Whether you are a seasoned reader like book club host Graham Norton or have discovered the joy of reading recently like East 17's Tony Mortimer – who read his first book over lockdown and found it so compelling he completed 70 more – choosing what to read next can be a tricky decision.
Following celebrities on social media not only brings you closer to their glamorous lifestyle but it can also provide a glimpse into the ways they spend their down-time – and plenty of stars love to share what they are reading.
'Books are the windows through which the soul looks out' so the saying goes, and there's no better way to feel closer to the celeb you admire most by picking up one of their recommended reads. Here's a few of our favourites to get you started.
The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy - recommended by Chris Hemsworth
The story of four unlikely friends who contemplate life’s most important lessons accompanied with beautiful drawings from the pen of Charlie Mackesy, The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse has captured the imagination of readers around the world. Alongside a legion of fans is Hollywood actor Chris Hemsworth who shared a picture of him with the book encouraging his followers to 'give it a read' adding the title is 'one of my favourites.'
Untamed by Glennon Doyle - recommended by Adele
Adele created a media frenzy when she opened up about the impact reading New York Times bestseller Untamed had on her life. The multi-award winning singer urged her 39million followers to ‘Do it, Read it. Live it. Practice it.’ declaring that ‘this book will shake your brain and make your soul scream.’
Glennon Doyle’s intimate memoir explores how listening to your inner voice and unleashing your wildest instincts can make real change and Adele is not the only celebrity to endorse the book. As well as being selected for Reese Witherspoon’s book club, it was spotted on Mariah Carey's pile of essential 2020 reads.
Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead - recommended by Nigella Lawson
Great Circle is the story of two women: Marian Graves, a pilot and Adventurer who embarks on her life’s dream to fly around the globe. But after crash landing she manages to write one last entry in her logbook. Half a century later, Hadley Baxter, a Hollywood starlet is drawn to play Marian and is led into discovering the deepest mysteries of the vanished pilot's life. Queen of cookery and prolific reader Nigella Lawson called Maggie Shipstead’s latest novel 'a masterpiece' and wrote 'I don’t believe in reducing a novel to its plot, but this encompasses flight, travel, adventure, identity, sexuality, family, the celebrity age - and in such beautiful writing.'
The Echo Chamber by John Boyne - recommended by Graham Norton
Chat show host and comedian Graham Norton is no stranger to a good read. A bestselling author himself (his debut novel Holding is being adapted into an eagerly awaited ITV drama) he also hosts his own book club. Taking to Twitter in May he recommended, John Boyne’s The Echo Chamber, describing it as ‘a fearless romp with big laughs along the way.’ The story follows the Cleverley family who are rich, famous and slightly dysfunctional. When chat show host and head of the family, George, begins to share his thoughts on Twitter, he unknowingly triggers the beginning of their downfall. But as Norton notes - ‘pretty sure the BBC chat show host isn’t based on me!!’
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo - recommended by Daisy Edgar Jones
Daisy Edgar Jones became an overnight sensation last year when she starred as Marianne in the BBC drama Normal People and with her legion of new followers on Instagram she shared her admiration for Girl, Women, Other by Bernadine Evaristo. 'The story takes us into multiple different perspectives, it explores race, sexuality, modern femaleness, Britishness and so much more.' wrote Daisy who also described the book as 'one of the most powerful, honest, funny and moving pieces of writing I’ve ever read.' Like other readers who may have discovered Bernardine Evaristo due to the success of her Booker winning novel, Edgar Jones said that she 'can’t wait to read the rest of her work.' And if you want to delve into more of Evaristo's writing then we have the perfect reading list to get you started.
Mr Wilder & Me by Jonathan Coe - recommended by Bob Mortimer
Most readers will relate to comedian Bob Mortimer’s feelings after finishing a good book. 'I am bereft' he said of Jonathan Coe’s latest novel 'I wanted it to go on forever.' Mr Wilder & Me is about a young woman called Clista who sets out for an adventure and finds herself working for the famous Hollywood director on an idyllic Greek island that has been turned into a film set. As Wilder’s finances dry up, Calista finds herself in Muich where she discovers the darker side of his family history. Once you've finished this thrilling page-turner you might want to share your collective grief with Bob on Twitter.
The Overstory by Richard Powers - recommended by Halle Berry
Pulitzer prize winning The Overstory by Richard Powers has fans in high places. Not only did Barack Obama share that the book had ‘changed how I thought about the Earth and our place in it' actress Halle Berry has been raving about it too. Sharing a picture of her snuggled up with her copy on Instagram Berry wrote that the story was an ‘epic - rooted in the addictive beauty of nature and the powers that bring us together in advocacy. The Overstory follows nine strangers - each summoned in different ways by trees - brought together in a last and violent stand to save the continent’s few remaining acres of virgin forest. The Hollywood star added that reading it 'will need your full attention. Let’s get lost ♥️.’
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong - recommended by Ali Wong
Written as a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read, poet Ocean Vuong’s debut novel, unearths a family’s history – from their roots in Vietnam to everything that transpires afterwards, all of which leads up to an unforgettable revelation. It’s turn-paging credentials has won fans over such as authors Marlon James and Celeste Ng as well as being a Sunday Times Bestseller. Comedian and actress Ali Wong is also a fan and shared a picture of the cover on Instgram writing that the book 'blew me away.' She even prioritised reading it over washing her hair!
Image: Alicia Fernandes. Getty Images/Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Netflix/Dimitrios Kambouris/Samir Hussein/WireImage/David M. Benett/Christopher Polk