Carrie Brownstein: TOP TEN BOOKS


Best known for her role in the Peabody Award-winning TV show, Portlandia, Brownstein has a long career in music, including as a guitarist and vocalist for riot grrrl punk icons, Sleater-Kinney, as well as a music blogger for NPR and interviewer for The Believer magazine.

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


The Devil Finds Work

James Baldwin
Baldwin is one of my favorite writers and cultural critics. His work always feels both relevant and revelatory. This book-long essay on film and movie going is part memoir, part homage to cinema, and also an exploration of the ways corrosive ideas seep into the collective imagination.
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Collected Poems: Philip Larkin

Phillip Larkin
On me your voice falls as they say love should, Like an enormous yes' (For Sydney Bouchet). Such spare and soaring prose to examine stunted, anxious lives.
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Birds of America

Lorrie Moore
Moore is one of the best short story writers of all time. She is a strange, wondrous and occasionally unmerciful storyteller while also being incredibly profound.
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The Waves

Virginia Woolf
An impressionistic, experimental novel that is filled with an immense and delicate beauty. Told in soliloquies, the book explores a vast and tender interior landscape.
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The Professor and the Madman

Simon Winchester
One of my favorite history books. It's a story about the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary and of an epistolary and academic friendship between two men, one of whom (unbeknownst to the other) was an inmate at an insane asylum.
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We The Animals

Justin Torres
Ruminants on family, brotherhood, and the ways we are simultaneously - sometimes devastatingly - both different and similar to our kin.
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Ballad of the Sad Café

Carson McCullers
"The most outlandish people can be a stimulus for love." A Southern Gothic novella on the eccentricities and vicissitudes of the heart.
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Other Voices, Other Rooms

Truman Capote
A dizzying almost surreal bildungsroman about a search for a familial love that is just shy of non-existent.
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The Argonauts

Maggie Nelson
One of my favorite books of the last few years. It's both a memoir and an ontological exploration. In some ways, this book is a life-changer in that it posits new spheres of both being and togetherness.
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Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Joan Didion
A seminal book of essays. A meditation on the mythologies of the West and on America itself. Trenchant, prescient, timeless.
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