Brian Koppelman's favorite books

  • The Artist's Way

    The Artist's Way

    Julia Cameron
    A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity
    Religion

    "A course in discovering and recovering your creative self"--Cover.

    Buy on Amazon

    That book changed my life, even though it’s very spiritual and I’m an atheist.

    Jun 4, 2014 — Source

  • Bird by Bird

    Bird by Bird

    Anne Lamott
    Some Instructions on Writing and Life
    Language Arts & Disciplines

    An essential volume for generations of writers young and old, Bird by Bird is a modern classic. This twenty-fifth anniversary edition will continue to spark creative minds for years to come. For a quarter century, more than a million readers—scribes and scribblers of all ages and abilities—have been inspired by Anne Lamott’s hilarious, big-hearted, homespun advice. Advice that begins with the simple words of wisdom passed down from Anne’s father—also a writer—in the iconic passage that gives the book its title: “Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.’”

    Buy on Amazon

    Bird By Bird is also great.

    May 25, 2020 — Source

  • Broken

    Broken

    Don Winslow
    Fiction

    Includes “Crime 101,” “Broken,” and “The Last Ride” – all soon to be major motion pictures! “One of America’s greatest storytellers.” – Stephen King "Winslow, whose work includes a dozen of the finest crime novels written in the last 20 years, displays all of his strengths, including propulsive narration, compelling characters and a tight, staccato writing style, in 'Broken,' a collection of six remarkable novellas." – Bruce De Silva, Associated Press No matter how you come into this world, you come out broken . . . In six intense short novels connected by the themes of crime, corruption, vengeance, justice, loss, betrayal, guilt and redemption, Broken is #1 international bestseller Don Winslow at his nerve-shattering, pulse-pounding, heartbreaking best. In Broken, he creates a world of high-level thieves and low-life crooks, obsessed cops struggling with life on and off the job, private detectives, dope dealers, bounty hunters and fugitives, the lost souls driving without headlights through the dark night on the American criminal highway. With his trademark blend of insight, humanity, humor, action, and the highest level of literary craftsmanship, Winslow delivers a collection of tales that will become classics of crime fiction. "With the passing of Elmore Leonard a few years back, it’s now safe to proclaim Winslow America’s greatest living crime writer. His consistency is matched only by his creativity, his talent exceeded by his ability to surpass himself time and time again." – Jon Land, Providence Journal

    Buy on Amazon

    This book is a steamroller. Each story will run you over. For real. Read it.

    Apr 8, 2020 — Source

  • A Gentleman in Moscow

    A Gentleman in Moscow

    Amor Towles
    Fiction

    The mega-bestseller with more than 1.5 million readers that is soon to be a major television series One of five Summer 2019 reading picks by Bill Gates "The novel buzzes with the energy of numerous adventures, love affairs, and] twists of fate." --The Wall Street Journal He can't leave his hotel. You won't want to. From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility--a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel. In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel's doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery. Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count's endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.

    Buy on Amazon

    A Gent is just so good. Such a wonderful read.

    Jun 28, 2020 — Source

  • On Writing

    On Writing

    Stephen King
    A Memoir of the Craft
    Authorship

    In 1999, Stephen King began to write about his craft -- and his life. By midyear, a widely reported accident jeopardized the survival of both. And in his months of recovery, the link between writing and living became more crucial than ever. Rarely has a book on writing been so clear, so useful, and so revealing. On Writing begins with a mesmerizing account of King's childhood and his uncannily early focus on writing to tell a story. A series of vivid memories from adolescence, college, and the struggling years that led up to his first novel, Carrie, will afford readers a fresh and often very funny perspective on the formation of a writer. King next turns to the basic tools of his trade -- how to sharpen and multiply them through use, and how the writer must always have them close at hand. He takes the reader through crucial aspects of the writer's art and life, offering practical and inspiring advice on everything from plot and character development to work habits and rejection. Serialized in the New Yorker to vivid acclaim, On Writing culminates with a profoundly moving account of how King's overwhelming need to write spurred him toward recovery, and brought him back to his life. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower--and entertain--everyone who reads it.

    Buy on Amazon

    Is tough to beat. I re-read it last week, and it is still the gold standard.

    May 25, 2020 — Source

  • What Makes Sammy Run?

    What Makes Sammy Run?

    Budd Schulberg
    Fiction

    What Makes Sammy Run? Everyone of us knows someone who runs. He is one of the symp-toms of our times—from the little man who shoves you out of the way on the street to the go-getter who shoves you out of a job in the office to the Fuehrer who shoves you out of the world. And all of us have stopped to wonder, at some time or another, what it is that makes these people tick. What makes them run? This is the question Schulberg has asked himself, and the answer is the first novel written with the indignation that only a young writer with talent and ideals could concentrate into a manuscript. It is the story of Sammy Glick, the man with a positive genius for being a heel, who runs through New York’s East Side, through newspaper ranks and finally through Hollywood, leaving in his wake the wrecked careers of his associates; for this is his tragedy and his chief characteristic—his congenital incapacity for friendship. An older and more experienced novelist might have tempered his story and, in so doing, destroyed one of its outstanding qualities. Compromise would mar the portrait of Sammy Glick. Schulberg has etched it in pure vitriol, and dissected his victim with a precision that is almost frightening. When a fragment of this book appeared as a short story in a national magazine, Schulberg was surprised at the number of letters he received from people convinced they knew Sammy Glick’s real name. But speculation as to his real identity would be utterly fruitless, for Sammy is a composite picture of a loud and spectacular minority bitterly resented by the many decent and sincere artists who are trying honestly to realize the measureless potentialities of motion pictures. To this group belongs Schulberg himself, who has not only worked as a screen writer since his graduation from Dartmouth College in 1936, but has spent his life, literally, in the heart of the motion-picture colony. In the course of finding out what makes Sammy run (an operation in which the reader is spared none of the grue-some details) Schulberg has poured out everything he has felt about that place. The result is a book which the publishers not only believe to be the most honest ever written about Hollywood, but a penetrating study of one kind of twentieth-century success that is peculiar to no single race of people or walk of life.

    Buy on Amazon

    It's a legendary book about how somebody makes their way in Hollywood.

    Jun 4, 2014 — Source

  • Kafka on the Shore

    Kafka on the Shore

    Haruki Murakami
    Fiction

    An unlikely alliance forms between Kafka Tamura, a fifteen-year-old runaway, and the aging Nakata, a man who has never recovered from a wartime affliction, as they embark on a surreal odyssey through a strange, fantastical world.

    Buy on Amazon

    If you have always wanted to read Haruki Murakami, I think this period of time is perfect for it.

    May 1, 2020 — Source

  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

    Haruki Murakami
    A Novel
    Fiction

    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a tour de force—and one of Haruki Murakami’s most acclaimed and beloved novels. In a Tokyo suburb, a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife’s missing cat—and then for his wife as well—in a netherworld beneath the city’s placid surface. As these searches intersect, he encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists. Gripping, prophetic, and suffused with comedy and menace, this is an astonishingly imaginative detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets from Japan’s forgotten campaign in Manchuria during World War II.

    Buy on Amazon

    If you have always wanted to read Haruki Murakami, I think this period of time is perfect for it.

    May 1, 2020 — Source

  • A Wild Sheep Chase

    A Wild Sheep Chase

    Haruki Murakami
    A Novel
    Fiction

    Quirky and utterly captivating, A Wild Sheep Chase is Murakami at his astounding best. An advertising executive receives a postcard from a friend and casually appropriates the image for an advertisement. What he doesn’t realize is that included in the scene is a mutant sheep with a star on its back, and in using this photo he has unwittingly captured the attention of a man who offers a menacing ultimatum: find the sheep or face dire consequences. Thus begins a surreal and elaborate quest that takes readers from Tokyo to the remote mountains of northern Japan, where the unnamed protagonist has a surprising confrontation with his demons.

    Buy on Amazon

    If you have always wanted to read Haruki Murakami, I think this period of time is perfect for it.

    May 1, 2020 — Source

  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

    Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

    Haruki Murakami
    A novel
    Fiction

    An instant #1 New York Times Bestseller One of the most revered voices in literature today gives us a story of love, friend­ship, and heartbreak for the ages. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is the remarkable story of a young man haunted by a great loss; of dreams and nightmares that have unintended consequences for the world around us; and of a journey into the past that is necessary to mend the present. A New York Times and Washington Post notable book, and one of the Financial Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Slate, Mother Jones, The Daily Beast, and BookPage's best books of the year

    Buy on Amazon

    If you have always wanted to read Haruki Murakami, I think this period of time is perfect for it.

    May 1, 2020 — Source