Bookseller One Grand Books has asked literary celebrities to name the ten titles they’d take to a desert island, and they’ve shared the results with Vulture. Below is Gogol Bordello front man Eugene Hutz’s list.
The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov
A novel of undying power where the system, the rebel, and the esoteric interact in the most innovative way. Good guys lose, but get something more precious than a victory instead. Written in the years of the catastrophic formation of the Soviet system — but relevant forever.
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, by Eckhart Tolle
It’s a good one, often moronically overlooked as “some New Age crap,” but it’s actually a pretty good tool for your ego demolition … if you’re into that kind of thing. What sets it apart from all that New Age crap is that it’s 100 percent based on experience.
The Ascension Mysteries, by David Wilcock
The Ascension Mysteries picks up where Graham Hancock left off with Fingerprints of the Gods, with ancient civilizations and the science of consciousness. Those who’ve poked around Wilcock’s other books and still did not freak the fuck out will find that he has kicked it up a notch. Part of its magnetism is the way Wilcock commands language and constructs sentences that have never before seen the light of the day.
The Suicide Club, by Robert Louis Stevenson
Seems underrated by modern writers and readers, but it is perhaps one of most entertaining and classy reads in detective fiction. Let’s just remember that it was powerful enough to inspire Arthur Conan Doyle to create Sherlock Holmes and Watson, based on the main characters of this book.
Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts
This novel got some backlash for not being a true-to-the-bone story — as if that is the task of a novelist. It is an amazing story of an Australian prison escapee turned community doctor, and his incredible adventures in the slums, Bollywood, and various pockets of the underworld. Be it true or not, just remember that we are reading a book — because if you would want to jump into an actual volcano, you could just do that.
The Art of Loving, by Erich Fromm
It’s always good to go back to this book to see how incredibly insightful Erich Fromm was about all pornographic portrayals of love in our civilization.
Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu
It’s been said that ancient texts are actually starting to lose their relevance due to rapid time unfolding, that they were written in circumstances very, very far from ours. Maybe, but not this one: “Set your intention, then stand in the middle and have all things come to you.”
The Law of Light: The Aramaic Mystery, by Lars Muhl
It was 2,000 years ago but, people are still talking about it. To unravel the story of Jesus Christ the Savior, Dutch mystic Lars Muhl exercises a unique approach through decoding the teachings of Jesus by diving into its original Aramaic language. The key to it is the transpersonal psychology behind it. He makes a point that the entire teaching was mistranslated way out of line, and without this understanding. There is an opinion that language in general is an obstacle. This book is a strong argument for that.
What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire, by Charles Bukowski
I’ve been carrying this book of Bukowski poems with me all over the world for about 15 years. It is written by a hand directly connected to its heart, and nurtures and shelters poetry where it has almost no chance to survive elsewhere.
Scab Vendor: Confessions of a Tattoo Artist, by Jonathan Shaw
An incredible rock ’n’ roll read from a legendary tattoo artist. These autobiographical chapters from a veteran of subculture describe the era when authentic characters still ruled the world, when charisma and life-affirming, adventurous bravado still meant something. It includes encounters with amazing humans such as Iggy Pop. Excellent.