Douglas Coupland's 10 Recommended Books


From Jane Magazine (September 1998)

by Douglas Coupland

Often when I read a stranger's list of favorite books, it seems geared only to impress an English lit. teacher- rarely will the person name actual books that gave her or him endless hours of reading and re-reading pleasure. This is awfully annoying. So I made a list here of 10 books I love- not my Top 10, because that's impossible. Just books that I truly love and which Jane readers might love, too.

THE ANDY WARHOL DIARIES Andy Warhol with Pat Hackett (Warner Books) Warhol has influenced my life more than any other artist. I was reading his books at the age of 9 and have never stopped re-reading them since. He is a genius and a god, and I can't conceive of a 20th century without him.

PLAY IT AS IT LAYS Joan Didion (Noonday Press) Glamoursly bleak. Reading Joan Didion makes you feel like somebody's smashing windows inside your head. In a good way.

ANSWERED PRAYERS Truman Capote (Vintage International) This book is the book he never finished. It's corrosive, decadent, wistful and large.

THE ICE AGE Margaret Drabble (NAL/Dutton) Elegant British writing set in the 1970s. Rainy-day reading.

THE MOE CHRONICLES: TALES OF A YOUNG URBAN FAILURE Erik Moe (Chornicle Books) Set in the extreme present tense, which I like in books. Wonderfully funny and severely illustrated with good wit.

THE BIG LAUGH John O'Hara (Ecco Press) The best dialogue of any American writer of this century.

BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS Kurt Vonnegut (Bantam Books) I went through a Kurt phase at 20, and recently again as an adult. He's held his own and only gets more relevant with the years.

SCOOP Evelyn Waugh (Little Brown and Co.) A jolly good read and frightfully funny in that cheeky British way. Pip pip.

THE PURSUIT OF LOVE and LOVE IN A COLD CLIMATE Nancy Mitford (Modern Library) The Pursuit of Love is possibly the most charming and amusing novel ever written. Love in a Cold Climate is the companion book. Just get them both.