Michael Stipe shares his 10 essential desert island books

Here's what the former R.E.M. frontman suggests you add to your summer reading list


The season may be slipping away, but there’s still plenty of beach weather left for some good summer reading. To help expand your reading list, Out editor Aaron Hicklin launched One Grand, an online bookstore. But it’s not just any old bookshop, as the site only sells tomes selected as the top 10 desert island reads of 100 public figures and celebrities. The latest creative mind to contribute to the project is none other than R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe.

Stipe’s list includes everything from classics like Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions (“Introduced me to irony and self-deprecating humor,” he said) to collections of ancient Greek drama like For Plays by Aristophanes (“I love the bawdiness and audacity of both writer and translator [William Arrowsmith]”). Of course, sometimes he just went with what was in front of him, as he said he selected Patti Smith’s Just Kids “because I’m reading it as I write this, and it’s amazing.” (Wonder if he’s excited for that upcoming Just Kids show on Showtime?)

Find Stipe’s full list below, and read why he selected each book over at T Magazine. You can also check out and purchase literary picks from other One Grand contributors, including Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein, here.

Complete Works by Arthur Rimbaud
On The Road by Jack Kerouac
Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delaney
Breakfast Of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
All Families Are Psychotic by Douglas Coupland
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion
Four Plays by Aristophanes translated by William Arrowsmith
Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan
Just Kids by Patti Smith