What Books Does Adriana Trigiani Keep On Her Shelves And By Her Bed?


I have all the books by Edna Ferber: “So Big”, “Giant” and others. A few are signed in his gorgeous handwriting style. Don’t start handwriting me! His autobiographies, “A Strange Treasure” and “A Kind of Magic” were not bestsellers, but they should have been. Everything he wrote then is important now. When she returned from her trip to Europe in the 1930s, she wrote about “clown” dictators, including Hitler, who was considered a joke. Great writers can see the future. Watch out for clowns.

I was a constant reader. He doesn’t nail it for implying “insatiable” enthusiasm or animation. I got lost among the books. My mother was a librarian who taught me to respect books. At home, I remember “The Elves and the Shoemaker” with pictures of Hilda Miloche and “The Knowledge Book”, my father’s childhood encyclopedia from the 1940s. When my mother was born, she gave my daughter “Strega Nona” by Tomi DePaola.

The first thing we did as a family in Big Stone Gap, Va. was to sign up for our library cards at Wise County Bookmobile. The librarian, Mr. Varner, let us sit on the snap stools for as long as we wanted. The books were behind wide strips of rubber so they wouldn’t fall off the shelves as they navigated the winding mountain roads. He recommended EB White’s divine “Charlotte’s Web”, “Too Many Mittens” by Louis and Florence Slobodkin (we can’t mention this master illustrator enough!), Astrid Lindgren’s “Pippi Longstocking” and “Theater.” Shoes,” by Noel Streatfeild.

My primary and secondary school librarian, Ernestine Roller, directed me to Dodie Smith’s “I Capture the Castle”, Beverly Cleary’s “Fifteen”, Louise Fitzhugh’s “Harriet the Spy” and the Bobbs-Merrill series “Childhood of Famous Americans.” “I like to think I’ve read it all – how else can I tell you about Babe Didrikson Zaharias’ childhood? My friend Douglas Brinkley could do it because he was obsessed with my show. Sure, he made it into a career as a historian, though I remember how jock Jim Thorpe loved his eggs. Middle class writes: “Bless the Beasts & Children” by Glendon Swarthout and Dr. “The Doctor’s Quick Teenage Diet” by Irwin Maxwell Stillman and Samm Sinclair Baker (drink lots of water and eat a hot dog without a bun).

My high school librarian, Billie Jean Scott, gave me access to her stacks of magazines. I should have read Tiger Beat, but I preferred Life, Time and Look from the 1940s. He recommended Earl Hamner Jr.’s “Spencer’s Mountain” and John Fox Jr.’s “The Trail of the Lonesome Pine”.

When the public library opened in Big Stone Gap, I was captivated by “Then Their Faces” by John Springer and Jack D. Hamilton. This compilation of 1930s Hollywood movie stars was rarely on the shelves as I was constantly checking it out. The last time I visited the library, I went looking for it out of curiosity. I was the last person to check.

If I understand this question correctly, it’s actually the double date I’ve put together here. So I’m going to gamble my husband on songwriter Oscar Hammerstein II (which I find very attractive). We ate with his contemporaries: playwright and critic George S. Kaufman and novelist Edna Ferber at my kitchen table. I would make spaghetti with traditional sauce and add my mom’s bracciole.. Good wine because these three would know the difference. Chocolate fudge for dessert from “Candy Hits” by ZaSu Pitts. We would discuss “George S. Kaufman et al.” by Scott Meredith. In the library of Milbank House, a hostel in Greenwich Village where I lived when I first moved to Manhattan, I found this gorgeous door stopper about life in the golden age of American theater. The library was donated by Irving Berlin. I dreamed that Berlin read all the books before handing them over, so they looked magical. In the end they were.



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