17 Books Recommended by Your Favorite Celebrities
When we’re looking for a fresh read or a new book club pick, we often turn to celebrity books. Yes, we mean books written by celebrities, but we also mean books recommended by celebrities. A lot of your favorite stars are bookworms, constantly sharing their favorite recent reads in interviews and on social media. Many have even read for audiobooks. And with the rise of celebrity book clubs like Reese Witherspoon’s book club run by Hello Sunshine (not to mention the original celebrity book club queen, Oprah), their picks are more on display than ever.
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There’s something extra special about reading celebrity book recommendations. When your favorite A-lister suggests a title, reading it makes you feel closer to them, like you have something in common or share a best-kept secret. And hey: If you ever get the chance to meet them in real life, you’ll have a built-in conversation starter. Thank them for the great book recommendation, and you’re golden.
We scoured the internet to find celebrity favorite books that we think you’ll love. From gripping fiction and moving memoirs to laugh-out-loud-funny essay collections, if you’re looking for a new read, you can’t go wrong with these celebrity book recommendations—they're all stars.—Elizabeth Entenman
Meghan Markle: The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Duchess of Sussex is everyone’s style obsession. Unfortunately for all of us common folk, royal custom prevents Markle from continuing to document her life on her former blog, The Tig. Before the site disappeared from cyberspace after her royal nuptials, Markle wrote about all kinds of lifestyle topics, from cooking to books. One common thread among Markle’s book choices is spirituality and thought. In particular, she said she was “obsessed” with Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s existentialist classic The Little Prince.
To buy: $11, amazon.com.
Reese Witherspoon: The Cactus, by Sarah Haywood
When it comes to celebrity book recommendations, Reese Witherspoon is one of the first people to come to mind. She’s always one step ahead of us in finding the best new books—and often adapts them into movies and TV shows. Her book club, run by Hello Sunshine, has over a million followers on Instagram for a reason. We especially loved one of her latest picks, The Cactus, a quirky novel about a rather prickly woman who finds herself pregnant and stuck in a love triangle at age 45.
To buy: $13, amazon.com.
Jennifer Garner: A Place for Us, by Fatima Farheen Mirza
If you follow Jennifer Garner on Instagram, you know she loves to read children’s books with her sweet golden retriever Birdie and her late chicken Regina George. (Sometimes she reads them to her homemade bagels while they’re in the oven, too.) So, it should come as no surprise that Garner also has great taste in fiction for adults. Last year, she recommended Farheen Mirza’s debut novel (which also made Real Simple’s list of the best books of the year) about a Muslim-American family, which she called “beautiful.”
To buy: $12; amazon.com.
Gabrielle Union: Becoming, by Michelle Obama
When First Lady Michelle Obama published her memoir in November 2018, it became an instant bestseller. Months later, people are still talking about it. Actress and author Gabrielle Union praised FLOTUS for getting deeply personal about her upbringing, career, and time living in the White House. “This book will change lives and encourage us to enjoy the freedom that being transparent and candid allows,” Union wrote on Instagram. It’s true: Obama left it all on the page.
To buy: $18, amazon.com.
America Ferrera: The Art of Gathering, by Priya Parker
Actress and author America Ferrera took to Instagram to recommend Priya Parker’s The Art of Gathering, a guide to creating more meaningful, memorable experiences, whether at a buttoned-up conference with colleagues or a relaxed dinner party among friends (read what one Real Simple writer learned from Parker’s book). And Ferrera’s not the only one: The book also received high praise from both Deepak Chopra and Seth Godin.
To buy: $19, amazon.com.
Megan Mullally: Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered, by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark
Megan Mullally doesn’t have a celebrity book club, but that doesn’t stop her from sharing her favorite recent reads. In March, she posted on Instagram that she’s “been reading like someone possessed” and recommended Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered, the book of essays from “My Favorite Murder” podcast hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. That’s quite some high praise from Mullally, a bestselling author herself who co-wrote The Greatest Love Story Ever Told (amazon.com) in 2018, an oral history of her relationship with husband Nick Offerman.
To buy: $15, amazon.com.
Yara Shahidi: When They Call You a Terrorist, by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele
Yara Shahidi: actress, model, activist, and total bookworm. In January, she praised When They Call You a Terrorist, a memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele, the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement. It tells the story of their lives and experiences leading up to and after the movement. It’s not an easy read; it’s heartbreaking, but that’s what makes it so necessary.
To buy: $12, amazon.com.
Mindy Kaling: This Will Only Hurt a Little, by Busy Phillips
Mindy Kaling is no stranger to good writing. An author herself, Kaling has two books under her belt (her 2011 memoir Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and her 2015 follow-up, Why Not Me?) in addition to writing credits on The Office, The Mindy Project, and more. So when Kaling touts another celebrity’s book, we know it has to be a good one. Kaling has praised actress Busy Phillips’s memoir, This Will Only Hurt a Little. In the book, Phillips, who is known for her roles on Freaks and Geeks and Dawson’s Creek, recounts her early life and career.
To buy: $18, amazon.com.
Sarah Jessica Parker: She Would Be King, by Wayetu Moore
Sarah Jessica Parker has some serious literary cred: In 2018, she deputed the first book in her publishing imprint at Hogarth (A Place for Us, by Fatima Farheen Mirza), and she’s constantly posting what she’s reading on Instagram. She has also partnered with the American Library Association serving as honorary chair of their Book Club Central. One of her best picks has been She Would Be King, by Wayetu Moore. This historical novel reimagines the creation of Liberia in magical realist splendor.
To buy: $17, amazon.com.
Oprah Winfrey: The Sun Does Shine, by Anthony Ray Hinton
Oprah Winfrey is the mother of all celebrity book clubs. She started her book club in 1996 on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and even though her show ended its run in 2011, she has continued her book club online as Oprah’s Book Club 2.0. One of our favorite picks, The Sun Does Shine, by Anthony Ray Hinton, is about justice and redemption. In it, Hinton details his own time spent on death row in Alabama for a crime he didn’t commit.
To buy: $16, amazon.com.
Tom Hanks: A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
Tom Hanks has long been among the literary Hollywood set. Many of his iconic roles have been in movies based on books, like Forest Gump and Apollo 13. Hanks even used his Space Race obsession as the basis for “Alan Bean Plus Four,” his short story that was published in The New Yorker in 2014 and included in his short story collection, Uncommon Type: Some Stories. When Vulture asked Hanks to name his top 10 favorite books, he recommended the novel A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles. A meticulous novel, as intricate as a Fabergé egg, A Gentleman in Moscow recounts the passage of time in Moscow’s famed Metropol Hotel after the Russian Revolution.
To buy: $18, amazon.com.
Amber Tamblyn: American Like Me, by America Ferrera
Actress, poet, and vocal feminist Amber Tamblyn is an author herself and her writing has clear roots in a love of reading. In the past, she has plugged friend America Ferrera’s essay collection, American Like Me, which features stories from 31 actors, artists, writers, and others about being raised between different cultures.
To buy: $17, amazon.com.
Emma Watson: Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier
You probably know Emma Watson as the bookish Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies. Though Watson may not know how to work literal magic, she and her character do share one thing in common: their love of books. Watson has launched a movement to hide books all over the world and has also started a feminist book club on Goodreads called Our Shared Shelf, which previous recommended Daphne du Maurier’s classic novel of suspense, Rebecca.
To buy: $11; amazon.com.
Olivia Wilde: The Circle, Dave Eggers
After starring in George Orwell’s 1984 as her Broadway debut, it comes as no surprise that Olivia Wilde recommended The Circle, a dystopian novel by Dave Eggers, on her Instagram account. “This book is SO GOOD and SO SCARY my hair is simultaneously trying to attack and escape,” she wrote. This enthralling novel follows Mae Holland as she begins working for the Circle, a major internet company based in California, with the motto, “Privacy is theft. Secrets are lies.” As she gets deeper into the company culture, Mae yields to its demand for complete transparency, and the effects may just make you wary of your social media accounts.
To buy: $11; amazon.com.
Kristen Bell: The Mindful Mom-to-Be, Lori Bregman
Kristen Bell is full of sage (and realistic) parenting advice, so when she recommends a parenting book, we know it will be full of smart ideas that are actually achievable. has recommended this read by Lori Bregman, the doula who helped her deliver her second child, her daughter Delta. This book for expecting moms includes all of the health information and labor techniques you’d expect, as well as spiritual and emotional exercises to prepare for motherhood and the big changes that lie ahead. Add this read to your list of brilliant baby shower gifts.
To buy: $14; amazon.com.
Ina Garten: Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson
While you might assume that all Ina Garten reads are cookbooks, the chef and popular TV show shared in the podcast How to Be Amazing, that she recommends Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. “I get up in the middle of the night to read it,” Garten said. “It’s just wonderful.” The popular biography follows Jobs’ life, from his youth through the success he found as a co-founder of Apple. Both engaging and incredibly accurate (most of the book is based on more than forty interviews held between Isaacson and Jobs), this biography is definitely a must-read.
To buy: $20; amazon.com.
Kristin Davis: A Path Appears, Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
Former Sex and the City star Kristin Davis is known for giving back through her position as a UN Human Rights Council Goodwill Ambassador, so it’s not surprising that the books she likes are also about doing good in the world. When A Path Appears was released in 2014, she went to one of the stops on the book tour and got her copy signed. This title is a collection of stories of real-life people working to make a difference in the world, both at home and abroad.
To buy: $13; amazon.com.