still not known for being a musician, but fame is fame. And in true player form, Anthony has even been caught cheating on J-Lo with Dayanara.

image9. Billy Bob Thornton Cheated on Laura Dern with Angelina Jolie. Laura Dern is an elegant, charming dream girl that any man would love to be with. But as Billy Bob and the rest of male America knows at this point, Angelina Jolie is the wet dream girl that any man would be crazy not to sleep with. This trade up is so easy to understand that even Laura Dern got it, and eventually traded up herself, settling down with musician Ben Harper.

image10. Nick Lachey Cheated on Jessica Simpson with Vanessa Minnillo. You may think Nick is crazy for cheating on Jessica Simpson, but that’s because you’re not Nick Lachey. It’s hard for most people to envision doing better than Jessica because she’s the spitting image of a busty girl next door. On the other hand, Vanessa Minnillo is like the exotic version of the busty girl next door.

image11. Usher Cheated on Tameka Foster with Grace Miguel. Everyone involved here is certainly attractive and accomplished and would have no need of, say, cutting a person who remarked on the situation, so let’s move on.

image12. Robert Rodriguez Cheated on Elizabeth Avellán with Rose McGowan. Director doing his star? Shocking. Strangely there’s almost a ghost of a physical resemblance there, in some intangible way. But why go where Marilyn Manson has already been?

image13. Dave Navarro Cheated on Carmen Electra with Jenna Jameson. In terms of raw beauty, it’s impossible to determine if Carmen is hotter than Jenna, or vice versa. That would be like comparing a sunset in Fiji to a sunset in Hawaii, or a jeweled dog collar to a jeweled leash. There’s no difference. But when it comes down to “professional talent,” one of them only looks like a porn star, while the other actually is a porn star.

Links: Roman Polanski Friends & Foes, Jessica Alba Gets Focked

● Did you hear Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian aren’t really married? Oh wait, yeah they are. [TMZ, People] ● Speaking of the wedded couple, OK! isn’t too happy with them after having to fork over an additional $50,000 (on top of their $250,000 for exclusive wedding photos) in order to buy back the paparazzi shots of the couple. [NYPost] ● It only took one day for the “Free Roman Polanski” backlash to happen; although filmmakers like Woody Allen, David Lynch, and Martin Scorsese are for his release, French director Luc Besson and the Polish Prime Minister think that the man who made Chinatown isn’t above the law. [Timesonline]

● Jessica Alba is set to star in the third installment of Meet the Fockers as a “pharmaceutical rep whose looks wreak havoc on the male characters.” [RiskyBusinessBlog] ● Kristin Cavallari has some standards — that’s why she declined being another notch on John Mayer’s well worn belt. [People] ● Rose McGowan and Robert Rodriguez have called it quits; the couple no one remembers were engaged has broken up. [Radar]

Links: Lindsay Lohan’s New Marilyn Monroe Moment, No Spock Salute

● Director Robert Rodriguez says his remake of Barbarella, with fiancé Rose McGowan taking over the lead, is officially dead. [MTV] ● Green Day are getting down with their fans by playing a free show for a small group that will then be put on Myspace. [NME] ● Lindsay Lohan was seen evoking her idol Marilyn Monroe, yet again, for a Spanish Vogue photo shoot. [CelebGossip]

● Jack White is keeping busy post-White Stripes; there’s his side band the Raconteurs, and now he’s collaborating with the Dex Romweber Duo for a single, out this month, recorded at White’s Nashville home studio. [NME] ● Liev Schreiber showed off a photo to David Letterman of himself dressed as a transvestite from his new film Taking Woodstock, holding his young son Sasha. [JustJared] ● Rumor has it Zachary Quinto couldn’t do the Vulcan salute as Spock, infuriating director JJ Abrams so much that he glued the actor’s fingers together in order to make the sign. [P6]

Links: Rose McGowan’s Gay Posse, Katy Perry on the Pill

● Rose McGowan introduces Vanity Fair readers to “her gays,” which include a fashion stylist, the general manager of the Chateau Marmont, and an artist. All are fab-u-lous! [VF] ● Tila Tequila brought Smashing Pumpkins founder Billy Corgan as her date to the Bravo A-List awards. [EvilBeetGossip] ● Speaking of Tila Tequila, she would like you to know she and new BFF Meghan McCain have a ton of things in common; see, they’re both Scorpios, and both have strong opinions. [US]

● Calling all comic-book fanatics: There will be an open casting call for the Spider-Man musical penned by Bono and the Edge. [NME] ● Katy Perry says she loves the idea of making babies, but not till 30; that’s why she chews her contraception pill like gum. [MyParkingMag] ● Here’s Robert Downey Jr. on the set of Iron Man 2 smoking a Cuban cigar and wearing Cuban heels. [JustJared]

Los Angeles: Top 10 Celebrity-Owned Hotspots

1. Ago (West Hollywood) – De Niro’s joint. Paps in the parking lot, authentic pies on the table. 2. Dolce (West Hollywood) – Ashton Kutcher’s spot. Good food, plenty of eye candy. 3. Mulberry Street Pizzeria (Beverly Hills) – Seven tables, twenty-minute time limit on using said tables, one (four-time) Oscar-nominated owner — Cathy Moriarty, who also waitresses on occasion — all adds up to a blockbuster hit.

4. Geisha House (Hollywood) – Ashton again, this time in red, plus sushi. 5. Milky Way (Beverly Hills) – Spielberg’s mom owns the place. On the menu: Jewish fusion. On the walls: family photos. 6. Beso (Hollywood) – Eva Longoria is attached to this one. Try the carrot juice martini — make sure to order it at the communal aka “hook-up” centerpiece table. 7. Ortolan (Mid-City West) – Celebrity chef Christophe Eme and his celebrity wife Jeri Ryan own this hot French spot. They keep the dining room so dark, they hand you a wee flashlight to read the menu. The food is fantastic, even if you can’t see it. 8. Tagine (West Hollywood) – Ryan Gosling co-owns this tiny, sexy Moroccan hotspot. 9. Viper Room (West Hollywood) – Johnny Depp’s name is no longer on the deed, but we bet he touched a bunch of stuff in there. Now owned by pseudo-celeb Harry Morton of Pink Taco, it still rocks. Sort of. 10. Dominick’s (West Hollywood) – Rose McGowan, Ben Harper, and Laura Dern. They would make an awesome threesome. Or awesome business partners for a critic-worthy restaurant. Either way.

From Bardot to Lohan: Hollywood’s Women Drench Sarah Palin in Bile

When I asked actor Patrick Wilson for his take on Sarah Palin, he told me “I can’t go there.” Fortunately, Tim Robbins didn’t feel quite so restrained. With all the backlash Mrs. Palin has faced, it’s gotta hit hardest coming from her Hollywood idols. Okay fine — they’re my Hollywood idols, but it can’t be easy for her teenage daughters to hear that mommy terrifies Matt Damon. But Damon is one of few male celebrities to speak up against Palin, maybe because most are afraid of being branded as sexist. For the girls, it’s open season, and Palin is the moose in their cross-hairs. Here’s a run-through of some of the more potent estrogen-fueled Hollywood reactions to America’s newest “It” girl.

● Just a few days ago, Madonna had some harsh words for the former beauty queen at her New York concert. She also revealed Palin’s middle name to the world. Apparently it’s “Fucking.”

● Legendary screen sexbomb and current animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot wrote a scathing letter directly to Mrs. Palin, calling her “a disgrace to women” and more dangerous than a pit bull. Without lipstick, of course.

● The moment Palin announced she doesn’t support gay and lesbian marriage, you just knew Lindsay Lohan had to chime in, asking the question on her MySpace blog, “Is our country so divided that the Republicans best hope is a narrow minded, media obsessed homophobe?” She forgot an apostrophe.

● Democratic Queen Bee Barbara Streisand (sorry, Hilary) chose to speak directly to John McCain, who some think chose Mrs. Palin to lure Clinton democrats. “We are not that stupid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” she wrote on her blog. If 19 exclamation marks don’t convince you, nothing will.

● Whoopi Goldberg wrote an article called “Sarah Palin Is a Very Dangerous Woman.” And this is pre-hydrogen bomb access.

● Sandra Bernhard called her a “goy whore.”

● Brooke Hogan isn’t quite sure who Sarah Palin is, but she encourages young people to vote, whether it be for President or for Vice President. She then said that she’s voting for God. Sooo, George Clooney?

● Maybe VP should stand for Vomit Producer. When TMZ asked Rose McGowan her thoughts on the Alaskan governor, she paused, then with a cringe said, “I’m sorry, that was vomit in my mouth.”

● Anne Hathaway, Sigourney Weaver, Sheryl Crow, and Cheryl Hines all took separate shots at Palin during the Elle Women in Hollywood awards.

● Back in early September, before Palin-bashing was quite so popular, Eva Mendes said we need to give her “the chance to have a fair say.” Chance given.

● On The View, Charlize Theron joked that she has seven kids. When Joy Behar asked if they live in Alaska, she said “yes, in a cave. And they can see Russia.” Elizabeth Hasselbeck tried not to smile.

● Cybill Shepherd inaccurately said that Palin opposes the right to birth control, but said that her being president “is one of the most frightening things I could ever conceive of.” I felt the exact same way about my Halloween costume circa 2003.

● Pamela Anderson wants Sarah Palin to suck it. I feel the exact same way, but not about Sarah Palin.

● Didn’t Tina Fey do something?