In My Library: Ann Brashares

Given that she gave us “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” the 2005 movie that introduced us to Blake Lively, you’d think Ann Brashares gravitates to girlish adventures. But no.

“I have a real hunger for historical subjects,” said Brashares, whose YA novel “The Whole Thing Together” came out April 25. “I like classics and want to patch the holes in my education.”

The mother of four, ages 6 to 21, says she has a book club with three other writers that meets once a month: “We spent 14 months talking about Proust’s ‘In Search of Lost Time’ at wonderful restaurants!” Here’s what’s in her library.

Middlemarch by George Eliot

This is my favorite book in the world. I’ve just read it again. When I’m not reading it, I don’t understand its charm, but once I’m inside of it, I can’t get enough. It’s about love and disappointment in the town of Middlemarch, where an idealistic young woman marries a completely unsuitable older scholar. Not the most uplifting subject, but the writing is so wise!

The Jewel in the Crown by Paul Scott

My father-in-law recommended this to me. I love to read about India! This is about a crime that takes place during the final stage of the British withdrawal from India, during and after World War II. The writing is really magnificent.

A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel

Mantel came into my life with “Wolf Hall.” This book takes place during the French revolution. Partly I go back to her writing because she has the most agile point of view: She leaps around like a butterfly, but you never feel disconnected.

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

I was having lunch with my agent one day and when I told her I’d never read this book, she said, “I’m so jealous of you!” Meaning I had that to look forward to. It’s about two cowboys on a cattle drive. Not my typical reading material, but when you’re in the hands of a real master, it doesn’t matter. Since then, I’ve read it three times.

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