Books: Augusten Burroughs

My Five Most Important Books

1. "The House of Mirth" by Edith Wharton. A complex, cunning, diabolically funny book—it just seems supernatural today.

2. "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison. Morrison's first book is like literature's theory of relativity.

3. "Moby-Dick" by Herman Melville. When I read the first page I had to ask, "Wait. Is this as cool as I think it is?" It is.

4. "The Member of the Wedding" by Carson McCullers. Why does the novel matter? You'll be wiping your nose on your arm, sobbing, "It matters, it matters, I get it."

5. "The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson" Proof that leaving the house is overrated.

A classic you revisited with disappointment: "The Old Man and the Sea" by Ernest Hemingway. Felt like the melancholy, pretentious ramblings of an old drunk. I nearly never read another dead person.

A book you hope parents read to their children: "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak. Teaches kids to befriend their monsters.