15 Inspiring Books Celebrities Have Recommended Reading This Year

15 Inspiring Books Celebrities Have Recommended Reading This Year

Personal Growth

August 02, 2020

Want to know which books celebrities are loving this year? We searched social media for the books the biggest celebrities — including Emma Watson, Drew Barrymore, Reese Witherspoon, and Neil Patrick Harris — are devouring. If you’re trying to decide what to read next, check out these celebrity book recommendations. Who knows, maybe one of your favourite celebs can help you find the perfect novel.

"The Henna Artist" by Alka Joshi

Reese Witherspoon delighted readers everywhere when she announced her latest book club pick: "The Henna Artist". The Henna Artist follows our main character, Lakshmi who is navigating through the vibrant pink city of Jaipur in 1950s alone after escaping her abusive marriage. Soon, she becomes the most highly requested henna artist and confidant of the wealthy upper-class women.

However, one day she is confronted by her husband who tracked her down with the help of a younger sister Lakshmi never knew about. Reese said this story is so rich and complex that it captivated her from the first chapter to the final chapter.

"Untamed" by Glennon Doyle

Praised by Emma Watson, Untamed is the most revealing and untamed book of the beloved activist, speaker, and author of the best selling sensations Love Warrior and Carry On, Warrior. Untamed explores the joy and peace we discover when we stop striving to meet the expectations of the world, and start trusting the voice deep within us. Untamed shows us how to be brave. As Glennon insists: The braver we are, the luckier we get.

"How to be an Antiracist" by Ibram X. Kendi

What’s on your summer reading list?

A post shared by Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) on

Everyone's favorite, Mindy Kaling proudly shared a picture of her deeply immersed in this book on her Instagram. In How to be an Antiracist, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it. How to Be an Antiracist is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society.

"The Alchemist" by Paulo Coehlo

According to Neil Patrick Harris, The Alchemist is "... magic. It is so densely packed with the most astute, illuminating, and thought-provoking prose, but so beautifully woven together that you have no choice but to savour each message.” With a devoted following around the world, this story is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried near the Pyramids. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.

"A Prayer of Owen Meany" by John Irving

A favorite book of Amy Poehler, she says the books is "... a strange book, but it’s strange because it’s packed with so many great characters”.

Eleven-year-old Owen Meany, playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire, hits a foul ball and kills his best friend's mother. Owen doesn't believe in accidents; he believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul is both extraordinary and terrifying.

"West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life" by Jerry West and Jonathan Coleman

Lebron James doesn’t have a celebrity book club, but that doesn’t stop him from sharing his favorite recent reads. This extraordinarily candid memoir shows that behind that greatness was a man whose life was punctuated by poverty, physical abuse, the death of a beloved sibling, and an ongoing battle with depression. An extraordinary autobiography of an extraordinary man.

"Black Leopard, Red Wolf" by Marlon James

The late beloved Kobe Bryant praised James' debut, Black Leopard, Red Wolf, as "immersive and makes for a powerful story" . In the first of a trilogy, myth, fantasy, and history come together to explore what happens when a mercenary is hired to find a missing child.

Drawing from African history and mythology and his own rich imagination, Marlon James has written an adventure that's also an ambitious, involving read. Defying categorization and full of unforgettable characters, Black Leopard, Red Wolf explores the fundamentals of truths, the limits of power, the excesses of ambition, and our need to understand them all.

"Signs" by Laura Lynne Jackson

Trying to take a cute/serious pic of me cooking but then felt embarrassed so I’m using the candid where I look so happy but I really feel kinda cheesy. 😏 Anyway, I shared a few lists in my stories of things I’m watching, listening to and reading to keep me positive and help pass the time. Hope it helps you πŸ’– For music: “If the World Was Ending” - JP Saxe & Julia Michaels “You Say” - Lauren Daigle “Snowchild” - The Weeknd “The Blessing” - Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes & Elevation Worship “The Box” - Roddy Rich For movies: Invisible Man Jennifer’s Body American Hustle Uncut Gems Clueless Sugar and Spice After the Wedding Zodiac Election Flirting with Disaster For shows: The Morning Show Good Girls The Servant SNL (re-runs) The Mind Explained For books: “Becoming” - Michelle Obama “The Undocumented Americans” - Karla Cornejo Villavicencio “Signs” - Laura Lynne Jackson For podcasts: On Purpose with Jay Shetty Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me A New Earth - Oprah & Eckhart Tolle Get Sleepy For accounts to follow: @tinykitchentm @jessicayellin @selenagomez.doll @chloeiscrazy @nostalgia.video

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

Selena Gomez recently shared some books that she has been loving in quarantine. Loved by both Selena and Gwenyth Paltrow, in Signs, Jackson is able to bring the mystical into the everyday.

She relates stories of people who have experienced uncanny revelations and instances of unexplained synchronicity, as well as others drawn from her own experience. There's the lost child who appears to his mother as a deer that approaches her unhesitatingly at a highway rest stop; the name written on a dollar bill that lets a terrified wife know that her husband will be okay; the Elvis Presley song that arrives at the exact moment of Jackson's own father's passing; and many others.

"A Burning" by Meghna Majumdar

If you follow Sarah Jessica Parker on Instagram, you know she loves reading books. And recently, she has done nothing but rave about The Burning. In her own words, “I was ravenous for every word written.

I was buried in its pages and in awe of the talent laid bare. Books that end too soon. Authors we will know about and read forever.". Jivan is a Muslim girl from the slums, determined to move up in life, who is accused of executing a terrorist attack on a train because of a careless comment on Facebook.

PT Sir is an opportunistic gym teacher who hitches his aspirations to a right-wing political party, and finds that his own ascent becomes linked to Jivan's fall. Lovely--an irresistible outcast whose exuberant voice and dreams of glory fill the novel with warmth and hope and humor--has the alibi that can set Jivan free, but it will cost her everything she holds dear.

"Deacon King Kong" by James McBride

Oprah Winfrey is the mother of all celebrity book clubs. In a recent Instagram post, Oprah says, “This book is a reminder that while we struggle with pain and trauma, we can always find shelter in one another - just like the characters in this book.". In September 1969, a fumbling, cranky old church deacon known as Sportcoat shuffles into the courtyard of the Cause Houses housing project in south Brooklyn, pulls a .38 from his pocket, and in front of everybody shoots the project's drug dealer at point-blank range.

"The Breadwinner" by Deborah Ellis

The ever inspirational Malala Yousafzai loves the Breadwinner and for her, “The book tells the story of a young girls who takes on the challenge of saving her family The Breadwinners reminds us how courageous and strong women are around the world.”. the heroine of Deborah Ellis's engrossing children's novel The Breadwinner is trapped inside her family's one-room home. That is, until the Taliban hauls away her father and Parvana realizes that it's up to her to become the "breadwinner" and disguise herself as a boy to support her mother, two sisters, and baby brother. Set in the early years of the Taliban regime, this topical novel for middle readers explores the harsh realities of life for girls and women in modern-day Afghanistan.

"Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell

Natalie Portman: actress, activist, and total bookworm. She says this book was a present she gave everyone she knew for three years. Cloud Atlas begins in 1850 with Adam Ewing, an American notary voyaging from the Chatham Isles to his home in California.

Along the way, Ewing is befriended by a physician, Dr. Goose, who begins to treat him for a rare species of brain parasite. Abruptly, the action jumps to Belgium in 1931, where Robert Frobisher, a disinherited bisexual composer, contrives his way into the household of an infirm maestro who has a beguiling wife and a nubile daughter.

From there we jump to the West Coast in the 1970s and a troubled reporter named Luisa Rey, who stumbles upon a web of corporate greed and murder that threatens to claim her life. And onward, with dazzling virtuosity, to an inglorious present-day England; to a Korean superstate of the near future where neocapitalism has run amok; and, finally, to a postapocalyptic Iron Age Hawaii in the last days of history. But the story doesn’t end even there.

"Shawshank Redemption" by Stephen King

This great terrifying, tension, and nerve-tingling horror master is loved by Zoe Saldana. According to her, “This story has one of the most amazing endings. I cried for three days after I read it.”. In The Shawshank Redemption, a man convicted of bloody murder lives in a prison brutally ruled by a sadistic warden and secretly run by a con who knows all the ropes and pulls all the strings. He has more brains than anyone else in this sinister slammer, and a diabolically cunning plan of revenge that no one can guess until it's far too late.

"When You Are Engulfed in Flames" by David Sedaris

This hilarious book is loved by Rachel McAdams who said “It’s not often that a writer makes me laugh out loud, but Sedaris does. He brings me to tears.” It's early autumn 1964. Two straight-A students head off to school, and when only one of them returns home Chesney Yelverton is coaxed from retirement and assigned to what proves to be the most difficult and deadly - case of his career. Master of nothing, at the dead center of his game, Sedaris proves that when you play with matches, you sometimes light the whole pack on fire.

"Still Life With Woodpecker" by Tom Robbins

A favorite read of Drew Barrymore, “A Love story that is filled with poetic analogy. This man speaks in strange and delicious descriptions” Still Life with Woodpecker is a sort of a love story that takes place inside a pack of Camel cigarettes. It reveals the purpose of the moon, explains the difference between criminals and outlaws, examines the conflict between social activism and romantic individualism, and paints a portrait of contemporary society that includes powerful Arabs, exiled royalty, and pregnant cheerleaders. It also deals with the problem of redheads.

Find something you might pick up later? Hey, if you like their work, you can trust their taste, right?

Vama Suvani
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Writer since Jul, 2020 Β· 11 published articles

Vama Suvani is a university student whose interest lies in English literature. She writes articles and poems on a variety of topics. Vama loves to read books and documents her feelings on them in different media outlets.