In 2016, Newark-born novelist Philip Roth pledged to donate his personal book collection to the Newark Public Library on his death. In a press release, he likened the library to a second home:

“During that first year at Newark Rutgers, during the many hours each day when I didn’t have classes, the stacks and the reference room and the reading rooms of the main library were where I camped out when I wanted a quiet place to be alone to read or to study or to look something up. It was my other Newark home. My first other home.”

Along with the announcement came a list of books the inimitable author deemed most significant to his life and work. Read on for the late Philip Roth’s favorite reads.


The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow (also rec’d by Bruce Springsteen)

The Fall by Albert Camus

Cheri by Colette (also rec’d by J.K. Rowling)

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (also rec’d by David LynchJoan Didion)

Citizen Tom Paine by Howard Fast

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (also rec’d by David BowieErnest HemingwayKim Gordon)

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway (also rec’d by Joan Didion)

The Trial by Franz Kafka

The Assistant by Bernard Malamud

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (also rec’d by Bruce Springsteen, Ernest Hemingway & Susan Sontag)

Look Homeward Angel by Thomas Wolfe

Finnley Wren by Philip Wylie

(via Forward; Photo by Philip Montgomery)

Categories: Writers

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