Bookseller One Grand Books has asked celebrities to name the ten titles they’d take to a desert island, and they’ve shared the results with Vulture. Below is two-time Emmy winner and Orange Is the New Black star Uzo Aduba’s list.
My tribe were the primary victims of this wretched war, and like most who have survived the sights of war, they don’t like to talk about it because they are hard, very real memories. I knew pieces of my family’s story during this time, but when I read this book, I felt like I suddenly understood who my parents, aunts, and uncles were and what part of their formative years had entailed.
I read this for the first time my sophomore year in high school. This is where I fell in love with the Bard. The drama, and the incredibly powerful words Lady Macbeth is given to say were unlike any I had heard from a woman in literature at that time. It felt like a page-turner. Even though it wasn’t. Cause, y’know, iambic pentameter.
Whoa! From the very beginning, it is the original soap opera, and I loved every second of the drama! To watch a writer like Dickens yet again (I had already read Great Expectations) weave so many characters’ story lines together with one another… This book required you to pay attention to every character and every word and served to remind this: no person or thing is insignificant.
This is a book that found me. I read it the summer after college, right before moving to NYC and starting out on my own personal legend. The Alchemist has found me every time I’m about to embark on a new path, or during a major transition. I’ve read it each time, and every time there are even more treasures to discover.
James Baldwin remains one of the most prolific and prophetic writers to have lived. Every page had been stamped by a genius. This autobiographical collection of essays moved my heart, expanded my mind to the larger, richer perspective of the black experience in civil rights America, and firmed up my opinion that, “There is more to being black than meets the eye.”