By Elie Wiesel
"The truth is that humans have the potential to be horrific. And I think being conscious of that is important," says MacDowell. She read the Nobel laureate's classic memoir of surviving Nazi death camps in anticipation of hearing him speak at an event. "It was a great opportunity to see him. He's used his life to educate people, and he's such a brilliant, brilliant man. This book opened up something in my mind that I couldn't fathom." As painful as it is to confront the Holocaust, MacDowell says the alternative is worse. "It's scary—and I'm sure it's really scary for Wiesel and other people who lived it—that there are people out there who don't want to believe it happened."
MacDowell's next pick: Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver