Reading Group Center

Erin Morgenstern's Top Five Books…Ever

Le Cirque des Rêves arrives without warning, but The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern, has arrived with an ecstatic fanfare from fans and critics alike. This spell-casting new novel will enchant your reading group with its story of Celia and Marco, two young magicians engaged in a dangerous competition. When the two—despite themselves—fall in love, their battle takes on new meaning. Erin is such an excellent storyteller that we couldn’t resist asking her to tell us about the books she admires. Here, an exclusive list of her five favorites.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt
One of my very favorites for so many reasons: because it reminds me of my own New England college experience, because it’s a mystery even though you know what happened from the very beginning, because it recalls the Greek tragedies I studied in so many drama classes. Both epic and intimate, the way the best stories are.

Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman
A book full of worlds and possibilities, in perfect vignettes that really do feel like dreams. It’s the reason I stopped wearing a watch.

The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg
A bundle of mysteries in words and pictures, I have a few of them hanging on my walls. It is like a sampling of stories leaving you wondering what the full tales might be and I love the dreamy charcoal softness of the artwork.

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
I adore these stories both for the beauty of the writing and because for me as a reader they are a wonderful combination of the familiarity of New England layered with a cultural perspective different from my own.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
I found a beat-up paperback copy of this book in the basement of my dorm in college (it had a 1934 dollar bill inside, no idea what that was about) and I was hooked from the first page. Like meeting someone who had a perfectly compatible sense of humor and strangeness to my own.

Click to read an excerpt from The Night Circus and to download a reading group guide.