Favorite Books: John Waters and Elif Batuman

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bw100708waters_book.jpgRole Models (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) and The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Favorite books! Imagine the Bookworm’s surprise to discover that four out of five of cult film-maker John Waters’ favorite books are also Bookworm favorites. He gives a passionate description of these favorites (Jane Bowles, Ivy Compton-Burnett, Denton Welch, Christina Stead). And for good measure, Elif Batuman gives a lively count-down of her favorite Russian novels. book.jpg

Read an excerpt from Batuman's The Possessed. (Excerpt from Waters' Role Models to follow.)

John Waters' Favorite Books

In Youth Is Pleasure by Denton Welch
The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead
Two Serious Ladies, a novel included in My Sister’s Hand in Mine: The Collected Works of Jane Bowles
Darkness and Day by Ivy Compton-Burnett
We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver


Russian Book recommendations

Leo Tolstoy: Anna Karenina
Alexander Pushkin: Eugene Onegin
Fyodor Dostoyevsky: Crime and Punishment
Isaac Babel: Red Cavalry (includes all of the Red Cavalry cycle plus Babel's 1920 diary)
Anton Chekov, two plays: Uncle Vanya, The Cherry Orchard; stories: Lady with Lap Dog, A Boring Story, In the Ravine, The Sneeze
Nikoli Gogol: Dead Souls
Ivan Goncharov: Oblomov
Ivan Turgenev: Fathers and Sons
Andrey Platonov: The Foundation Pit; Soul
Andrei Bely: Petersberg



Image of Elif Batuman, courtesy of Mikhail Lemkhin