Shelly Yanoff

is executive director of Philadelphia Citizens for Children and Youth.

Quotation to live by: "In the midst of winter I found there was in me an invincible summer." - Albert Camus

Another favorite quotation: "The best lack all conviction while the worst/ Are filled with passionate intensity." - William Butler Yeats

Books on my nightstand right now: Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945, by Tony Judt; The Inheritance of Loss, by Kiran Desai; and The Freedom Writers Diary.

Favorite authors, fiction: E.L. Doctorow, Milan Kundera.

Favorite author, nonfiction: Taylor Branch.

Favorite poets: Swinburne, Browning, Shelley, Yeats, Mary Oliver . . . who can choose?

Favorite beach reading: The Fall of a Sparrow, by Robert Hellenga.

Book or author other people praise but I never liked: Jane Austen.

A book that influenced how I live my life: Not a book - but a play and a song: Man of La Mancha and "The Impossible Dream," by Dale Wasserman, Joe Darion and Mitch Leigh.

TV show I loved: The West Wing.

TV show I hate to admit I like: Law and Order on NBC/USA.

Favorite comic strip: Doonesbury, by Garry Trudeau.

Movies I love so much I've watched them many, many times: Dr. Zhivago; Reds.

If you turned on my car radio, it would be tuned to: WHYY-FM (90.9).

Favorite type of music: Again, hard to choose: blues, jazz, folk, and I would listen to Eva Cassidy forever.

Last concert attended: Nanci Griffith, at the World Cafe Live on March 15; also went to Philadelphia Orchestra performances at the Mann Theater last summer.

Recording I play when my soul needs a lift: Willie Nelson's version of "Stardust."

Person in my field I most admire: Dorothy Speight Johnson, founder of Mothers In Charge.

Living person I'd most like to join for dinner and conversation: In addition to my family, former President Jimmy Carter.

Heroes from history: Former President Lyndon Johnson, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

If I had the power to order all Philadelphians to read one book, it would be: Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools, by Jonathan Kozol, because Kozol paints pictures with his words that will live with you forever and should inspire all of us to do more to change the picture he paints.