Feature

Zosia Mamet recommends 6 books that will bowl you over

The actress recommends works by Ottessa Moshfegh, John Boyne, and more

Actress Zosia Mamet is the editor of a new essay collection, My First Popsicle, in which prominent cultural figures each write about a poignant memory tied to food. Below, the Girls and The Flight Attendant star names six favorite books.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt (1992)

One of my favorite novels since I read it oh-so-many-years ago. It confronts big issues like class, perception, and wondering who you truly are. But Tartt whips it all together in the most delicious, nail-biting murder mystery that will keep you turning the pages into the wee hours. Buy it here.

The Feral Detective by Jonathan Lethem (2018)

I recorded the audiobook for this novel, a modern-day detective story set in the dark underbelly of the California desert. If other novels are a sweet smooth cocktail, this is a tequila shot: tangy and sharp. The hunt for a lost girl leads our two heroes on a strange and dangerous chase that brings them near death and unexpectedly close to each other. Buy it here.

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh (2018)

This novel knocked me on my ass. A young, beautiful woman who is fed up with the world decides she is going to take a vacation from the daily suffering of life. She does not want to die. Instead, she undertakes — with the help of pharmaceuticals — to sleep for an entire year. Buy it here.

Sex and Rage by Eve Babitz (1979)

Everyone should read everything by Eve Babitz — in my opinion, one of the greatest writers of her time. In this, her only novel, we follow Jacaranda Leven as she bicoastally wades into the waters of literary success and through a sea of men, drugs, and alcohol. Buy it here.

A Time to Be Born by Dawn Powell (1942)

Welcome to the world of the New York City elite in the early 1900s. Class, wealth, and backstabbing, oh my! A morally ambiguous novelist and her stolen newspaper-mogul husband occupy center stage, and yet somehow Powell will make you fall in love with these fabulously devious characters. Buy it here.

The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne (2017)

This sweeping novel takes you through one man's entire life as he grows up, grows old, and finds himself and his sexuality — often while struggling with the narrow-mindedness of 20th-century Ireland. Do not read this book without tissues. Love, loss, grief, growth — Boyne does it all in the most beautiful, grab-you-by-the-heartstrings package. Buy it here.

This article was first published in the latest issue of The Week magazine. If you want to read more like it, you can try six risk-free issues of the magazine here.

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