Generally, we’re against typecasting in Hollywood, but when it means casting a woman who hands out book recommendations like they’re licorice wands as both Harry Potter’s secret weapon Hermione Granger and bookworm Belle in Disney’s upcoming live-action, Beauty and the Beast, we’re pretty okay with that! Emma Watson, movie star and gender equality warrior, has never been shy about her love for books, and we’re all better off for it. Here are twelve fascinating reads she’s recommended in various interviews over the years.
1,2, and 3: Literally Everything by Cheryl Strayed
In early 2015, Emma cozied up in a comfortable chair for several weeks and tore through most of the works by Wild author Cheryl Strayed. So enraptured was she by the tough, raw writing, that she took to Twitter to sing its praises.
4. Just Kids by Patti Smith Emma loved this memoir so much, she spoke about it in interviews in 2011, 2012, and 2013. In an interview with Savoir Flair in 2012, she even gave the memoir, which chronicles songwriter Smith’s relationship with artist Robert Mapplethorpe, the ultimate reader compliment, saying, “I have had Patti Smith’s Just Kids on my bedside forever.” 5. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Kalhed Hosseini
Want to know if you’re reading the right books? Check with human rights activist Malala Yousafzai. In an interview with Malala, Watson questioned her on what she’s reading, and they both agreed they loved this recent novel by the author of The Kite Runner, another best-seller. Really, can you ask for a better team to recommend books?
6. Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaria
This debut novel, which follows a teen girl who writes letters to dead celebrities, caught Emma’s attention in 2014; she wrote a brief love letter of her own to the first-time author.
7. The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johanson Another debut novel, this one pulled Emma back into the world of fantasy franchises, despite swearing she’d never go back. She recently announced she’ll be executive producing and starring in an adaptation of this female-friendly fantasy.
8. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
About this controversial novel on self-determination, Emma told Marie Claire, “I know, it’s a cult. I’m not going to take it too far, but I did enjoy it.” Emma seems to be a rather determined human rights activist, so we’re going to chalk this one up to opposition research.
We all have guilty pleasures, things we read even though we know they aren’t changing the face of literature. In 2009, Emma admitted the paranormal teen romance was one of her addictions. As reported in Business Insider, she once told Elle UK “This is so sad, but I literally felt depressed when I finished reading them because I thought, ‘Oh my God, what am I going to do now?'”
(Images via Warner Bros and Flickr Creative Commons.)