Get your next reading recommendation from the likes of Cate Blanchett, Janelle Monáe and Kristen Stewart

BY NIC CROSARA, PHOTOGRAPHS VIA DREAMSTIME

Two of my biggest obsessions of 2023 have been Liv Little’s debut queer novel Rosewater and unapologetic LGBTQIA ally Pedro Pascal. So you can imagine my delight when I saw that one of my favourite books had the seal of approval from one of my favourite celebs when Liv posted the below picture to her Instagram.

I became curious about what other books my favourite celebs have read and loved. And that’s when I stumbled across the fantastic Instagram account @celebbookrecs which is dedicated to this very topic. If you’re a lover of books and celebrity culture, you simply must follow. And without further ado, here’s what our favourite LGBTQIA celebrities and allies have read and enjoyed.

Aubrey Plaza

Everyone’s favourite sarcastic bisexual sure does have good taste. In interviews she’s recommend Joan Didion’s The White Album, Valeria Luiselli’s Lost Children Archive and has stated that Stephen King’s The Stand kept her up “way too late”. We love a horror girlie!

Ayo Edebiri

The star of Bottoms and The Bear is a lover of non-fiction with Jenny Odell’s How To Do Nothing and Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism being among her favourites. Ayo has credited Elif Batuman’s The Idiot as being one of her favourite books.

Cate Blanchett

Actor and gay icon Cate Blanchett’s credits Lucia Berlin’s A Manual For Cleaning Women as a book that broke her heart and Rachel Cusk’s Aftermath as a read that bends her mind. On Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master And Margarita she said “I know it’s about censorship, the death of Christ and it’s about the brightest mind, and imagination, and love, but it’s also very sexy.”

Janelle Monáe

This actor, musician, writer and activist is many things. Among those, this non-binary and pansexual celeb is a book lover. Their appreciation of sci-fi is well known and so it was no surprise to see Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World among their recommendations. And they credit The Autobiography Of Malcolm X as bringing forth “the revolutionary in me”.

Kristen Stewart

It should come as no surprise that Jack Kerouac’s On The Road features on KStew’s reading recommendations list, she did after all star in the film adaptation of the novel. “On The Road got me started reading a lot. It led me to The Stranger. It reminds you that you are, very much, alone,” she said in an interview with USA Today.

Harry Styles

Like Aubrey, Harry approves of Joan Didion with The Year Of Magical Thinking being one of his recommendations which he said was “the first book I read twice.” And he’s also read Jon Ronson’s So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad and Viktor E. Frankl’s Man’s Search For Meaning.

Elliot Page

Trans actor, activist and writer Elliot Page sure does have impeccable reading taste. I was thrilled to see one of my favourite reads, Carmen Maria Machado’s In The Dream House, credited as being one of his “favourite books ever”. If you’ve not read it yet, its a raw memoir that explores the author’s experiences in an abusive same-sex relationship told using classic horror themes and conventions.

Boygenius

The all-queer band comprised of Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus and Phoebe Bridgers are many things, including being avid book readers.

First up, Julien Baker had this to say about R.O. Kwon’s The Icendiaries: “It’s so fascinating to me – and I think Kwon does a really good job of illustrating this – how, when you get right down to it, really anyone can be in a cult.”

Boygenius fans love the band of sapphic besties and so it’s great to read Lucy’s thoughts on Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend: “I like the representation of female friendship over many decades.” Oh, and Carmen Maria Machado’s queer short story collection, Her Body And Other Parties, was Lucy’s favourite read that was published in the 2010s.

Did Lucy and Phoebe buddy read Her Body And Other Parties? Because Phoebe had this to say about Carmen’s collection: “Horny, spooky, sad, smart, queer, funny… maybe my favourite book of all time. And if you’re into Law & Order: SVU fan fiction, look no further.”

Sabrina Carpenter

I was ecstatic to find one of my favourite books of all time, The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, has featured on LGBTQIA ally Sabrina Carpenter’s bedside table. She has also said this about Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give: “I loved the book, especially how it humanised all of these situations that we see on the news, filtered through how the media wants us to see it.”

Antoni Porowski

Did you know that Queer Eye’s food expert is a Pisces? So it should be no surprise that he reads very emotional gay books such as André Aciman’s Call Me By Your Name and Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life. On A Little Life he said: “I’m a highly sensitive, very emotional person, and the book… gave me plenty of opportunities to cry.”

Natasha Lyonne

Next up, let’s take a look at honorary lesbian Natasha Lyonne’s reading tastes. Talking about Joseph Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness she said: “I have a strange story, so somehow I found books like that comforting. As a young teenager, it seemed to speak my truth. I felt Heart Of Darkness helped make the world make sense to me.” On Twitter, the actor also credited Jack Black’s You Can’t Win and John William’s Stoner as being some of her favourite books.

Emma Corrin

Did you know The Crown and My Policeman’s Emma Corrin has their own Bookstagram account (@someb00kswotiread)? Could they be anymore ICONIC!? On their post on Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, And Tomorrow, And Tomorrow they wrote: “This is such a good read on so many levels, innumerable lessons on life and love and friendship and also delves deep into the world behind gaming which I’ve never known much about (scroll for me now entering my gaming era)”.

@niccrosara

DIVA magazine celebrates 29 years in print in 2023. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQIA media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable. 

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