American comedian, writer, actress and talk show host Chelsea Handler got her show business start in 2002 – bringing her trademark brand of brash humor and insult comedy to Oxygen’s hidden camera reality show Girls Behaving Badly. Since then, she’s hosted several talk show iterations on E! and Netflix, released a docu-series, written six books that made the New York Times bestseller list, and turned her attention to political activism.
Sharing a list of her ten all-time favorite books with NY-based bookstore One Grand, Handler included stories of survival, humor, and of course, booze. Find her reading list below, and complement with the bookshelves of Kathy Griffin and Reese Witherspoon.
“David Sedaris is fucking hilarious and there’s nothing I prefer to do more than laugh. If this book doesn’t make you laugh, I’ll refund you the money.” -CH
Slavery by James Walvin
“This is a great, comprehensive introduction for the many people who don’t know the history of The Atlantic Slave Trade or the history of slavery. It walks you through who the architects of slavery were and more important, who the architects of the abolitionist movement were. It’s an integral part of our history that feels too ignored. It is painful, horrifying, but illustrative of the evil and the goodness that can live side by side.” -CH
Mawson’s Will by Lennard Bickel
“I love stories of survival and I love strong men. This is one man’s story of surviving in Antartica when he lost everyone and everything and still managed to make it back to his ship under the worst possible conditions and elements. What he survived, what he endured, and his will to live are themes I’ll never get tired of learning about. We have always lived among great people, but it’s an essential reminder that there are superior beings.” -CH
Moonwalking With Einstein by Joshua Foer
“I didn’t love reading this book, but I loved what I learned from it — tons of different tools to memorize people’s names, to memorize numbers that are important, along with different ways to categorize things I need to remember to do. It has changed my life and made me embarrass myself much less when meeting someone twice.” -CH
“I don’t know if I have to expound on why I love this book, but everyone should read Tolstoy, and this was the first one of his works I read. So, it’s like a first boyfriend. Or my first Cabbage Patch Kid.” -CH
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
“Edith Wharton’s use of language alone isn’t easily paralleled. She takes you into this woman’s life and makes you feel for her while showcasing her shallowness, materialism, and lack of honor. It is a timeless story we have seen play out for hundreds of years — yet, it feels like it would only apply to modern day society in the form of a Kardashian. Her turn of phrase and sentence structure are beautiful.” -CH
Men Explain Things To Me by Rebecca Solnit
“Rebecca Solnit goes deep with statistics, personal stories, and others’ accounts of how brutal this world can be for women, the history of how we’ve been treated, and what it will take to change the conversation: MEN. We need them to be as outraged as we are and join our fight.” -CH
The Essential Enneagram by David Daniels, M.D.
“This book is great if you’re in love with yourself and can’t wait to find out more. It’s a personality evaluation with a list of numbers from one through nine and can keep you and your friends busy for hours! My psychiatrist introduced me to it and it has been endorsed by a large swath of the psychiatric community. It is not astrology.” -CH
On Booze by F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Just because…” -CH
Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl
“This book is one of those beautiful accounts of a terrible time in our history. His calm and sagaciousness, while witnessing one horror after another played out during his time in three separate concentration camps, is awe inspiring. He speaks to the strength of the human spirit and there is a sentence in the book that made me put it down and think — ‘I stopped asking myself what I expected out of life, and asked myself what life expected out of me.'” -CH
(via One Grand Books)