At the age of 11, Daniel Radcliffe rose to international stardom for landing the coveted lead role in the Harry Potter film franchise. After playing the boy wizard for over a decade, he turned his attention to indie films and live theatre – taking on an eclectic assortment of characters that have made him nigh-impossible to typecast.

Having starred in countless literary roles – even playing the beat poet Allen Ginsberg in 2013’s Kill Your Darlings – it’s no secret that Radcliffe’s an avid reader. In a list of his 6 favorite books for O Magazine, the actor included work by Mikhail Bulgakov, Hunter S. Thompson, Salman Rushdie, and Ernest Hemingway.

Read on for his favorites, and complement with the reading lists of J.K. Rowling and Emma Watson.


The Master And Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (also rec’d by David Bowie, Johnny DeppPatti Smith & Salman Rushdie)
“It’s now my favorite novel—it’s just the greatest explosion of imagination, craziness, satire, humor, and heart…There are passages that have become everyday Russian sayings. For instance, ‘Manuscripts don’t burn.’ If it had ever come out that this book was being written, Bulgakov would likely have disappeared permanently. That phrase stands for the fact that nothing is more powerful or more indestructible than the written word.” -DR
“This is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read, which is the main reason I recommend it to people. But there is a sadness in it as well. I think Thompson loved America despite himself, and this is a lament for the passing of a time that we’ll never see again. He was such an intelligent and socially aware person; he knew even when he wrote this in 1971 that a decade like the ’60s could not happen again. And it is kind of sad to read it now because I know I will never have the feeling of living in a time that fresh and with so few boundaries.” -DR
Germinal by Emile Zola
“It amazes me how deftly Zola captures the idiosyncrasy, the mundanity, and the scale of life among all these different classes of people. Every character feels fully formed and real. And once I learned more about Zola’s involvement in the Dreyfus affair and how he advocated for individual freedom, I just thought, I love this man. He must have been an incredible person to know.” -DR
Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges
“When I read a good book, I sometimes like to think I might be capable of writing something similar, but never, in my wildest dreams, could I write anything that approaches the level of cleverness and intellect and madness of Borges. I don’t think anyone could.” -DR
“It is the most enchanting book. And it’s such a brilliant idea: children born at the same hour who metaphorically encompass all the good and evil attributes of a new society. Rushdie writes with a true patriotism—a love for his country that’s not blind.” -DR
“I have friends who never read books, and so when they ask me what they should pick up first, I always give them this one. I tell them there are some books that are like drugs, and will give you a quick hit, but if you want something that will stay with you and resonate for a long while afterward, then try this. I read it for school, and it speaks to the power of the book that I could analyze the bugger out of it and still not fall out of love with it.” -DR
Selected Poems by Tony Harrison
“Harrison is the best British poet of the second half of the 20th century. He writes about class, love, Britain, and it’s all just brilliant.” -DR

(via O Magazine)

Categories: Actors

Leave a Reply