The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton (Egmont Books, $9.50). Enid Blyton was my inspiration when I was growing up: She was the J.K. Rowling of her day, only better. Blyton created marvelous characters­—Moonface, Saucepan Man, Silky—and totally fired my imagination. The Magic Faraway Tree is true fantasy, yet entirely believable.

The Politician by Andrew Young (Thomas Dunne, $25). An insider’s account of the John Edwards scandal, The Politician is wilder and more outrageous than any book of fiction. Edwards’ aide Andrew Young captures a weak, ambitious man determined to rule the most powerful nation on earth. A riveting read.

Star: How Warren Beatty Seduced America by Peter Biskind (Simon & Schuster, $30). What a book! What a man! Warren Beatty left no stone unturned—and no woman, for that matter! Talented and charismatic, Warren is a fabulous fictional character, only he is the real thing. Peter Biskind’s new biography is well worth a read. I couldn’t put it down.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Scribner, $14). Jay Gatsby—the definitive hero. Mysterious, rich, sly, handsome, cool. This is a book I try to reread quite often. It’s beautifully written, and the characters of Jay and Daisy stay with you.

The Godfather by Mario Puzo (NAL Trade, $15). This is another book I reread every couple of years. Mario Puzo creates a tapestry of Mafia life that’s so rich and brilliant the characters jump off the page and become part of your life. Puzo’s writing is vibrant and timeless. The movie The Godfather is a classic; so is the book that it’s based on.

The Adventurers by Harold Robbins (out of print). Nobody did it better than Harold Robbins—the master of the hot, steamy sex novel. Harold lived the life, and his characters—all based on true-life personalities—were completely compelling. If it’s a nonstop thrill ride with the rich and famous you crave, then look up this ­rollicking tale of a South American playboy. It’ll take you all the way.