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  • I’ve always believed that something of the writers’ spirit and personality cling to their works, so I’m very particular about which books I’ll allow to remain in my house. I'm being totally serious. I work, sleep and dream surrounded by books; if I’m going to be haunted while I’m at my most vulnerable, I want to be very careful about the company I keep. Gandhi, Jane Goodall, Mark Twain, Shakespeare, Lady Murasaki, Orwell, Italo Calvino, Barbara Kingsolver, Toni Morrison, Ursula LeGuin, Nikos Kazantzakis, Harper Lee, Nelson Mandela, George Eliot and Cervantes are welcome. Despite their faults, Dickens, Tolstoy, Dumas, Faulkner, Balzac, Edward Abbey, Philip K. Dick, Thoreau, Yukio Mishima, the early Naipaul and Hunter S. Thompson make the cut. Hitler and Celine are permanently barred from my home. And Dostoevsky…Dostoevsky…aw, what the hell, he can stay but only if he promises to be on his best behavior.

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