Vanessa Carlton

The books she'd walk a thousand miles to read.


Perhaps best known for her 2002 album Be Not Nobody, which featured the hit single "A Thousand Miles," Vanessa Carlton is a singer-songwriter whose earnest voice is guaranteed to thaw even the hard-hearted. Her new album, Rabbits on the Run, dispenses with elaborate orchestration and focuses on a pared-down style reminiscent of Stevie Nicks and Tori Amos. This week she points us to three books that inspire her music, including an autobiography that hints at her early years as a ballerina.


Buy Vanessa Carlton's new album, Rabbits on the Run 


More music by Vanessa Carlton



A Field Guide to Getting Lost

By Rebecca Solnit


"A friend turned me on to Solnit. This book is almost like a tool. A golden sword! It reflects yourself back to you. Solnit articulates moments in her mind that resonate with me to my core. I'm so grateful that she exists and chooses to share her stories and ruminations. I find myself drawing ideas for songs from some of her quotes. This is the type of book where you will find yourself scribbling notes in the margins."



Watership Down

By Richard Adams


"An epic and wonderful story. The choices that these rabbits make and what they end up creating is so fantastic. This book is an anchor and inspiration."







Once a Dancer: An Autobiography

By Allegra Kent


"This is my favorite ballerina autobiography. Kent is one of the great Balanchine dancers. Her story is amazing and she is an interesting and whimsical writer. If you want to go down the rabbit hole into the extraordinary world of a ballet dancer then read this."


July 22: On this day in 1941, on his twelfth wedding anniversary, Eugene O'Neill presented the just-finished manuscript of Long Day's Journey into Night to his wife, Carlotta.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).

Watching Them Be

What makes a film actor into a larger-than-life movie star? James Harvey's passionate, freewheeling essays explain why there are some faces (from Greta Garbo's to Samuel L. Jackson's) from which we cannot look away.


What if you called up the spouse on the verge of leaving you -- and instead found yourself magically talking to his younger self, the one you first fell for?  Rainbow Rowell, author of the YA smash Eleanor & Park, delivers a sly, enchanting take on 21st-century love.