Ellen DeGeneres’s 5 book recommendations3 min read

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photo: ronpaulrevolt2008 (flickr)

One of America’s most popular comedians and TV-hosts speaks about the books that inspire her

“TheArt of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein

– Ellen on her personal web-site

For those who wish to see life through their dog’s eyes, Stein has created a philosophical dog who examines television shows and contemplates the racing life of his master Denny Swift. If Lassie were given the ability to type out her thoughts about a grown-up little Timmy and his troubled family dynamics, Enzo just might count as a grandson or near relative. Inspiration for the author both came from his SCCA license, and a Mongolian tradition that the dog can reincarnate into a human.

 “The Four Agreements: A PracticalGuide to Personal Freedom” by Don Miguel Ruiz

– Ellen on omnivoracious.com

Also recommended by Jack Dorsey, Oprah Winfrey

Four practices are all you need for a better life, insists Ruiz, and millions of readers have agreed with him. Seven years of being on the New York Times bestseller book list is quite an achievement, for a book describing just a few lifelong changes that need to be made: verbal integrity, questions without assumptions, a refusal to personalize, and making the best happen. As a surgeon with spiritual roots in the deep heart of Mexico, Ruiz weaves both practices in and out of this work. It has been promoted by Spiritually Fit Yoga and by Oprah, at the top of her favorites self-help books list.

“The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt

– Ellen on omnivoracious.com

While critics didn’t think much of Tartt’s 860-page novel, she won a Pulitzer Prize and the admiration of Stephen King. The story is seen through the eyes of a traumatized teenage boy in charge of a priceless painting; Theo Decker escapes from an exploded gallery, and takes the advice of a dying man who gives him a contact for restoration and a signet ring. In the aftermath, readers are assured of the transcendence of art set against the fragility and brokenness of humans trying to piece their lives back together.

“Change Your Thoughts – ChangeYour Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao” by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

– Ellen on omnivoracious.com

As a motivational speaker, Dyer adds on ‘spiritual guru’ to his list of accomplishments with his explanation of 81 verses by Lao-Tzu the Chinese philosopher. The balance of morality and goodness on The Way are meant to be digested slowly, day by day; some of the exercises, such as giving away unnecessary gadgets or avoiding gossip and slander, can be especially helpful in our modern lives. Readers may not want to read this book in the spirit of strict accuracy to historical or Buddhist texts, because the value lies in the general application of overall principles

“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safran Foer

– Ellen on her personal web-site

Also recommended by Anderson Cooper

This Holocaust-era novel has ended up on New York Times book lists frequently, perhaps because of the pathos of the nine-year-old protagonist. Having lost his father in the World Trade Center bombing, Oskar becomes a street urchin playing a tambourine. Critics in the New York Times claimed that Oskar was a conglomeration character, made up of equal parts of Holden Caulfield and Herzog. Fans such as Salman Rushdie and the L.A. Times claim that the novel is explosively moving, and Oprah made it an addition to her reading list, saying that the page breaks of blankness forces the senses awake. The book is truly explosive – Oskar’s life seems to center around violent actions such as bombings. (His grandparents survived a bombing of Dresden in World War II.)

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