Books That Made a Difference to Ali Wentworth

The writer and comedian, whose memoir, Ali in Wonderland, is out next month, gets serious about Russian history, politics, and anything that pokes fun at her family.
Lucian Freud by William Feaver
Photo: Lara Robby/Studio D

Lucian Freud

240 pages; Tate
"Freud's work is so raw and real," says Wentworth about the British painter's unflinching portraits of people and animals. "I'm an extrovert, so I'm fascinated with him because he lived a solitary life in his studio." A Freud etching of a topless woman hangs in the foyer of her family's apartment in New York. "When my mother saw it, she said, "Honey, do you really want this to be the first thing people see when they walk in?" And I said, 'Boobs? Yeah, why not?'"
— As told to Lesley Gaspar