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 actress Rose Byrne’s list. Her new movie, Juliet, Naked, is out now.
Monkey Grip by Helen Garner
My first Helen Garner novel, and it had a profound effect on me. Hot, fresh, plain Australian language. I finally read something that felt familiar.
The Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1931-1934 by Anaïs Nin
My favorite volume of the publication of her diaries. Her candid and arresting narrative is endlessly enticing, romantic, and tragic. She captured my imagination so completely.
Cloudstreet by Tim Winton
The definitive Australian classic, this is one of my favorite Tim Winton novels: an epic, sprawling and quintessentially antipodean family story.
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler
The masterful Anne Tyler again steals away with the most incredible story of a family unraveling and unfolding with the truths of resentments, failures, jealousy, and beauty. Such a thing to behold is Anne Tyler at work. Haunting.
The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes
The founding of colonial Australia was finally laid bare to me in this dissertation on the bizarre experiment that would become the beginning of modern white Australia. With its brutality and the endlessly shocking facts, it is a truth stranger than any fiction.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The rarest of books about the experience of a science writer uncovering and investigating a cell line that changed the world, all while being thrown into a transformative journey of discovering race and racism in America, the culture of African-Americans in the USA, and the painful reality of loss and family. A truly remarkable read — and I failed at science. Fascinating and phenomenal, heartbreaking and utterly compelling.
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Rhys had the daring idea to give life to the the lady in the attic of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. An erotic, evocative, sumptuous, and beautiful voice liberating Antoinette.
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
Touching the raw, weird, and often lonely and terrifying experience of being a teenage girl like no other book I have stumbled across. Quintessential Judy Blume. Magical, moving, and iconic.
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
A landmark work of feminism, which was censored at the time of its release. But more so, it is beautifully written, with an iridescent shimmer — a moving and devastating spiritual tragedy.
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver
I always return to Raymond Carver; his dirty realism, his sparse writing, and his ambiguity make him a joy to read, to drift away with, finding the dark corners and weird places.