Bookseller One Grand Books has asked celebrities to name the ten titles they’d take to a desert island, and they’ve shared the results with Vulture. Below is Devendra Banhart’s list.
When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chodron
This is one of those books I like to stock up on, have a few copies ready to give a friend. It’s just so helpful, wisdom and compassion right there in each page. My current copy is heavily bookmarked and just feels like those “in case of emergency break glass” boxes.
Slapstick, Kurt Vonnegut
I remember reading this twice. It’s been a minute, and I’m due for a third reading. I don’t think any other book has made me laugh out loud more.
Momo, Michael Ende
It’s that rare feat, a tremendous philosophical insight presented in a way that anyone, at any age, can grasp. Wow. Of all my childhood books, The Giving Tree and Hope for the Flowers really did change my early world, but after reading Momo in my 30s, I thought, Ahhhhhh, this is the one book I wish I had read as a kid! Then reread at every subsequent chapter of my life. Yes, this sounds cliché, but I truly think this is essential reading for — here goes — children of all ages!
Grist for the Mill, Ram Dass
Author of the timeless classic Be Here Now (and hey, even if you’re not into all this spiritual stuff, just get it for the art!), this is a beautiful book that I don’t really know how to describe expect as a wonderful companion.
The Guru Drinks Bourbon, Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse
An incredibly funny, accessible, and supremely wise guide to help one find a spiritual teacher.
Turtle Island, Gary Snyder
This collection of poetry and prose is a little like going for a long hike out into the redwoods and coming upon a beautiful library, well lit and cozy, and there’s no one but you and all these amazing books that you are welcome to read as long as you treat everything with the respect it deserves. Wouldn’t that be an amazing experience?
Blazing Splendor, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
The autobiography of a spiritual master. Priceless.
Devotions, Mary Oliver
I read a few pages from this Mary Oliver selected compendium of poems spanning more than five decades every single day — often in the morning. It’s what I imagine a bird feels when they hop into a really beautiful birdbath with really clean water in it.
In Love With the World, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
Without telling anyone, Buddhist teacher Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche steals away in the middle of the night from his own monastery and lives as a wandering yogi for four years. Unbelievably useful, humbling, thrilling, inspiring, and fascinating!
This Planet Is Doomed: Poems of Sun Ra
Visionary, transcendent, wise, and grossly underappreciated poetry from one of the most important artists of all time.