Though best known for her recently reprised role as Carrie Bradshaw on HBO hit Sex and the City, Sarah Jessica Parker is also a life-long bookworm and passionate advocate for local libraries. Over the past few years, the iconic actress has launched her own literary imprint of Crown Publishing, SJP for Hogarth, partnered with the American Library Association’s Book Club Central program to help provide resources to book clubs, and regularly posts her personal reading recommendations to Instagram.
In a book list for goop, Parker shared some of her all-time favorite reads, both modern and classic, for getting swept up by story. From war-torn Chechnya to New York’s dark art underworld, explore her recommendations below, and check out the book lists of other famous actors right here.
New Grub Street by George Gissing
“This story about publishing and love is one of the great, turn-of-the-century sweeping tales. It’s one of my all-time favorites.” -SJP
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
“Was Anthony Marra really just 27 when he wrote this magnificent and heartrending tale? He tells the story of war-torn Chechnya and a handful of characters living in and near the tiny and devastated village of Eldar. You don’t have to know a whole lot about the history of Chechnya to truly love this extraordinary book, or to find yourself recommending it to everyone you know. And to be very excited about this young writer’s future.” -SJP
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris
“This is the story of a Park Avenue dentist named Paul O’Rourke, who is a lonely and sad sort of fellow. I was really surprised at how much I loved this book about a depressive man longing for connection. Ferris’ keen observations of the details of life are a gift to his reader, and he surrounds his protagonist with wonderful, honest, funny, and colorful characters that only add to the delight of reading this novel.” -SJP
“Where to begin? Simply put, I’m indescribably jealous of any reader picking up this masterpiece for the first time. And once they do, they will long remember the heartrending character of Theo Decker and his unthinkable journey.” -SJP
“This perfectly satirical novel tells the story of new money arriving in Old England. It is a commentary on privilege, money, and who is invited. But it also includes a great romance, and though it’s massive in page count, I was completely absorbed and loved every single moment, big and small.” -SJP
“This brilliant, non-fiction book is brutal and minutely-researched: It describes, in shocking detail, the horrific conditions and chaotic, terrifying, and unfortunate days of a big public hospital in New Orleans struggling to serve its community in the five days following Hurricane Katrina. Just as importantly, it is a graphic portrait of the complicated, difficult, and highly-controversial decisions the doctors and nurses had to make.” -SJP