Isabel Gillies

Books for escaping into exotic locales-- and for making connections close to home.



Isabel Gillies made an early splash in her film career with her roles in critical hits like Metropolitan and I Shot Andy Warhol, and went on to the long-running portrayal of Kathy Stabler on the television drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.  In her poignant memoir Happens Every Day, she maps the pain of a marriage coming apart with humor and insight.  We asked the author and actress to share three of her favorite books.



Books by Isabel Gillies






The Nasty Bits

By Anthony Bourdain


"I adore food writing, but some of it can be flowery and sort of dopey. Anthony Bourdain is an unvarnished, crazy-funny, ballsy writer who can describe the smell of garlic wafting up an alley in Rio so well you think you are there approaching the restaurant yourself. He can make you blush, yearn for a bowl of Pho, and feel nauseous all at the same time. I’m riveted by every one of his adventures around the world, don’t feel brave enough to take them, but adore that he does and I can read about it from my apartment in NYC."





Counting My Chickens

By The Duchess of Devonshire


"This delightful, toothsome, heavenly collection of writings about life at the great English house at Chatsworth, never gets moved from my bedside table. Whenever my own life’s knots keep me from sleep, I open this little book and am transported to the lovely, far-away world of moss and John Singer Sargent. The Duchess is crisp and endearing in her writing, and it’s an absolute pleasure to read. It’s just a book that makes me feel good."






How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

By Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish


"This book is my bible. I have spent the last 8 years trying to raise children and I have a long time to go. Without this book guiding me I would be at a total loss. This smart and clear how-to book literally teaches you how to listen and talk to your kids. Something lots of us do all day long, but sometimes not so well. I am humbled by this book but also invigorated to use its lessons in the hopes of honing the sometimes elusive skill of parenting."


April 15: "A page...will begin with some principles of astronomy, or the motion of the earth; then come the laws of sound..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.

Dispute Over a Very Italian Piglet

Amara Lakhous delivers a mystery novel with its finger on the hot-button issues of today's Europe.  Immigration and multicultural conflicts erupt in the Italian city of Turin, as journalist Enzo Laganà looks to restore peace to his native burg.

Papers in the Wind

In this insightful novel by Eduardo Sacheri, a young girl left destitute by the death of her soccer-playing father is uplifted by the bold schemes of her uncle, his pals, and one newbie player to the professional leagues.