812 Logo
812 Logo
SUMMER / FALL 2019      © 2023 812 Magazine

The 812 List, | Jan 28, 2016

What do they read?

Well-known Hoosiers share their favorite books.

Indiana bookstores are great places to find good reads like these and the ones recommended below. /Photo by Haley Church

You’re on a quest for your next reading adventure, but Amazon reviews just aren’t cutting it. Why not look to recommendations from prominent readers in our region? We asked eight notable Hoosiers to share their favorite books and tell us why we should read them.

Robby Benson

Actor, director, voice of the Beast in Disney’s classic Beauty and the Beast and professor at Indiana University.

Book: The Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mailer. An acclaimed novel that follows a platoon of soldiers battling the Japanese in World War II.

Genre: Fiction

Why read it? “It was a book that changed my life when I was barely a teenager.”

Eva Kor

Holocaust survivor and author of Surviving the Angel of Death.

Book: In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer, by Irene Gut Opdyke. A gripping story of one young woman’s courage in WWII.

Genre: Autobiography

Why read it? “It is a well-told story of courage, sacrifice and love.”

Michael Koryta

Bestselling author of suspense novels, including Those Who Wish Me Dead.

Book: The Son, by Phillip Meyer. A tale of the American West and the battle for power and land from the 1800s to the early 20th century.

Genre: Fiction

Why read it? “A dark and brutal tale of Texas that moves across generations, beautifully written.”

Cody Zeller

Former IU basketball star, now an NBA player for the Charlotte Hornets.

Book: The Noticer, by Andy Andrews. A mysterious visitor to Orange Beach, Alabama, offers a little perspective on turmoil and trying times.

Genre: Fiction

Why read it? “Great and easy read!”

Adrian Matejka

Pulitzer Prize finalist, author and IU professor.

Book: Coming Through Slaughter, by Michael Ondaatje. A historical novel that brings the New Orleans jazz era to life.

Genre: Fictionalized biography

Why read it? “The book is a hybrid novel that explores the mythology of the jazz cornet player Buddy Bolden in some of the most elegant and musical language I've ever read.”

Philip Gulley

Quaker pastor, author of the Harmony novels and If the Church Were Christian.

Book: The Letters of E.B. White. The personal letters of the author of classics Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little and The Elements of Style.

Genre: Nonfiction

Why read it? “Can you imagine the fun of reading someone's personal mail!”

Scott Russell Sanders

Author, storyteller and professor emeritus at Indiana University.

Book: Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril, edited by Kathleen Dean Moore and Michael Nelson. A collection of essays on the conservation of the planet.

Genre: Nonfiction

Why read it?It “gathers testimony from more than 80 writers, theologians, naturalists and scientists to call for addressing climate disruption, species extinction and other forms of environmental degradation that endanger humankind and our fellow species.”

Florence Henderson

The actress who played Carol Brady in The Brady Bunch, author and philanthropist.

    Book: Angela's Ashes, by Frank McCourt. A powerful memoir of an Irish immigrant’s survival in Brooklyn during the Depression.

    Genre: Autobiography

    Why read it? “A lot of my heritage is Irish, and his book touched me very deeply.”  

Read More 812 List