20 Great Celebrity Book Recommendations

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Liberty Hardy

Senior Contributing Editor

Liberty Hardy is an unrepentant velocireader, writer, bitey mad lady, and tattoo canvas. Turn-ons include books, books and books. Her favorite exclamation is “Holy cats!” Liberty reads more than should be legal, sleeps very little, frequently writes on her belly with Sharpie markers, and when she dies, she’s leaving her body to library science. Until then, she lives with her three cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon, in Maine. She is also right behind you. Just kidding! She’s too busy reading. Twitter: @MissLiberty

Celebrities: they’re just like us! I have to admit to not knowing a lot about most of today’s celebrities, or what the celebrities I do know are up to these days. Mostly because I spend all my time with my face in a book or yelling at people for trip-trapping on my bridge. I am an old. But one thing that does catch my eye, and the eye of many book lovers, are celebrity book recommendations.

Because I do follow a lot of authors and publishers online, I see a lot of posts featuring celebrities with their books. My first reaction is to be so happy for the author! Because nothing sells books like a celebrity endorsement, intentional or not. (For example, Nicole Richie shared a whole bunch of titles she recently loved!)

Thanks to the power of social media, we can learn what a lot of celebrities are reading. And not just Oprah or Reese Witherspoon, whose picks for their celebrity book clubs are always fantastic for book sales. Do you know what your favorite celebrities like to read? Finding out about celebrity book picks is a great way to learn about more great books. Here are 20 recent book recommendations from some of the more bookish celebrities online.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Lupita Nyong’o

Actress Nyong’o loves this novel about two young Nigerians lovers trying to make their way apart in the U.S. and the UK so much, she agreed to star in the upcoming HBO adaptation. (She also released her first book in 2019: the children’s book Sulwe.)

Tonight I’m Someone Else by Chelsea Hodson

Kendall Jenner

Hodson got a wonderful surprise—and a huge boost in sales—when model, businesswoman, and reality star Jenner shared an Instagram story of her currents reads, including a copy of Hodson’s recent collection of essays.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Ali Wong

Actress and comedian Wong recently said she gifts Lee’s novel about a Korean family in Japan to “so many people.” She herself also had her first book released last year: Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets & Advice for Living Your Best Life.


Creatures: A Novel by Crissy Van Meter

Emma Roberts

Actress Roberts has an online book club with her friend Karah Preiss called Belletrist. Their January pick is Van Meter’s coming-of-age novel about a young woman whose mother returns after abandoning her and her father years before.

Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For by Susan Rice

Shonda Rimes

Rhimes, the writer and multi-award winning creator and showrunner of several series, paused for a moment to give an online boost to this memoir by the National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

fierce femmes and notorious liars cover imageFierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl’s Confabulous Memoir by Kai Cheng Thom

Emma Watson

Actress Watson, who has starred in several literary adaptations including The Circle, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Little Women, and Harry Potter, is also a huge reader. She supports literacy, runs a book club, and donates books. Her recent pick is this coming-of-age novel of a young Asian trans girl.

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Barack Obama

Every year, the 44th President of the United States shares a year-end wrap up of the things he’s enjoyed, and among the many books he listed for 2019 is Evaristo’s Booker Prize-winning novel about modern Britain and womanhood.

barracoonBarracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” by Zora Neale Hurston


The legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist and actor added author to his list of jobs in 2019 with his memoir Acid for the Children. He also mentioned several books he enjoyed, including the recently published lost manuscript by Hurston, one of America’s most influential writers.

She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey

Mindy Kaling

Actress, writer, and producer Kaling, no stranger to publishing books herself, recently endorsed this hard-hitting book about the journalists who broke the story that helped launch the #MeToo movement.

Golden Child by Claire Adams

Sarah Jessica Parker

Parker, who can currently be seen on HBO’s Divorce, also has her own imprint with Hogarth Books, SJP for Hogarth. She recently took to Instagram to celebrate the paperback release of one of her titles, Adam’s affecting novel about a family in Trinidad.

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

Kerry Washington

Washington, who is currently starring in the adaptation of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere with fellow book lover Reese Witherspoon, took the time to share her love for Cameron’s classic book about creativity.

Legends of the Fall by Jim Harrison

Andrew Luck

Luck, a former American NFL quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, runs his own book club. His pick for January is Harrison’s classic about three brothers in the early 20th century.

Excuse Me: Cartoons, Complaints, and Notes to Self by Liana Finck

Jenny Slate

Slate, who has several books under her belt including Marcel the Shell and 2019’s Little Weirds, endorsed this collection by acclaimed New Yorker cartoonist Finck.

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Bill Gates

Billionaire Gates often releases a list of five books he loved each year, and while many of them are usually nonfiction, 2019’s list included this multi-award-winning novel about a young couple ripped apart by a wrongful conviction.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Antoni Porowski

The Queer Eye chef recently shared several books he enjoyed in 2019, including this heavy-hitter about four college friends, which he claims “changed me forever and has had a profound effect on anyone I know who’s read it.”

Embrace Your Weird: Face Your Fears and Unleash Creativity by Felicia Day

Mayam Bialik

Bialik, a star of such hit shows as Blossom and The Big Bang Theory, shared her love of another celebrity’s book recently: this memoir-slash-self-help title by Felicia Day about letting your freak flag fly.

The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters by Priya Parker

Sophia Bush

Actress, activist, director, and producer Bush endorsed Parker’s book about human contact, gatherings, and the importance of in-person interactions.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Rachael Ray

Celebrity chef Ray called former First Lady Obama’s memoir one of her favorite books of 2019, and even had the honor of an evening in conversation with her to discuss it.

Know My Name cover imageKnow My Name: A Memoir by Chanel Miller

Amber Tamblyn

American actress, writer, and director Tamblyn (who was in one of my favorite canceled shows, The Unusuals, which I am still not over) shared a photo recently of herself with Miller to promote Miller’s important memoir in which she revealed herself as Jane Doe in the Stanford sexual assault case.

Do You Mind If I Cancel? (Things That Still Annoy Me) by Gary Janetti

Adam Rippon

Rippon, who is the first openly gay U.S. male athlete to win a medal in a Winter Olympics and also winner of season 26 of Dancing with the Stars, claims you should read Janetti’s collection of essays if you enjoy laughing out loud in public places.

And don’t forget, if you want a really great way to find books you’ll enjoy, sign up for Book Riot’s TBR subscription service to receive personalized recommendations tailored to your tastes. Who knows, you may wind up with me as your bibliologist!

Book Riot's TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations