Photo: Philip Friedman/Studio D

2 of 4
You Deserve Nothing
336 pages; Europa Editions
A novel about a beloved teacher who succumbs to sexual temptation, Maksik's 2011 debut has inspired controversy, both because of its subject matter and because some say it's autobiographical. "Here you have this young, idealistic teacher whose beliefs are put to the test," says Bill Paxton. "First of all, I love the venue: The hero, William Silver, teaches at an international school in Paris. But besides that, I have always admired great teachers, people whose guidance and inspiration have made all the difference in my life. In this book, Silver is supposed to be teaching some of life's important lessons, and he ends up learning one himself. I felt empathetic and sympathetic. I liked the complexity of the character. This book is like the flip side of Goodbye, Mr. Chips."
— As told to Sara Nelson