Interview With Vampire Author

Anne Rice's Book Bag

In time for Halloween, bestselling novelist Anne Rice shares with The Daily Beast her favorite books.

Great Expectations

Great Expectations
By Charles Dickens


I discovered this marvelous novel when I was 14, and I can still recall the pleasure of sitting in the classroom at Redemptorist High in New Orleans reading about Pip and his adventures in our big, thick textbook or reader. Not a year goes by that I don't return to this novel, to refresh my sense of it, to marvel at how Dickens uses the first-person voice to tell us more about Pip than Pip knows about himself.

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
By Carson McCullers


This is such a beautiful, sensitive novel. What moved me was McCullers' tremendous compassion for her characters, and how she moved back and forth amongst them, giving us the world from so many points of view. Just a marvelous act of imagination, and a deep expression of love. I have a used hard cover copy and revisit this book often.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Mastering the Art of French Cooking
By Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck


My husband broke the bank to give me this book for Christmas in 1968, and I still have that treasured copy, with his tender inscription: "To my Darling Anne—our 8th Christmas—together, together, our happy table." I learned to cook from that book, and have so many wonderful memories of opening it at the kitchen table to a new feast and a new experience. The book is so beautifully written that sometimes I just read it for pleasure.

The New Testament

The New Testament


I didn't really begin to read Scripture till I was almost 60 years old. And it took me months, if not years, to really feel the words come alive. Now I read the New Testament for pure joy. I marvel at the distinct voices of the four Evangelists, at the different stories, at the endless treasure trove of lesson and inspiration. My favorite part is the Gospel of Matthew, especially the Sermon on the Mount; a blueprint for bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to earth. When I travel, my Bible is all I need for the plane.

All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front


I was an undergraduate in college when I read this haunting, heartbreaking novel about a German boy's life and death during World War I. It did more than any history book to help me grasp what Europe had experienced in that dreadful time. I was in a little apartment on Ashbury Street above Haight in San Francisco. And I can still remember finishing that book and feeling an immense and painful sorrow at what I had read. Of course I knew, before I started reading, that it was a great book, and had had a powerful influence in Europe when it was published, but I was still stunned by what I "experienced" through this book. I never forgot it.