Books That Made a Difference to Maria Bello
Out of Africa
By Isak Dinesen
Bello has been obsessed with Africa since she was a girl. "I don't know why," she says. "I grew up in a blue-collar family in Philly. No one even knew where Africa was, but I had it in my mind that I needed to go there. As soon as I made my first money, I did." Dinesen is the pen name of Karen Blixen, a Danish woman who moved to a Kenyan farm in 1914. Bello admires Blixen's independent spirit, especially as it's mirrored in the story Blixen tells of a bushbuck named Lulu—a type of antelope she raised from infancy, that eventually ran away. Blixen was devastated, but one day she looked out her window to see Lulu—now regal and fully grown. "The sight takes her breath away," Bello says.
Memorable quote: "[Lulu] was in possession...standing quietly on her divine rights."
Bello's next pick: Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn