12 Celebrities On Their All-Time Favourite Books

Add these to your reading list

A good book can change your life, and even celebrities aren’t immune to the life-altering abilities of some of the world’s best-selling authors.

Some of Hollywood’s biggest names are so moved by the books they choose to read that many have even founded book clubs to share and bolster the works of their favourite writers – from Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine book club that looks to amplify the voices of female creatives, to Oprah’s long-standing reading lists that even counts fans as young as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s one-year-old son Archie Harrison. 

Below, we’ve rounded up just some of the celebs that have shared the books that they love. 

Emma Watson

In a 2012 interview with Savoir FlairEmma Watson said that she’s had “Patti Smith’s Just Kids on [her] bedside forever.” This book, about her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe in the late 1960s and 1970s, is a tale of friendship and growing up.

just kids

Jessica Biel

While F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is arguably the author’s most known work, Tender Is The Night is another you should definitely add to your reading list (if you haven’t already). The book delves into romance but is also a tragic tale following the plight of doctor, Dick Diver. Jessica Biel says, “I’ve read it quite a few times and just love it. It’s tragic, and I think tragedies might be good for you: You read them and think, Maybe I’m not doing so bad—I’m doing OK!” 

tender is the night

Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling told TIME in 2013 that Interpreter of Maladies was a “life-changing read”. The actress has also previously revealed that her character on The Mindy Project, Mindy Lahiri, was named after author Jhumpa Lahiri. The book is a collection of stories about what it’s like to be forced to navigate and incorporate the Indian traditions with which they were raised and the strange, foreign new culture in which they’re now living.


Yara Shahidi

Taking to Instagram, Shahidi revealed that her AP Literature class included the 1937 Zora Neale Hurston classic, Their Eyes Were Watching God, which explores female identity and empowerment through its protagonist Janie Crawford. 


Michelle Obama

The former First Lady regularly shares what’s on her current reading list, but she did once reveal to a group of children gathered at the White House in 2011 for Take Your Child To Work Day that the first book she “ever loved” was Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison. It tells. the story of Milkman Dead, born shortly after a neighbor dies trying to fly and forever in search of the ability to fly himself.

Zoe Saldana 

Zoe Saldana’s favourite book is Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid, per Oprah MagThe book tells the story of a young woman named Lucy, who arrives in North America from the Caribbean to work as a nanny for a seemingly perfect couple. However, things aren’t as perfect as they may appear — with her employers or with herself.

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman loves Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell so much she told the Oprah website that she gave it as a present to “everyone I know for three years.” She said, “It’s six different stories told in different time periods and genres: One is historical fiction, another is a ’70s thriller mystery, the sixth is a post-apocalyptic story. It’s one of the most beautiful, entertaining, challenging books, something that takes all your attention. I think the stories are meditations on violence, specifically the necessity of violence.” 

david mitchell

Keira Knightley 

“Jeanette Winterson—The Passion is my favourite,” the actress told Glamour when asked her favourite book. The novel follows a young French soldier in the Napoleonic army during 1805 as he takes charge of Napoleon’s personal larder.

Rachel McAdams

“It’s not often that a writer makes me laugh out loud, but Sedaris does,” McAdams said of the author’s When You Are Engulfed in Flames.

david sederis

Reese Witherspoon

Since the introduction of her wildly successful book club, Reese Witherspoon undoubtedly has a few favourites to pick from. 

“I think the book that had the biggest impact on my life was Wild by Cheryl Strayed,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. “It’s the first book that I optioned to turn into a movie that I was producing and starring in. I was really nervous and I asked Cheryl if it would be okay to option her book, but I didn’t really have a track record as a producer, but she took that leap of faith with me and I’ll be forever grateful.”

Meghan Markle

Markle has previously spoken on her love of The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. “My mum gave me a copy of this book when I was 13 years old. And to this day, I constantly circle back to the Don Miguel Ruiz classic for the simplest ways to simplify your life.” Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is also a fan of this one.

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