Maria Cornejo’s 10 Favorite Books

Bookseller One Grand Books has asked celebrities to name the ten titles they’d take to a desert island, and they’ve shared the results with Vulture. Below is fashion designer Maria Cornejo’s list.

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.

Maria Cornejo’s 10 Favorite Books