one grand books

Tony McNamara’s 10 Favorite Books

Photo: Vulture

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 The Favourite screenplay writer Tony McNamara’s list.

Something Happened by Joseph Heller

I read this when I was 21 and was knocked out by the darkness of the satire and the incredible comic rhythms created. Bob Slocum is scared of everything. A book about being destroyed by your own fears, and the inability to confront them.

The Fat Man in History by Peter Carey

A fellow Australian. Before he won all those Bookers, he wrote these fantastic, slightly surreal short stories.

A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver

My wife used to read Oliver’s poems about nature all the time, and finally moved to the country and out of the city, largely because of them. Rest in Peace.

The First Bad Man by Miranda July

July’s just an amazing and unique contemporary voice. A true original artist.

The White Album by Joan Didion

Such a brilliant stylist. I read this book every couple of years because it’s so evocative of time, people, and a place.

The Kitchen Diaries by Nigel Slater

The best cooking writer around. My daughter and I resolved to cook every recipe for the year, but managed just two delicious weeks before going back to just reading it.

The Big Short by Michael Lewis

I worked very, very briefly in the money market, and continue to be fascinated by the amoral shuffling of money that has real consequences in ordinary people’s lives, and very little consequences to the people doing it. Michael Lewis is brilliant at making things accessible.

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

I love Russian novels. So I had to pick one. And a short one is always good.

Money by Martin Amis

John Self is a great character — a pornographer, drug addict, narcissist, and somehow deeply compelling. The writing is fast, funny, and furious.

The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead

Great Australian author Stead wrote this brilliant novel about the Pollits family, and set it in the USA at the behest of her agent. Jonathan Franzen said it best when he said that it “makes Revolutionary Road look like Everybody Loves Raymond.”

Tony McNamara’s 10 Favorite Books