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    George Saunders

    Top Ten Books

    George Saunders is the author of several novels, children’s books, essays and short stories. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, GQ, McSweeney’s and Harper’s, and he is the recipient of awards including the Story Prize for “Tenth of December: Stories,” and of the 2017 Man Booker Prize for his novel “Lincoln in the Bardo.”

    Says Saunders: "If I were actually faced with the task of compiling ten books to take to permanent exile on a desert island (and by the way, how does one arrange that conundrum?), I would pick ten esoteric and difficult texts on Tibetan Buddhism and spend the rest of my life trying to understand and master those. Failing that, I would default to the usual suspects: the Bible, the complete works of Shakespeare, Chekhov, Austen, etc. More practically, I might want to choose books about how to build a boat, what is safe to eat on a desert island, or how to build a message-bearing drone out of coconut shells or something. 

    "So, the list below is more like: Ten Books that are helping me through the “current political moment,” i.e., this moment when our democracy stands on the brink of failure and our nation runs the risk of leaving its historical moment of greatness behind for something less and more mediocre, by becoming a materialist, corporation-dominated, frightened version of its best self."

    Below are George Saunders's favorite books, available to purchase individually or as a set. See the full list...

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    Neneh Cherry


    Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo

    Ntozake Shange

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    Trevor Noah


    Native Life in South Africa

    Sol Plaatje

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    Chip Kidd


    Kafka on the Shore

    Haruki Murakami

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    Rafael de Cárdenas



    Stephen King

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    Chelsea Handler


    On Booze

    F. Scott Fitzgerald

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    Matthew Modine


    The Cousteau Almanac of the Environment: An Inventory of Life on a Water Planet (Vintage Edition)

    Jacques-Yves Cousteau

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    Cillian Murphy


    Appointment in Samarra

    John O\'Hara

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    Drew Barrymore


    All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

    Robert Fulghum

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    Michael C. Hall


    White Girls

    Hilton Als

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