She’s as well-read as she is well-dressed. And on this week’s episode of Girlboss Radio, we asked for Sarah Jessica Parker’s favorite books.
When asked what she’s currently reading during a recent episode of Girlboss Radio, SJP responded like she’d been hiding a library up her sleeve: “I’m always reading. I love to read,” she said, rattling off an eclectic mix of modern classics as well as some under-the-radar picks.
While you may not be able to balance reading five books at once like the fashion and pop culture icon can—in between, y’know, running her own production company, starring in hit television shows, raising her kids, etc.—you can at least stack these on your nightstand and give it the college try.
American Pastoral by Philip Roth
“I’m just starting Philip Roth, which I like,” Parker explained, adding, “I’ve not read most of his fiction.” If you’re likewise new to Roth, this Pultizer Prize-winning novel is an excellent place to start. Contrary to his usual obsession with the human need to demolish, American Pastoral is something of the opposite: a in-depth look at the longing for an ordinary life.
Beautiful Animals by Lawrence Osborne
“He’s one of my most favorite authors—I love him,” she enthused. The new novel by British writer Lawrence Osborne is about two well-to-do young women who come across a Syrian refugee while on vacation in Greece, and it was released to wide global acclaim last summer.
The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story Of War And What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil
This is an *extra special* recommendation, because SJP singled it out as something Girlboss Radio listeners in particular would love. The co-author, Clemantine Wamariya—a storyteller and human rights advocate from Kigali, Rwanda—has an incredible life story. Displaced by conflict, Wamariya migrated throughout seven African countries as a child. At age twelve, she was granted refugee status in the United States and went on to receive a BA in Comparative Literature from Yale University.
“It’s extraordinarily,” Parker said. This book reveals “stunning and unthinkably heroic experience in refugee camp after refugee camp. She ultimately [finds] her way to America through a program that landed her in Illinois. It’s almost unbearable, but beautiful and a really important book for people to read.”
West: A Novel by Carys Davies
This novel, by Welsh author Carys Davies, follows a farmer who leaves Lewistown, Pennsylvania, on a doomed quest prompted by reports of colossal animal bones found in Kentucky.
“It’s normally not the kind of subject matter I would be really drawn to,” Parker said, “but it was wonderful.”
The Redemption of Galen Pike: Short Stories,by Carys Davies
Before she read West,this was the book that turned SJP on to Carys Davies’ work. “I never read short stories, with the exception of Salinger,” she said. But the titular story, she added, is “great.” And the literary world agrees. Davies won the €25,000 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award for this collection, which spans from remote Australian settlements to the snows of Siberia.