Hollywood Book Club

Hollywood Book Club

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Movie stars don’t just read scripts. Here, the favorite books of 20 past and present Silver Screen legends—including Gregory Peck, Marlon Brando, and Marilyn Monroe.

Animal FarmGeorge Orwell 

“I was at an age when it either kind of hooked you in or it didn’t…[I liked] George Orwell, I suppose….Animal Farm, Homage to Catalonia. I liked all his stuff. I read Animal Farm when I was 11, and it remained my favorite book, really.” —MARTIN FREEMAN, 2005 interview with The Washington Post

The Little PrinceAntoine de Saint-Exupéry 

“What is essential is invisible to the eye.” —JAMES DEAN’s favorite line, as written on his memorial plaque by close friend William E. Burt

Banker To The PoorMuhammad Yunus 

“This is the autobiography of a man I admire tremendously. He was an economics professor in Bangladesh during the 1970s famine, and he felt sick to his stomach that he was teaching economic theories while passing dead bodies in the street. So he dismantled his curriculum and encouraged his students to go out with him to the poorer districts to understand what kept people impoverished. He eventually loaned $27 from his own pocket to 42 stool makers. He told banking officials that if you take somebody’s life and possibility of a future as a form of collateral, it will be much more valuable than traditional collateral. He was right. Grameen Bank, which he established, has given out $6.3 billion worth of loans, and they have a 98 percent return rate, higher than many other loans. But what I loved about Yunus is that he wanted to be a teacher, but he couldn’t turn away from what he saw. The universe or God or whatever you want to call it is giving us signs all the time about which way to go, and Yunus followed them. In doing so, he’s revolutionized the world, creating one of the most practical and lasting solutions to poverty.” —HUGH JACKMAN, 2007 interview with O, The Oprah Magazine

The FountainheadAyn Rand 

“I would just love to do it, because I understand this woman.” —BARBARA STANWYCK to author Ayn Rand, asking for the role of Dominique in the 1949 film

The Rum DiaryHunter S. Thompson

“You can tell in one sentence if what you’re reading is by Thompson. You read a Thompson book because of his voice. He’s always getting wrecked in San Juan and reporting on cockfights. He’s just hilarious.” —JENNIFER LAWRENCE, 2012 interview with O, The Oprah Magazine

Wuthering Heights Complete Text with ExtrasEmily Bronte 

“I had to read Wuthering Heights for English and I never enjoyed a book in all my life as much as that one.” —MARLON BRANDO, in his 1995 memoir

A Thousand AcresJane Smiley

“I just love this book. When I was halfway through it—right around when one of the three daughters tries to talk to her father and he goes out into a storm—I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is King Lear.’ I was so impressed with how Smiley was able to take such a classic tale and put it in rural 20th-century Iowa. It’s beautiful, it’s crushing, it’s everything King Lear is—and it’s effortless. I was blown away by the imagination, intellect and talent it must have taken to do that.” —PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN, 2006 interview with O, The Oprah Magazine

To Kill A MockingbirdHarper Lee

“When I was younger I read To Kill a Mockingbird and I heard a earthslide: it was the first time I met such determinate female protagonist. I did even called one of my dogs Radley, from the Boo Radley character (she even has a dog she named Chaplin as a cinematic like she is). I do read the book again as soon as I’ve some time, and I suggest it to others.” —JESSICA CHASTAIN, 2012 Marie Claireinterview

The Adventures of Huckleberry FinnMark Twain

“What can I say? I remember reading it in school, and it was one of the first books that made me realize I loved reading. There’s something about traveling down the river—the flow—and how he made me see and smell the environment. It really transported me to a different time.” —BRADLEY COOPER, 2012 interview with The Daily Beast

American CaesarWilliam Manchester

“As a boy I dreamed of being a great general — I think most boys do…MacArthur was his own man, a nonconformist, a complex man who made his own rules” —GREGORY PECK, Gregory Peck: A Charmed Life

Prodigal SummerBarbara Kingsolver 

“I absolutely fell in love with this book. I don’t think I got out of bed for three days — I was just eating it up. My favorite story line was the one between Deanna and Eddie Bondo. I found that totally hot. It was one of the hottest love stories I’ve ever read.” —RACHEL MCADAMS, 2009 Marie Claire interview

The Diary of a Young GirlAnne Frank 

“I read it, and it destroyed me. I was not reading it as a book, as printed pages. This was my life…I’ve never been the same again, it affected me so deeply.” —AUDREY HEPBURN, Audrey Hepburn: A Biography

The AlchemistPaulo Coelho

“Paulo Coelho in The Alchemist, which is my favorite book, he talks about the whole of the universe, and it’s contained in one grain of sand. For years I’ve been saying that, and now it’s really starting to expose itself to me. My own grain of sand has been story. The next 10 years will be my peak of innovation in filmmaking and just as a human being.” —WILL SMITH, 2008 interview with USA Today

HamletWilliam Shakespeare

“Clark grew to love Shakespeare, and later in his life he still liked to recite long passages from Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet” —CLARK GABLE, Clark Gable: Biography, Filmography, Bibliography

The Master and MargaritaMikhail Bulgakov

The Master and Margarita is my favorite, favorite book in the world ever by Mikhail. To me it’s the greatest exploration of the human imagination, and it’s about forgiveness and life and history, and it’s just the most incredible book that I’ve ever read; I read it once and then I read it almost immediately again.” —DANIEL RADCLIFFE, 2011 interview with Scholastic

The Blackboard Jungle

Evan Hunter 319 pages | 1954

“Producer Pandro Berman read a synopsis of the forthcoming Evan Hunter novel The Blackboard Jungle…[Poitier] got a copy that afternoon, took it home, and began reading. He read all night. The graphic story of delinquents in an urban high school intrigued him” —SIDNEY POITIER, Sidney Poitier: Man, Actor, Icon

Therese RaquinEmile Zola

“An ex-boyfriend and I used to go to breakfast every Sunday…Afterward we’d go into this enormous bookstore, and we’d have to buy the other person a book…One day he picked up a copy of Thérèse Raquin, and I thought, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me’. But he said, ‘This is one of the most extraordinary love stories ever written.’ And that book, which is one of the five that changed my life, has never left me.” —KATE WINSLET, 2008 interview with O, The Oprah Magazine

The African QueenC.S. Forester

“One day Sam Spiegel sent me the book by C.S. Forester. I read it. What a story! I was thrilled [by it].” —KATHARINE HEPBURN, Me: Stories of My Life

The Wizard of OzL. Frank Baum 

“I was in a need of money at the time, and my agent called. I said ‘Yes?’ and he said ‘Maggie, they want you to play a part on the Wizard.’ I said to myself, ‘Oh Boy, The Wizard of Oz! That has been my favorite book since I was four.’ And I asked him what part, and he said ‘The Witch’ and I said ‘The Witch!’ and he said ‘What else?'” —MARGARET HAMILTON, The Wizard of Oz DVD commentary

Wuthering HeightsEmily Bronte & Tracy Dockray

“I had to read Wuthering Heights for English and I never enjoyed a book in all my life as much as that one.” —MARLON BRANDO, in his 1995 memoir

Kelly Gallucci
Far too busy rereading the Harry Potter series, Kelly finds that her greatest literary sin is that she neglected to read classics like The Shining and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. In between overseeing the editorial content for Bookish, holding interviews with authors like Isaac Marion and Lauren Beukes, and creating book recommendations for Kanye West—Kelly’s trying to catch up on the books she missed out on. She just finished The Great Gatsby and might be in love with Fitzg. Kelly received her B.A. in English Writing from Marist College and her M.A. in Screenwriting from National University of Ireland, Galway.

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