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Writer Amanda Stern Exposes her Shelf

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The writer Amanda Stern is a self-proclaimed recovering comic. But she let the self-deprecating humor fly during her episode of Stacked Up.

The online web series, which ventures into author's homes to take a closer look at their bookshelves, took on Stern's reading habits and delved into her motivations during the episode, "From the mixed-up shelves of Amanda Stern."


Stern gets high marks for organization. Stern's reading material was filed in self-labeled categories, including what she calls her "what it means to be crazy books" and "(the books) where my real psychological issues take hold." At the same time, she displayed her serious side in her choices of prefered non-fiction and mentioned The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks as one of her top reads. Stern also let a couple of her guilty pleasures slip, including the fashion/photography book Influence by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen.

After leaving a budding career as a comedian because she says she felt "unfulfilled," Stern began to write semi-autobiographical fiction novels and created The Happy Ending Music and Reading Series in order to promote her books. Later, she expanded the reading series to include other authors, including Laurie Anderson, James Salter and Moby, and moved the program to a more permanent venue at Joe's Pub at the Public Theater.

"With Happy Ending, I get to be a comic in the way that fufills me, and not in the way that makes me feel dead inside," Stern said during the program.