By Araya Aryono

Runway To Library: The Literary Lives Of Supermodels And Celebrities

Long gone are the days of bookish, nerdy-looking readers.
celebrity book recommendations, dua lipa

Today’s book lovers are among the most beautiful; no longer content with simply gracing the covers of magazines and strutting down the catwalks, celebrities are turning to literature to showcase their intellectual side. While celebrity book clubs have been around for decades—Oprah Winfrey started hers in the late ’90s, and Reese Witherspoon built a literary empire with Hello Sunshine—there has been a recent uptick in this trend. From Kendall Jenner to Kaia Gerber and Dakota Johnson, literary chic is the hottest fashion trend sweeping through the celebrity circuit. Whether it’s dropping excerpts from classic novels into their Instagram captions or curating highlight reels of their favourite reads, celebrities have begun a movement to aestheticise book reading and are making a strong case for the power of books.

Gerber, for instance, has taken her literary love affair to new heights. What started as a pandemic passion project in 2020, with her hosting weekly casual Instagram lives to discuss her favourite books, has blossomed into a full-fledged book club complete with its own dedicated website. Gerber’s club, named “Library Science,” has become a beacon for fashion enthusiasts and bibliophiles alike, blending the worlds of haute couture and high literature. Another notable foray into the literary world includes Emily Ratajkowski’s New York Times bestseller, My Body.

It’s worth pondering: Should we truly be taking book recommendations from celebrities? Yet, regardless of whether you’re swayed by the allure of celebrity culture or genuinely intrigued by their literary tastes, one undeniable truth emerges: anything that encourages anyone to read is undeniably a positive force.

As we delve into six book picks of these style-savvy readers, let this be a reminder that sometimes, the best accessory is your brain.

Celebrity Book Recommendations: From Reese Witherspoon, Kaia Gerber, and More

Memory Piece By Lisa Ko — Emma Roberts’ Pick

Photo: Instagram / @belletrist

Memory Piece is a captivating tale following Giselle Chin, Jackie Ong, and Ellen Ng, three teenagers bonded by their desire for a different future. As they navigate adulthood, their dreams shift amidst the challenges of performance art, tech entrepreneurship, and community activism. Moving through decades, from the 1980s to a strikingly imagined 2040s, this story explores friendship, evolving definitions of success, and the realities of the world.

Where The Crawdads Sing By Delia Owens — Reese Witherspoon’s Pick

celebrity book recommendations, reese witherspoon
Photo: Instagram / @reesesbookclub

Reese Witherspoon, known for bringing her favourite books to life on screen, has championed Where the Crawdads Sing among her top picks. This captivating murder mystery follows Kya (short for Catherine), a quiet and reserved aspiring illustrator. Set in the marshes of North Carolina, the story unravels as Kya strives to clear her name in the murder case of Chase Andrews, the town’s golden boy.

Blue Nights By Joan Didion — Kaia Gerber’s Pick

Photo: Instagram / @kaiagerber

Joan Didion is a favourite of Kaia Gerber’s (and apparently, her pup!), frequently making appearances in her book club. In Blue Nights, true to her style, Didion doesn’t lecture, preach, or assert absolute truths. She instead delves into her life experiences with her characteristic intelligence, emotional brevity, and searing honesty. In Blue Nights, she writes about losing a daughter, her doubts about having children, and life with her husband. Blue Nights feels almost too personal to read, making it no surprise that it is a favourite of Gerber’s.

Crying In H Mart By Michelle Zauner — Dua Lipa’s Pick

celebrity book recommendations, dua lipa
Photo: Instagram / @service95

A popular read among many Asians moving out from home, Crying in H Mart is a cathartic journey through grief, heartbreak, and life. Michelle Zauner captivates readers (including Dua Lipa) with her memoir about growing up Korean American, losing her mother, and forging her own identity.

The Year Of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion — Kendall Jenner’s pick

celebrity book recommendations, kendall jenner
Photo: Instagram / @kendalljenner

Dubbed the prequel to Blue Nights and considered Joan Didion’s magnum opus, The Year of Magical Thinking is a poignant memoir about loss and grief. It tells the deeply personal story of Didion’s experiences with her daughter’s life-threatening illnesses and the death of her husband.

An American Marriage By Tayari Jones — Sarah Jessica Parker’s Pick

celebrity book recommendations, sjp, sarah jessica parker
Photo: Instagram / @sjplit

An American Marriage follows newlyweds Roy and Celestial when Roy is sentenced to 12 years in jail for a crime he did not commit. A powerful, subtle, and morose tale about the criminal justice system in America, it explores the personal and long-term consequences of its injustices.

This story first appeared on GRAZIA Singapore.