Books·My Life in Books

Kristin Kreuk: My life in books

The 2015 Canada Reads panellist picks five books that have shaped her life.
Kristin Kreuk defended Intolerable by Kamal Al-Solaylee on Canada Reads 2015. (CBC Books)

Actress Kristin Kreuk just can't escape the world of books. Her CV includes playing Lana Lang in the Superman-inspired TV series Smallville, playing the title character in the Snow White television movie and, most recently, nabbing a People's Choice Award for Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actress in January 2015 for her role in the CW's Beauty and the Beast.

Unsurprisingly, the 2015 Canada Reads panellist — defending Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes by Kamal Al-Solaylee —loves to read. In her own words, Kristin tells us about five of the books that have shaped her life. 

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

"I read Katherine Dunn's Geek Love at a time when I felt particularly isolated and strange. It was perfect. Geek Love is a celebration of those aspects of our personalities that are bizarre, strange and out of the ordinary. It is also a story of family — albeit a family of genetically warped circus geeks — and all the wonderful and twisted aspects of that."

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

"The first book that I actually remember reading was Anne of Green Gables... How very Canadian of me. Obviously I remember reading books prior to that, but this was the first time I was pulled deeply into another world and profoundly affected by a character. Anne Shirley was not only who I wanted to be — a fiercely independent girl filled with writerly impulses — she also spoke to the ways in which I felt like an outsider, and gave some shape to my nostalgia and joy and sadness. Every journal from that time is steeped in Anne Shirley."

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

"The book I recommend most to friends recently has to be Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson. This novel is written with such consideration and wisdom. Each word is filled with layers of meaning and beauty. It is a book that I want to chew on. The way Ms. Robinson writes of the permanence of loss and the impermanence of life and relationships speaks right to my heart. So I decided that everyone would feel the same way. Ha."

A Coney Island of the Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

"A Coney Island of the Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti was my first poetry collection. And I just loved it. This book propelled me into poetry. I loved the rhythm of the language, the feeling he conjured of a place and time, his humour and his politics. His words made me feel lifted and potent. I am endlessly grateful to Ferlinghetti for opening the door into this world."

Palestine by Joe Sacco

"I had avoided comic books and graphic novels my entire reading career. A person very dear to me successfully lured me into the comic world with Joe Sacco's Palestine. I tore through the book and proceeded to build a mini collection of graphic novels. This form is cinematic, intimate and infinitely creative."