Kaia Gerber, daughter of supermodel Cindy Crawford and entrepreneur Rande Gerber, was quick to make a name for herself in the fashion industry. At just 21 years old, Gerber has walked the runway for some of the most prestigious houses, including Chanel, Prada, and Versace. She’s graced the pages of countless magazines, from Vogue to W Magazine, and has become a favorite among designers and photographers alike.
Off the runway, Gerber’s used her platform to promote body positivity and to speak out against unrealistic beauty standards in the fashion industry. She’s an advocate for mental health awareness and has been open about her own struggles with anxiety. Since Covid, Gerber’s also taken to social media to share some of her favorite recent reads – starting a virtual book club to discuss her recommendations.
A devout bibliophile, Gerber recently spoke with Vogue on the five books that have most influenced her life. Including classic tales of love, loss, friendship, and philosophy – from Camus to Carver – explore her recommendations below, and complement with the bookshelf of fellow model-actress Emily Ratajkowski.
Kaia Gerber’s Reading List
“The Lover is about a young woman and an older man falling in love, but it’s written from the young woman’s perspective, which I enjoyed—especially dealing with a topic like that, because you already have your Lolitas out there, you know. I think everyone should read something by Marguerite Duras, because the way she writes is just so beautiful. She has this book of essays called Me & Other Writing that was my introduction to her, and once I experienced the way that she formed sentences, I was like, I need to read everything she’s ever written. I think I read The Lover in a day—it’s just so poetic and sad and very, very honest, and most of all I liked that it offered a different take on a story that we’ve read and seen lots of times before.” -KG
“I think The Stranger was the first philosophy book I ever read. I loved how to the point it was, because I had this idea of what reading philosophy was in my head, but the way that Camus writes is so matter-of-fact. As you’re reading it, you almost don’t even realize all of these massive, sweeping philosophical questions that are being posed, because of how straightforwardly he puts them. He almost tricks you into grappling with them. I think it’s just a brilliant book on its own terms, but as an introduction to philosophy, it’s perfect.” -KG
“I love Joan Didion so much—I think she’s probably the author whose body of work has affected my life the most. Before reading The Year of Magical Thinking, I don’t think I’d ever read anything that captured grief in the way she was able to. There have been times when I was dealing with grief and I would read these articles or books that were meant to be very inspirational—they’d say, you can move on from this! They approached grief as something that happens, and then you progress from it. But I think Joan really captured that long, long process of grief—I don’t even know if you can call it a process because I don’t think it has an end. She captures the through line that it has within your life after the fact very honestly, and some of the feelings that we don’t like to talk about; the anger you might feel, for example. I thought it was brilliant how brutally honest she was, and I applaud her just for being able to write about something that most people can’t even put words to.” -KG
“I read Just Kids right before I moved to New York, and I think many people feel about the book the same way that I do. You’re young, you read it, and you just want to change your entire life afterwards, to live freely and be who you want. It was so inspiring, especially as I had a very different upbringing. It felt like an invitation into a world I’d never previously understood, and makes you realize that the act of making art is attainable—you can always be creating. It’s a love story that doesn’t end in the way that the love stories we were told as kids do, and it opened my eyes to all the different kinds of relationships you can have in your life and the different ways you can love.” -KG
“I read What We Talk About When We Talk About Love probably around a year ago—I’d never read anything by Raymond Carver before. I feel like a lot of the writing that I’m drawn to is French or Russian, but strangely Raymond Carver appealed to me because it’s so unapologetically American. I feel like it captures American culture and society in a really brilliant way. The book contains all these little slivers of life that don’t necessarily have a beginning, middle, and end, but you realize how much can happen in those tiny moments. I really enjoy books that play with format, and I just think Raymond Carver is a genius.” -KG
Looking for an Amazon alternative? Support local, independent booksellers by shopping Kaia Gerber’s reading list – and hundreds of other celebrity book recommendations – through Radical Reads’ Bookshop.org profile.