Jamie Lee Curtis: TOP TEN BOOKS

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Photo courtesy of Andrew Eccles

“I knew I had to do some bloodcurdling, screaming and running,” Jamie Lee Curtis once recalled of making her breakthrough movie, John Carpenter’s 1978 hit, Halloween. That movie was followed by a string of horror flicks, but it was comedies like Trading Places, A Fish Called Wanda, and True Lives that established Curtis as one of our most purely entertaining actors. Currently starring in the Ryan Murphy-helmed Fox series, Scream Queens, she has also carved a successful parallel career for herself as an author of children’s books. As for writing adult novels, she claims to have no interest. “I’m a reader,” she told American Libraries magazine. “All I do is devour people’s writing.”

Below are Jamie Lee Curtis’s favorite books, available to purchase as a set or individually.


East of Eden

John Steinbeck
Steinbeck is my favorite author. I own first editions of this book, as well as everything on this list. East of Eden has some of the finest prose and also op-eds buried deep in this beautiful novel.
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James Clavell
When I was 12, I spent three weeks isolated on the island of Sardinia with my father and his young family. I found a copy of Clavell on the bookshelf in the home that we were renting and it saved me. Historical fiction became a lifelong love, and James Clavell a guide.
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The English Patient

Michael Ondaatje
Such beautiful writing and storytelling and visual imagery. I never saw the movie made from this book as the book itself is a movie in my imagination.
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Go Dog, Go

P. D. Eastman
Go Dog, Go is the first book I remember reading. There is a non sequitur in this book of opposites; up, down, in, out, big, small that makes me laugh out loud every time I read it. "Do you like my hat?” injected in this book of opposites, solidified my particular sense of humor and drew me to comedy my whole life.
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William Steig
This is another book from my childhood that I love and cherish. The simple use of letters as words delighted me as a child and continues to as an adult as I am now quite adept at texting and utilize a lot of Steig in my texts, tweets and ‘grams.
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Coffee, Tea or Me

Trudy Baker, Rachel Jones and Donald Bain
This was this beginning of the sexy, soft porn comedy novels that formed my early youth. There was just something really silly, slightly dirty and exciting for a young teen to read in this series.
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A Fine Balance

Rohinton Mistry
Another beautiful novel that will gut you. It's a world I never knew and a sadness I can't remember feeling before while reading a book.
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John Williams
This is a perfect book. It's very hard to use any words to describe why I love it so. It is perfect.
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The Son

Philipp Meyer
Another historical fiction novel. Set in the American west and the impossible to imagine violence and betrayal that occurred.
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Angle of Repose

Wallace Stegner 
If I had to pick one book, one example of what I love, it would be this book. I enrolled in a lecture series called “How the West Was Written” and started with Willa Cather and ended with Joan Didion. In the middle of the series we read Stegner. It is as great a book as you will ever read.
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