celebrities favorite books 2011
To honor National Read a Book Day, we take a look at the favorite books of famous people – from  musiciansand actors to business leaders and politicians.

Ben Affleck
That Ben Affleck (see his films | photos) loves to read comes as no surprise to those who remember his Oscar win for best original screenplay. Recently recognized as a renaissance man of the film industry, Affleck is as comfortable directing award-winning films as he is talking about the Middle East.

Judd Apatow

When “Knocked Up” producer and director Judd Apatow dropped out of college, he didn’t stay home playing video games – he read books.

Samantha Bee
As the Most Senior Correspondent of “The Daily Show,”Samantha Bee spends lots of time traveling to and from interviews – great for squeezing in reading time. Bee says she loves to tackle books that deal with issues of aging and human relationships.

Harold Bloom
Yale literature professor Harold Bloom has strong, sometimes polarizing views about books. When asked about his favorite, he says he picked the one in which “I found myself more truly and more strange.”

George H. W. Bush
Former president George H. W. Bush lists an oft-banned book as one of his favorites and says it “helped shape my life.”

 Don Cheadle
This “Hotel Rwanda” actor and humanitarian says that you’ll “never read a book that could better make you understand what it feels like to be subjugated.”

Bill Clinton
Voracious reader and former president Bill Clinton loves to churn through popularthrillers and mysteries, but his favorite book touches on themes of trauma and abuse.

Anderson Cooper
Anderson Cooper says he grew up with “a mild form of dyslexia” that required special instruction, but he still developed a love of reading and writing.

Mark Cuban
The favorite book of billionaire businessman Mark Cuban may have helped him rise to the top. He says “it encouraged me to think as an individual, take risks to reach my goals, and responsibility for my successes and failures.”

 Nora Ephron
As a writer, producer, director and journalist, Nora Ephron has made a career out of knowing what makes a good story. Ephron attributes her love of reading to “the state of rapture that occurs when I read a wonderful book.”

 Chris Matthews
TV news host Chris Matthews (see his show | photos) says he didn’t read many non-required books in college – but every night after studying he’d pick up his favorite book and read.

 President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama was a best-selling author before he became president. He and his daughters, Malia and Sasha,wrote a note to author Yann Martel expressing their appreciation for his book, “Life of Pi” – but it’s not the president’s favorite.

 Michelle Obama
When First Lady Michelle Obama recalls her favorite book, she remembers it was “one of the first books that I loved and read cover to cover in one day –  not because anybody made me read it but because the book was good.”

Gwyneth Paltrow
A passionate reader, this actress and musician (see her movies | photos | hear her music) ranks her first book as her favorite. Her mother read it to her when she was just 10 years old, and it’s held a special place in her heart ever since.

Robert Pattinson
English heartthrob Robert Pattinson shared one of his favorite books with Oprahlast year. An eclectic reader, Pattinson’s recent literary tastes have taken a poetic twist.

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