Why Seth Meyers Loves Having Authors on His Show
“Late Night” has made you an influential recommender of books. But where do you turn for recommendations? How do you decide what to read?
Two people deserve all the credit. Sarah Jenks-Daly is a producer who covers books for us, and she is constantly showing up to my office with something new she likes. The other is my mom, who not only gifted me with my love of books but also puts novels down as fast as she does a gin and tonic. (For those who don’t know Hilary, this means “quickly.”)
What book would you most like to see turned into a movie or TV show that hasn’t already been adapted?
O.K., so John le Carré’s “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” the first book of the Karla trilogy, was made into a mini-series by the BBC in 1979 and starred Alec Guinness as George Smiley. It’s perfect casting and a perfect mini-series.
In 1982 the BBC made the third book of the trilogy, “Smiley’s People,” into an equally good mini-series.
All I want is for the BBC to adapt the second book of the trilogy, “The Honourable Schoolboy,” with the caveat that George Smiley would have to be played by Alec Guinness so it will need to be a C.G.I. situation. I’ll wait.
Do you count any books as guilty pleasures?
I’m always a little guilty when I reread a book. There are so many I will never get to so I feel a pang when I return to old favorites. But it gives such pleasure, in tumultuous times, to pick up a book and know, “I will enjoy this.” In recent months it’s been a lot of short stories: “Home,” by George Saunders, “A Good Marriage,” by Stephen King, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” by Flannery O’Connor, and “Harrison Bergeron,” by Kurt Vonnegut, and the short novel “Dreaming of Babylon,” by Richard Brautigan.