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 British writer and Peterloo director Mike Leigh’s list.
For me, Auster’s masterpiece, and worth our waiting for. The dazzling scope of his inventiveness is breathtaking. Healthily nostalgic for us who are contemporary with his multiple central characters. A compulsive read; I found it hard to put down, and I couldn’t get enough of it. I found the negative response to the book in some quarters quite astonishing, but as the frequent recipient of diametrically opposite reviews myself, I ought to know better!
Hard to choose between this and his Death on the Installment Plan. But Céline’s quasi-autobiography wins. Despite the nihilistic cynicism of which he is often justifiably accused, underneath it all, his characters bristle with life and hope.
My favorite of Flann O’Brien’s novels, although I love At-Swim-Two-Birds. Profound, haunting, mystical, and utterly hilarious. The bizarre narrative is accompanied by an eccentric parallel saga about something obscure called the De Selby Codex, a red herring that gradually grows in quantity until it all but obscures the main story.
Searle has inspired and influenced me since I was 6 years old. He was one of the greatest illustrators and cartoonists of the 20th century. A Japanese prisoner of war in his early 20s, he managed, often with great difficulty, to make drawings and, remarkably, to keep them. Horrifying, often moving, sometimes funny, this collection is a total joy, on so many levels.
As the maker of Topsy-Turvy, I’m an unapologetic fan of W.S. Gilbert. “Bab” was his childhood pet name and his adult pen name. His delightful verses and drawings are a total gas, and no bathroom library should be without a copy.