With the Oscar nominations being announced this morning, we thought we’d turn to favorite books from our favorite actresses, including Oscar nominees Cate Blanchett and J-Law, for our list of reading recommendations this awards season. As it turns out, these ladies aren’t just matinee idols—they’ve got great taste in literature and frequently look for inspiration from their favorite books.
Here are eight favorite books from eight of our favorite actresses, including Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Poehler, Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore, Kate Winslet, Kerry Washington, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Julia Roberts. Oh, and ladies, consider this slideshow an informal invitation to join our book club anytime.
The hard-to-hate Hunger Games über-star Jennifer Lawrence loves Salinger's Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour. "I'm so drawn to Salinger's view of society back then, and to his sarcasm," she told CNN. "I read Catcher in the Rye first, then this one. I don't think there's ever been anything like these characters in American literature."
Our favorite Leslie Knope—Amy Poehler, that is, loves John Irving's novel A Prayer for Owen Meany. "Irving captures the innocence of youth, of people growing up together and figuring out who they want to be, and discovering the pain of separation—that made the book great for me," she told O Magazine. "It's about faith and fate, and how you don't know who the messenger is going to be."
Perhaps the greatest actress of our time, Cate Blanchett loves F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night. "The word I think of with this story is 'fragile,'" she told O Magazine. "I was utterly struck by the fineness of Fitzgerald's writing and the timelessness of Dick and Nicole's failures."
The glowing, talented, ageless Julianne Moore says Erica Jong's Fear of Flying gave her the gift of empowerment. "In eighth grade I found my mother's copy of Fear of Flying, which she'd hidden from me," she told Redbook. "I had no idea what all the sex stuff meant! Still, I knew it was about more than sexuality, that it was about female liberation."
The lovely and amazing Kate Winslet actually read—and loved—the book on which her film Revolutionary Road is based. "You see how happiness can be reignited in a relationship that's starting to go sour, but Frank and April insist on seeing themselves as a kind of golden couple, destined for a more glamorous life," she told O Magazine. "It's really a story about disappointment—and how that can destroy one's soul."
Actress and GOOP founder Gwyneth Paltrow goes to the classics. She told O Magazine: "My mother, who is this brilliant actress [Blythe Danner], started reading Jane Eyre to me when I was probably 9 or 10 years old. It was the first adult book that I got lost in."
Longtime favorite girl-next-door "I'm just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love her" actress Julia Roberts was moved by Faulkner's tragic love story in The Wild Palms. As it turns out Faulkner is the reason she passed high school English. "My punctuation was always kind of ... eccentric," she told O Magazine. "I would say to my teacher, 'Well, you know, William Faulkner—he doesn't use proper punctuation.'"