Celebrity Picks: Penn Jillette's Favorite Reads of 2016

PennJillette225Penn Jillette has enjoyed a long career an Emmy-winning entertainer, notably with his "silent partner" Teller (just Teller) and their often shocking and satiric magic show. But he's also a bestselling author of nine books, including his latest, Presto!: How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales.

As you might expect, Jillette's taste in reading is both eclectic and thought-provoking. See his picks below, and look here for more celebrity favorites. Learn more about the Amazon Books Editors' picks for the Best Books of the Year.


Penn Jillette's favorite reads of 2016

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Substitute by Nicholson (Mr.) Baker
People say atheists like me don’t have faith. Well, I haven’t even opened this book and I know it’s one of my favorite books, because Mr. Baker is my favorite writer. I love everything he’s written, starting with The Mezzanine. He’s careful and brave and that’s the perfect combination. In 2014 he worked as a substitute teacher in Maine and he wrote about it. I can’t wait.
 

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How Not to be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg
One of the smartest people in the world is a friend of mine and he told me to read this. I finished high school on a plea bargain and Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College is the only higher education I’ve received. I’m uneducated, white, over 60, and I’m still proudly not a Trump supporter. This book has real important, heavy math ideas written so a fellow like me can understand. The book is worth it just for my understanding of this sentence: “Put the armor where the bullet holes aren’t.”
 

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Eunoia by Christian Bök
Christian is a nut. Eunoia is a book of univocalics. Each chapter contains only one vowel. Art thrives on its limitations, and limited to one vowel per chapter, Christian, entertains, informs, and inspires. This book is a juggling trick – you don’t want to see the work, but the results are wonderful. It’s a slim book that took many years to write. After this book all other writers seems ugly and sloppy - mixing different vowels in the same sentence, even the same word - yeech.

Like Nicholson and Jordan, Christian makes me experience my life differently after they did all the work to share their hearts and minds. There’s no other reason to live.
 

 


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