Born in Florida and raised between Argentina and the UK, Anya Taylor-Joy left school at 16 to pursue a career in acting. Since making her screen debut in Robert Eggers’ 2015 period horror flick The Witch, she’s become one of Hollywood’s most sought-after young starlets, ushering in a new generation of female-lead thrillers.

Taylor-Joy followed up her breakthrough performance with a headlining role in M. Night Shyamalan’s 2016 film Split (and its 2019 sequel Glass) playing Casey Cooke, a teenager abducted by a man with multiple personalities. She garnered praise for work in the Obama biopic Barry, the black comedy Thoroughbreds, the period drama Emma, and a starring role in seasons five and six of the BBC gangster epic Peaky Blinders. In 2020, Taylor-Joy cemented her status as critical darling with the Netflix miniseries The Queen’s Gambit, winning a Golden Globe and SAG Award for her portrayal of drug-addled orphan chess prodigy Beth Harmon.

An avid reader, the acclaimed actress has been posting a steady stream of book recommendations to her “Quaranreads” highlight on Instagram since the start of the pandemic. Like her film roles, her literary tastes feature a wide range of complex, thoroughly crafted female characters. From Sally Rooney to Roxane Gay, explore her extensive book list below.

Anya Taylor-Joy’s Reading List

The Descent of Man by Grayson Perry (also rec’d by Florence Welch)

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver (also rec’d by David SedarisLorde & Rose Byrne)

This Too Shall Pass by Milena Busquets

The White Album by Joan Didion (also rec’d by Anthony BourdainAnnie Clark, David Sedaris & Kim Gordon)

Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald

Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van Der Vliet Oloomi

Slow Days, Fast Company by Eve Babitz (also rec’d by Jia Tolentino)

Sex & Rage by Eve Babitz

Wild Embers by Nikita Gill

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz (also rec’d by Ellen DeGeneresJack Dorsey, Jane Elliott, Meghan Markle & Yoko Ono)

How to Be Famous by Caitlin Moran

This Is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

What Flowers Say by George Sand

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway (also rec’d by John Krasinski)

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay (also rec’d by Kathy Griffin)

Exquisite Mariposa by Fiona Alison Duncan

My Contemporaries by Jean Cocteau

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie MacKesy

Eve’s Hollywood by Eve Babitz

Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney

Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis

The Terrible by Yrsa Daley-Ward

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin (also rec’d by Jim Morrison)

How to Murder Your Life by Cat Marnell

Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan (also rec’d by Michael Stipe)

A Certain Smile by Francoise Sagan

Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott

Chocolates for Breakfast by Pamela Moore

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney (also rec’d by Lena Dunham & Phoebe Bridgers)

All Those Bodies and They’re Moving by Juliano Zaffino

Tongues of Fire by Sean Hewitt

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (also rec’d by Amanda Gorman, Angie ThomasChristiane AmanpourColin KaepernickGlennon DoyleJanet MockRichard Branson & Shonda Rhimes)

The Dirt by Motley Crue

Seduction by Caroline Cox

The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton (also rec’d by Suzanne Vega)

Gather Together in My Name by Maya Angelou

Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas by Maya Angelou (also rec’d by Tarana Burke)

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

Iris Has Free Time by Iris Smyles

A Line Made by Walking by Sara Baume

This Is Pleasure by Mary Gaitskill

The Beauty of the Husband by Anne Carson

All Men Want to Know by Nina Bouraoui

Crudo by Olivia Laing

Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency by Olivia Laing

Tell Me How It Ends by V.B. Grey

Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Anam Cara by John O’Donohue

If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha

I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron (also rec’d by Tori Amos)

Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth

Notes to Self by Emilie Pine

Chronicles by Bob Dylan (also rec’d by Bruce Springsteen & John Cusack)

I’ll Eat When I’m Dead by Barbara Bourland

Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan

Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton

Tennis Lessons by Susannah Dickey

Year of the King by Antony Sher

Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi

The Wim Hof Method: Activate Your Full Human Potential by Wim Hof

Ghosts by Dolly Alderton

Devotion by Patti Smith

The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in This One by Amanda Lovelace

Hold Your Own by Kate Tempest

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

Possession by A.S. Byatt

The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing

The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson (also rec’d by Carrie Brownstein, Emma Watson, Greta Gerwig & Kim Gordon)

I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp by Richard Hell

Mona by Pola Oloixarac

The Idiot by Elif Batuman (also rec’d by Phoebe Bridgers)

The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy (also rec’d by Greta Gerwig)

Kink by Garth Greenwell

Animal by Lisa Taddeo

(via Instagram)

Categories: Actors