Sunday, December 21, 2014

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NY1 teams with contributors from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, Slate.com and Essence Magazine to review the latest books and book-related trends.

The Book Reader: Mike Tyson, Literary Icon

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Sohrab Armari of The Wall Street Journal reports for NY1 on newly released book titles and the world of publishing in "The Book Reader." This week, Armari takes a look at what Mike Tyson said were, surprisingly, his favorite reads of 2013.

Each year the Wall Street Journal asks 50 of our prominent friends in all fields to select what they thought were the books of the year.

This year we reached out to Mitt Romney, Katie Couric, Marco Rubio, Ronan Farrow, Samantha Power and members of the Duck Dynasty clan, among others.

The results, as you'd expect, were diverse and delightful. But the best contribution of all, the one that recently became something of a web phenomenon, came from Mike Tyson. In it, the former heavy-weight champion revealed his fascination with 19th century European philosophers like Soren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche.

Here's an excerpt: "I'm currently reading 'The Quotable Kierkegaard,' edited by Gordon Marino, a collection of awesome quotes from that great Danish philosopher. . . . I love reading philosophy. Most philosophers are so politically incorrect—challenging the status quo, even challenging God. Nietzsche's my favorite. He's just insane. You have to have an IQ of at least 300 to truly understand him. Apart from philosophy, I'm always reading about history. Someone very wise once said the past is just the present in funny clothes … You think you've got deep feelings? Read Napoleon's love letters to Josephine. It'll make you think that love is a form of insanity. Or read Virginia Woolf's last letter to her husband before she loaded her coat with stones and drowned herself in a river. I don't really do any light reading, just deep, deep stuff. I'm not a light kind of guy."

There you have it, folks: Mike Tyson, literary icon. For more Wall Street Journal book reviews, be sure to visit www.opinionjournal.com.

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