Sera Gamble: TOP TEN BOOKS

Sera Gamble

Sera Gamble is the screenwriter and showrunner for the hit Hetflix series You, based on the novels of Caroline Kepnes, in which the romantic hero is not just a pretty face – he’s a serial killer as well. You is not the first book that Gamble has turned into darkly entertaining television. She also created The Magicians for the SyFy Channel, based on the best-selling novel by Lev Grossman. And she was a showrunner on Supernatural, a haunting fantasy series which ran for 15 seasons. She has said, “I’m a horror writer in my heart, in that I always like to ask myself what scares me, and what scares us universally when I’m approaching a story. To me there’s just about nothing scarier than the truth that we can never really know another person.” Below are Sera Gamble’s favorite books, available to purchase individually or as a set.


Trick Mirror

Jia Tolentino
This was required reading in the You writers’ room. Tolentino has a gift for taking apart cultural phenomena to show you the problematic bits. Reading it gave me a sense of relief, because she can so precisely explain why something like Sweetgreen salad makes me angry.
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Life on Mars

Tracy K. Smith
I can’t read “Aubade” without crying. The dog gets me every time.
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Stephen King
In 2020, I listened to 16 of his books in a row on long walks. Having the shit scared out of me really calms my anxiety. I especially love when King traps his protagonist – keeping the story in a tight box forces it deeper into the character’s psyche.
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David Auburn
Not a wasted word. Sometimes I’ll be stopped at a red light and suddenly start thinking about “connecting the dots.”
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Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives

David Eagleman
The first time a dentist gave me nitrous oxide, I saw the skeleton of the universe. So now when I get dental work, I take advantage of the altered state to investigate the question I like to dwell on at 3 a.m.: where do we go after we die? This book posits 40 possibilities. The vignettes are thoughtful, sometimes freaky, and a delight even if you’re not on laughing gas.
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Richard Siken
His poetry feels like driving fast on a bad road in the rain, and that is a way I want poetry to feel. (This would also be at the top of my list of favorite cover art. I mean, look at it. Jesus Christ.)
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An Anthropologist on Mars

Oliver Sacks
Sacks’s writing is compassionate and elegant, and makes me like people more as a species.
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Griffin and Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence

Nick Bantock
An epistolary novel so creative it practically vibrates in your hands. Turning the page to see the next postcard or letter is thrillingly immediate— a couple of times, I gasped. And pulling a handwritten note out of an envelope addressed to someone else feels slightly illegal.
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Never Let Me Go

Kazuo Ishiguro
I’m so lucky that I came to this book without knowing anything about it. If you’re as lucky, go read it. If you’ve heard about the plot or seen the film, I’ll just say: when I think of the writing, I picture the pages gently glowing, like an object that has been touched by the Divine.
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Vladimir Nabokov
I like how transgressive and wrong this book is and I’m not sorry.
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