Samantha Highfill
April 02, 2013 at 07:36 PM EDT

While Semple waits for her next idea, she’s taking some much-needed downtime, in which she will watch television, read other people’s books and listen to large amounts of David Bowie. Check out her entertainment must list:

Books: “My must list is James Salter’s new novel called All That Is. That’s the book of 2013. That’s the book of the year, and I read it twice. It’s really brilliant; and it’s very exciting. I’m very excited by that. That’s my must list.”

“Another book I really love is Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. That’s a really big important book to me. Ben Fountain. It’s so brilliant. It’s devastating. It’s so great.”

Movies:56 Up, that Michael Apted movie. That documentary is really fabulous. That’s something that I’ve grown up with, and it’s just a brilliant accomplishment. I feel very lucky to have that in my life.”

Television: “It’s now the time of year to start binge-watching Mad Men from season one all over again. That’s a yearly phenomenon, so I feel like that has to start pretty soon. Because I’m not writing a book, I have to watch hundreds of hours of Mad Men. I love that show so much and I like starting over, so I’ll probably be gearing up to watch Mad Men from the beginning.”

Music: I’m actually going through a project of I’m listening to David Bowie from the beginning straight through before I buy his new CD. I’m now re-connecting with my inner Bowie freak, because I’m a huge Bowie freak. He’s my guy, but I just haven’t listened to him in a long time. I’ve remembered that my favorite song of all time is “Sweet Thing” and “Candidate” from Diamond Dogs. All I do is listen to sweet thing in candidate over and over. My poor daughter is about to jump out of a moving car. It’s not going well when she wants to be listening to One Direction. I’d forgotten how much I love that song.”

Read more:

Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist announced

Exclusive: Maria Semple releases new trailer for novel ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette’

Book Review: Where’d You Go Bernadette

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