Roz Chast: TOP TEN BOOKS

RozChast_selfportrait

Self portrait courtesy of Roz Chast

“I prefer fiction to non-fiction and really like getting involved in a long novel,” says cartoonist and frequent New Yorker contributor Roz Chast. “A friend of mine said reading a long novel is like launching an ocean liner. It’s hard to get it out of the dock, but once it starts, there’s a lot of momentum. I like social satire and I love novels about money and social class. I loathe “fantasy.” There are a few science fiction books I like, like “Childhood’s End,” by Arthur C. Clarke, and “The Three Stigmata of Palmer K. Eldrich,” by Philip K. Dick. But if they start to feel like “fantasy,” I’m out. I avoid books about either World War. Or any war, really.

“I have read a lot of relatively recent novels that are wonderful too. I love Don DeLillo and George Saunders and Rachel Cusk and a million billion other writers. And don’t get me started on graphic novels and memoirs. There is so much great stuff out there.

“Ok. I’ll stop now. Favorite books:”

Below are Roz Chast’s favorite books, available to purchase individually or as a set.

From: $149.89 BUY ENTIRE BOOK COLLECTION
1

The Magic Mountain

Thomas Mann
This is about a young man who goes to a sanitarium in the Swiss Alps to visit his tubercular cousin and winds up staying there for seven years. To paraphrase the Stefon character from SNL, “it’s got everything: love, illness, art, philosophy, religion…”
$19.00
Add to cart
2

The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald
I’ve read this book at a few different times in my life, and each time it makes a slightly different impression on me. It’s about love and ambition and social class and envy. It’s very American, in the best way.
$17.00
Add to cart
3

Stern

Bruce Jay Friedman
“Stern” is about being Jewish in the American dream suburbs in the 1950s. It’s very dark and very, very funny. Maybe the funniest book I’ve ever read.
$12.00
Add to cart
4

The Talented Mr. Ripley

Patricia Highsmith
This is a fascinating book about a sociopath named Tom Ripley. I’m not sure why, but it’s so compelling that I’ve read it three times and am not sick of it.
$15.95
Add to cart
5

Strange Life of Ivan Osokin

P.D. Ouspensky
This is a very odd book that I love to complete bits. I read somewhere that the movie Groundhog Day is based on it. It’s about a guy who gets the chance to live his life over again so he can correct his mistakes. This miraculous do-over works as long as he remembers that he is living his life over again, and doesn’t just keep rationalizing his mistakes. Guess what happens.

Out of stock

Currently unavailable
6

The House of Mirth

Edith Wharton
Great book about social class—money and the lack of it-- and being female at the turn of the twentieth century. It’s also set in New York City, an added plus for me.
$11.00
Add to cart
7

The Sheltering Sky

Paul Bowles
A novel about a married couple set in North Africa. Sad, frightening, fascinating.
$15.99
Add to cart
8

Anna Karenina

Leo Tolstoy
A great and tragic love story set against the social upheavals in Russia in the 1870s. Like “The Great Gatsby,” this is a book I’ve read three times in my life. I read it maybe five years ago and realized for the first time that Anna Karenina was an opium addict.
$30.00
Add to cart
9

The Way We Live Now

Anthony Trollope
A novel about money, social class, scandal, fraud, anti-Semitism, and greed.
$15.95
Add to cart
10

Bleak House

Charles Dickens
Great characters. A hilarious, biting satire of the British justice system. Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce! Miss Flite and her birds! And for illness buffs, there’s smallpox!
$13.00
Add to cart