11 Celebrity-approved Books to Read This Fall
When we’re searching for a new book or a fresh read to add to our book club’s lineup, we sometimes ask authors for their picks or poll our fellow editors on their all-time favorites. But this time around, we turned to celebrities for the books they just can’t put down. Whether recommended on social media or praised in an interview, these are the books touted by some of the most beloved actresses and TV personalities—and who better to recommend a good story than those who grace our screens big and small? From Reese Witherspoon’s book club pick, to the book Kristen Bell suggests all expecting moms read, the roundup includes gripping novels, a fascinating biography, and a book of poetry. You can’t go wrong with any of these 11 books—they’re all stars.
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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 January. “This book is SO GOOD and SO SCARY my hair is simultaneously trying to attack and escape,” she writes in the caption on the post. 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. In 2015, Bell 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. “The Mindful Mom-to-Be is just like having Lori by your side, supporting you throughout your journey into parenthood,” said Kristen Bell in her review of the book. Add this read to your list of brilliant baby shower gifts.
To buy: $14; amazon.com.
Mindy Kaling: In Other Words, Jhumpa Lahiri
If you don’t already know who Mindy Kaling’s favorite author is, let the full name of her character on The Mindy Project give you a clue: Mindy Lahiri. That’s right, Kaling named the character after Jhumpa Lahiri, she revealed to TIME. A diehard fan of Lahiri’s work, Kaling reads each new book the week it comes out. She also said that Interpreter of Maladies changed her life, while, on Twitter, she refers to In Other Words as a “literary mic drop.” An autobiographical work, the book explores the process of learning another language during a time when the writer decided to move her family to Rome and talk and write exclusively in Italian. For anyone who’s ever experienced the transformative power of a second (or third, or fourth) language, this is a must-read.
To buy: $17; 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 host recently 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.
Reese Witherspoon: Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng
Reese Witherspoon is known for her ability to spot amazing stories, including planning to turn Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl into a movie even before the manuscript was published, so we know her page-turning picks will hold our attention until the last sentence. So when she announced her latest book club selection on Instagram in September with high praise for Little Fires Everywhere, we took note. “To say I love this book is an understatement. It’s a deep psychological mystery about the power of motherhood, the intensity of teenage love, and the danger of perfection. It moved me to tears,” she wrote. In this enthralling novel, a single mother and her daughter move into a well-planned suburb of Cleveland and end up disrupting the seemingly perfect Richardson family.
To buy: $16; amazon.com.
Oprah Winfrey: The Seat of the Soul, Gary Zukav
While Oprah has recommended countless books over the years and her praise has jettisoned many a read to the bestseller list, she revealed during a graduation speech at Skidmore College this spring that The Seat of the Soul profoundly changed her life and her career. When she was just a few years into her TV show, Oprah read this book and the idea that every thought, feeling, and action is motivated by intention had a profound impact. Call it an “aha! moment,” but she realized that she had to start letting intention guide her decisions, rather than always doing what would please others. If Oprah’s experience is any proof of the power of intention, it’s safe to say it’s pretty influential.
To buy: $12; amazon.com.
Emma Roberts: Touch, Courtney Maum
This spring, Emma Roberts launched her new book club, Belletrist (which you can follow on the official site or via Instagram), and her latest pick is Touch by Courtney Maum. “It's the story of Sloane Jacobsen, a trend forecaster, and her struggle to figure out the important difference between human instinct and technology. I think we can all relate to this one. I can't wait to talk about it with all you amazing #belletristbabes,” she shared in an Instagram post this June. As a foreseer of such major tech trends as “the swipe,” Jacobsen can predict the future, yet as technology starts to take over our lives, she can’t help but see signs of an anti-electronics, pro-people counter movement. Too bad this is the opposite of what the tech company that’s hired her would like her to predict.
To buy: $17; amazon.com.
Sarah Jessica Parker: Dunbar, Edward Aubyn
Sarah Jessica Parker is a known bookworm who constantly posts what she’s currently reading on Instagram. This novel was one of her picks for a beach read this summer. It’s a modern reimagining of Shakespeare’s King Lear that tells the story of Henry Dunbar, the former head of a global corporation who gives control of the business to his daughters. But when familial relationships turn sour, Dunbar struggles to regain control of what was once his. This masterful retelling is filled with the same drama and tragedy as Shakespeare’s original play.
To buy: $22; amazon.com.
Mandy Moore: Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
When Gone Girl became a bestseller in 2012, many book clubs added it to their reading lists, including Mandy Moore’s. She even tweeted to fellow book club member Hillary Kerr, “I finished it last weekend—so good!!” For those who haven’t read it (or seen the movie), the heart-racing thriller takes place on the fifth wedding anniversary of Amy and Nick Dunne, a seemingly perfect couple. But when Amy vanishes, friends and family start pointing their fingers at Nick. Why would he want his wife dead? And is he even capable of murder? Full of plot twists, this page-turner will keep you guessing.
To buy: $10; 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.
Alexis Bledel: Dark Sparkler, Amber Tamblyn
In 2015, Gilmore Girls star Alexis Bledel posted an Instagram supporting the release of her Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants co-star Amber Tamblyn’s book of poetry. “Haven’t you read it yet? What are you waiting for?” Bledel wrote. “A touching compilation of poems. That will make you cry, even smile.” In Dark Sparkler, Tamblyn writes more than 25 honest and heartbreaking poems about famous actresses who passed away before their time, including Brittany Murphy and Marilyn Monroe.
To buy: $11; amazon.com.