1280px-Alan_Cumming

Courtesy of Christopher Macsurak via Wikimedia Commons

Alan Cumming

It’s no surprise to find that Alan Cumming has E.M.Forster’s famous quote, “Only Connect” tattooed on his arm. As one of our most engaging and versatile actors, he’s been connecting with U.S. audiences ever since 1998, when he stepped into the shoes of the emcee in Sam Mendes’s award-winning Broadway revival of Cabaret. Since then he has charmed us in movies that run the gamut  from crowd pleasers like Spy Kids to intensely-observed indies such as Any Day Now, and penned a frank and best-selling memoir, Not My Father’s Son. But he is perhaps best known as the Machiavellian fixer Eli Gold on the long-running CBS courtroom drama, The Good Wife. His native Scotland is reflected in several of his favorite books, but he also leaves room for Christopher and His Kind, the real-life account of the people and events behind his Berlin novels on which Cabaret is based.

Below are Alan Cumming’s favorite books, available to purchase as a set or individually.

$159.65 BUY ENTIRE BOOK COLLECTION
1

The Trick Is To Keep Breathing

Janice Galloway
This is like a Scottish Catcher in the Rye. You actually feel you're inside this women's head, it is that visceral. And having experienced a downward spiral myself, I so admire her accuracy in every detail.

$13.95

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2

The Passion

Jeanette Winterson
Again it's all about the visceral! She understands yearning like no one else. And also I love a good historic European romp.

$14.95

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3

The Blind Assassin

Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood is so clever and brilliant, just reading her book and keeping up with it made me feel like a genius. But to engage a reader emotionally over so many different story lines is awe-inspiring.

$16.00

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4

Christopher and His Kind

Christopher Isherwood

This is the unedited and unadulterated version of the stories that made up Isherwood’s books Goodbye To Berlin and Mr Norris Changes Trains, which were the source material for the play I Am A Camera and later the musical Cabaret. I find it fascinating that Isherwood still writes about himself in the third person. An interesting literary device, yet it feels like a smokescreen and leaves you wondering how much more there is to tell.

$17.00

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5

Lanark: A Life in Four Books

Alasdair Gray
This is an epic modern Scottish classic. Gray is a renowned artist as well as author and here he paints a dystopian Glasgow that is mesmerizing and terrifying in equal measures.

$18.95

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6

Close Up

John Fraser
This is a beautifully written memoir that is completely frank and fascinating about life in the ‘60s as an up and coming matinee idol who just happens to be gay.

$18.95

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7

Maggie and Me

Damian Barr
Margaret Thatcher loomed over my youth, and so she did with Damian Barr’s, though more pointedly and intricately woven in his. This is harrowing family saga but written with an abundance of wit and tenderness.

$16.00

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8

The Beautiful Room Is Empty

Edmund White
I found this book so educational in terms of what it must have been like to grow up in America, discovering you need to harbor a secret. And the yearning in these pages is so palpable.

$15.95

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9

Five on a Treasure Island

Enid Blyton
I grew up reading the Famous Five books, and recently I reread the first one and was shocked to realize it contains the first trans person I ever encountered, and also how much its almost fetishistic description of food had everything to do with the rationing that Britain was ensuring at the time. Lashings and lashing of ginger beer!

$12.95

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10

After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie

Jean Rhys
This is the story of a woman who has been discarded and who will not go down gently. If ever there was an unsung heroine of feminist literature, it is the amazing Jean Rhys.

$14.95

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