With over 30 bestselling books to her name, Jackie Collins was a trailblazer of contemporary women’s fiction, exploring taboo subjects in tantalizing tales of glamour, power, and intrigue. Born in London in 1937,  and later settling in Beverly Hills, she crafted a career that spanned five decades, with over 500 million copies of her works sold worldwide.

After appearing in a string of British B movies in the ’50s, Collins catapulted to fame with the 1968 publication of her debut novel The World is Full of Married Men. An unapologetic examination of infidelity, sexual desire, and the double standards that underline society, the book was banned in Australia and South Africa while becoming a runaway hit in the U.S. and U.K. Collins continued to tackle the glitzy yet treacherous world of Hollywood’s elite, offering readers a peek behind the velvet curtain in iconic titles like Chances, Hollywood Wives and Lucky.

In celebration of the release of her 2009 book Poor Little Bitch Girl, Collins shared 6 of her all-time favorite books with The Week. From the marvelous imagination of Enid Blyton to Mario Puzo’s timeless tapestry of Mafia life, explore her reading list below, and dive into the bookshelves of other legendary writers right here.

Jackie Collins’ Reading List

The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

“Enid Blyton was my inspiration when I was growing up: She was the J.K. Rowling of her day, only better. Blyton created marvelous characters­—Moonface, Saucepan Man, Silky—and totally fired my imagination. The Magic Faraway Tree is true fantasy, yet entirely believable.” -JC

The Politician by Andrew Young

“An insider’s account of the John Edwards scandal, The Politician is wilder and more outrageous than any book of fiction. Edwards’ aide Andrew Young captures a weak, ambitious man determined to rule the most powerful nation on earth. A riveting read.” -JC

Star: How Warren Beatty Seduced America by Peter Biskind

“What a book! What a man! Warren Beatty left no stone unturned—and no woman, for that matter! Talented and charismatic, Warren is a fabulous fictional character, only he is the real thing. Peter Biskind’s new biography is well worth a read. I couldn’t put it down.” -JC

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (also rec’d by David BowieFlorence WelchHaruki MurakamiHunter S. ThompsonJohn Krasinski, Richard E. Grant, Ta-Nehisi Coates & Williams S. Burroughs)

“Jay Gatsby—the definitive hero. Mysterious, rich, sly, handsome, cool. This is a book I try to reread quite often. It’s beautifully written, and the characters of Jay and Daisy stay with you.” -JC

The Godfather by Mario Puzo

“This is another book I reread every couple of years. Mario Puzo creates a tapestry of Mafia life that’s so rich and brilliant the characters jump off the page and become part of your life. Puzo’s writing is vibrant and timeless. The movie The Godfather is a classic; so is the book that it’s based on.” -JC

The Adventurers by Harold Robbins

“Nobody did it better than Harold Robbins—the master of the hot, steamy sex novel. Harold lived the life, and his characters—all based on true-life personalities—were completely compelling. If it’s a nonstop thrill ride with the rich and famous you crave, then look up this ­rollicking tale of a South American playboy. It’ll take you all the way.” -JC

(via The Week; photo by Reuters)

Looking for an Amazon alternative? Support local, independent booksellers by shopping Jackie Collins’ reading list – and hundreds of other celebrity book recommendations – through Radical Reads’ Bookshop page.

Categories: Writers

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