Moby Dick, by Herman Melville
It’s a classic. I used to read a lot of books when I was a kid and there are very few that you remember the way I remember this book.
Last Exit to Brooklyn, by Hubert Selby Jr.
It’s about New York, but a gritty vision of New York that doesn’t really exist anymore. This is what I thought NYC might be like when I was a teenager.
On the Road, by Jack Kerouac
Classic Kerouac Beat Generation, and also about America in the ’50s, which I was really fascinated by as a teenager growing up in England. I did my college thesis on this book. It has a special place in my heart.
Daughter of Fortune, by Isabel Allende
I love anything by Isabel Allende. When I read her, it pulls me back to my Latin roots.
The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman
It’s about how when we disappear, nature will claim back its space in a short amount of time — which I find very reassuring.
Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea, by Charles Seife
After I opened the Zero + Maria Cornejo store, Diane Von Furstenburg gave me this book, and I wish I had read it years earlier. It’s not how I came up with the brand name, but I love how it expands upon the idea of “zero.”
Post-American World, by Fareed Zakaria
I felt reassured that he explained how the world is actually a safer place than it’s ever been, but that we are just constantly bombarded with information which makes us feel unsafe. He’s very matter-of-fact about things. I met him once at the White House and it was a real fan moment for me.
Just Kids, by Patti Smith
I love Patti Smith and the story of her beginnings in New York City with her then-boyfriend, the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. It’s a fascinating look at that period of time and at two very creative people who inspired a whole generation of artists. Smith continues to be so relevant, particularly given our political climate.
Heart Talk, by Cleo Wade
This new generation gives me such hope. Cleo is a shining example of the joy, activism, and positivity that is leading us to a better world.
Not in Fashion, by Mark Borthwick
My husband Mark Borthwick’s independent spirit and the beauty he finds in the things we take for granted truly inspire me.