Actor and director Bradley Cooper made his film debut in the 2001 comedy Wet Hot American Summer, before taking supporting roles in buddy movies like Wedding Crashers and Failure to Launch. Following the buzz of the highly lucrative Hangover franchise, Cooper transitioned into more dramatic roles, gaining critical acclaim for his work in The Place Beyond the Pines, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, and American Sniper.

2018 saw Cooper producing, writing, directing and starring alongside Lady Gaga in the musical romance remake A Star Is Born. The film’s stunning success earned him three Oscar nods, a BAFTA, and two Grammys. He also received Academy Award nominations for producing 2019’s Joker and 2021’s Nightmare Alley.

Sharing his 10 all-time favorite books in a reading list for The Daily Beast, Cooper included classics by Mark Twain, Vladimir Nabokov, Cormac McCarthy, and Shel Silverstein. Find his picks below, and explore the bookshelves of other famous actors here.


The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (also rec’d by Bob OdenkirkDick Cavett, Owen Wilson & Stephen King)

“What can I say? I remember reading it in school, and it was one of the first books that made me realize I loved reading. There’s something about traveling down the river—the flow—and how he made me see and smell the environment. It really transported me to a different time.” -BC

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (also rec’d by Cheryl Strayed, David Bowie, Kim GordonMichael StipeNick CavePatti Smith & Richey Edwards)

“Nabokov’s writing is brilliant, especially considering that English was his third language.” -BC

Geek Love: A Novel by Katherine Dunn (also rec’d by Kurt Cobain)

“There’s a fantastical nature to this family, yet you can really relate to all the richly drawn characters.” -BC

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates (also rec’d by David Sedaris, Kate Winslet & Philip Seymour Hoffman)

“I’ve never seen suburbia portrayed in such a way that was so riveting. He really captured it.” -BC

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy (also rec’d by Bruce Springsteen, Kazuo Ishiguro, Nick Cave & Stephen King)

“You can pick any book by Cormac McCarthy, really, but all the characters—the judge, in particular—are just incredible.” -BC

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

“The idea of playing with the structure of a traditional novel, and the characters he creates, and the author’s voice in them, was really eye-opening.” -BC

The Way to Rainy Mountain by N. Scott Momaday

“N. Scott Momaday is a poet, and there’s a musicality to the poetry that’s great.” -BC

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie

“An amazing series of short stories that really allowed you to relate to these Native American characters.” -BC

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

“Just the sadness; the utter sadness of their simplistic relationship really struck me as a young kid.” -BC

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (also rec’d by Hunter S. Thompson & Mark Cuban)

“The characters were insane. Howard Roark, man.” -BC

(via The Daily Beast)

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One comment

Bradley Cooper's Top 10 Books

  1. Mr. Cooper. Maybe, there is a poetry to acting also. I would never have the courage to be on stage (besides drama class). The energy in a page of good literature and a movie scene seems similar. This is your gift. I will stick to writing only.

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