Bette Midler Is Still in the Thrall of 19th-Century Novelists

Which of your roles in various media has felt the most rich – the most novelistic?

I’ve had a lot of fun playing characters who got their start as fictional characters in books, but I think my favourite is C. C. Bloom from “Beaches.” For some reason, I find myself drawn to Mayim Bialik and Barbara Hershey in particular. I know this sounds mushy, but you can’t deny that it resonated with me.

Which Literary Character would you Most Like to Play if you had the Chance?

All Shakespeare, Dickens, Congreve, Dryden and Sheridan women of a certain age.

Your Most Recent Laugh-Out-Loud Book is…

When a caged bird sings, I know why. One of the funniest scenes I’ve ever read takes place in church, when a woman becomes possessed and rushes the priest.

What was the Last Book you Read that Made you Sob?

When a caged bird sings, I know exactly why it is doing so.

In Your Opinion, What Topic Do You Think More Authors Should be Writing on?

Reconstruction and Race. Despite the fact that Andrew Johnson was impeached, his villainy is not widely known. Our children need to know that we are currently dealing with the effects of Reconstruction. I’m 75 years old, and I had no idea.

What Kind of Books do you Enjoy Reading the Most? Which do you Steer Clear Of?

Memoirs, diaries, and biographies are some of the kind of books that I devour quickly. “Delights and Prejudices” by James Beard, “Malcolm X” by Alex Haley, and “Andre Agassi’s memoir” were all excellent reads for me. Neither “Life” nor “Chronicles” by Bob Dylan, the greatest actor of all time, fail to wow.

The following day, I went out and purchased a guitar. Patti Smith’s “M Train,” Levon Helm’s “This Wheel’s on Fire,” Roseanne Cash’s book “Bodies of Water,” Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber’s autobiography, “Hound Dog.” Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber’s “Hound Dog.” The three-volume Duc de Saint Simon, written at Louis XIV’s court, is outstanding. Uncut copies of Chips Channon’s diaries arrived in the mail recently, YIKES. Still, “Miles: The Autobiography” by Quincy Troupe and Miles Davis is my fave.

Mariah Carey’s autobiography, “The Meaning of Mariah,” is one of my favourites. She packaged it in a Kleenex box and mailed it to me. I’m not a fan of horror at all.