Michelle Dockery: TOP TEN BOOKS

Michelle Dockery’s Favorite Books

Michelle Dockery courtesy of CBS Films

The actress Michelle Dockery is best known for her scathing and wholeheartedly human performance as Lady Mary Crawley in Masterpiece’s Downton Abbey. In that role, she won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series for three of the six years in which the show ran. She may yet win a fourth a “Downton Abbey” movie is purportedly in the pipeline. “You’re rooting for them but you don’t always approve of their behavior,” Dockery recently told the New York Times of the multifaceted characters she likes to play. “Yet you understand their predicament. It’s about playing a character that is more than just one thing, as we all are. And we’re seeing more and more female roles that are multifaceted, with vulnerability, humor.” Dockery, who also starred in TNT’s Good Behavior, and the big screen adaptation of Julian Barnes’s Booker Prize-winning novel The Sense of an Ending, is currently filming Anatomy of a Scandal, based on Sarah Vaughan political thriller.

Below are Michelle Dockery’s favorite books, available to purchase individually or as a set.


The Catcher in the Rye

J.D. Salinger
This was the first book I ever fell in love with. I was a teenager when I read it and its themes of teenage angst and alienation struck a chord with me.
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The Handmaid's Tale

Margaret Atwood
I studied this book at college and have very strong memories of it. There is something very poetic about her writing; it’s sensory. It makes it feel as if you are right there, so much so that I couldn’t stop thinking about the gymnasium as if I had been there.
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Dark Matter

Blake Crouch
This thriller is among the most exciting novels I have read recently. I read it in two days. It really gets you thinking about the idea that there are other versions of ourselves who took a different path. Blake also wrote the original novellas of my TNT show, “Good Behavior.”
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Devotions: New and Selected Poems

Mary Oliver
I have three of her poetry books, and will often pick one of them up to dip back into her work. I find it very calming, and each time I read one of her poems it has some relation to something that I am doing or feeling at the time. It’s the way I feel about Joni Mitchell’s lyrics. They seem to correspond to whatever is going on in my life.
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Amy Krouse Rosenthal
I discovered Amy recently in her New York Times essay “You May Want to Marry My Husband.” This moved me to tears and had me laughing out loud. She is the sort of writer you want to be friends with immediately.
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Bridget Jones's Diary

Helen Fielding
The book defined that era for me. I was working in an office, in customer services, at the time and I just related to her.
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The Assassination of Marilyn Monroe

David H. Wolfe
I have always been fascinated in the golden era of Hollywood and in Monroe — the star, the woman, the mystery surrounding her life and death.
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How to Be a Woman

Caitlin Moran
I laughed and cried reading this book. Every woman should read it.
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The Lightless Sky

Gulwali Passarlay with Nadene Ghouri
I have just started reading this powerful account of Passarlay’s yearlong journey as he fled Afghanistan with his brother. His firsthand account is a heart-wrenching insight into the plight of those forced to leave their homes and loved ones.
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Man’s Search for Meaning

Viktor Frankl
An account of Frankl’s experiences as an inmate in Auschwitz, in which he describes his psychotherapeutic methods: Identifying a purpose in life to feel positively about and imagining the outcome. It’s a book about survival and the human spirit.
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