At just eleven years old, Emma Watson was launched into the public eye with her iconic role as Hermione Granger in the world-famous Harry Potter movie series.
Since then she has brought to life dozens of other roles, from the carefree and spontaneous Sam in The Perks of Being a Wallflower to the bookish and determined Belle in Beauty and The Beast.
While Watson always insists she’s quite different than her on-screen personas, she does share one thing in common with most of her roles: her love of reading.
When she’s not in front of the cameras, Watson enjoys nothing more than to get comfortable with an interesting book propped in her lap. She even runs her own book club and often shares recommendations on social media.
Here are some of her absolute favorite reads for you to explore and appreciate for yourself.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
If you’re the type who prefers to listen instead of talk, work on your own, and dwell in the safety of anonymity, then “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” will resonate with you.
From Dr. Seuss to Steve Wozniak, introverts have made some of the biggest contributions to society. Susan Cain delves into the history of successful introverts backed by hard facts and delightful anecdotes that will push every introvert to see themselves in a much more positive (and empowering) light.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
For those gloomy days when you just want to settle in with a good book, “The Shadow of the Wind” is a choice you won’t regret.
Set in Barcelona after the Spanish Civil War, a book dealer is launched into an unpredictable quest filled with the city’s darkest secrets. If you’re into books about murder, love, and a touch of madness — you’ll want to read this one.
In an interview with Scholastic, Emma Watson expressed her absolute delight while reading this enthralling tale which instantly became her all-time favorite read.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
This New York Times best-seller is one of those captivating stories that also brings to light real-life struggles.
In “A Thousand Splendid Suns“, author Hosseini takes you on a riveting journey with two Afghan women struggling to navigate a Taliban-dominated society.
If this narrative sounds slightly familiar, then you might be thinking about Malala Yousafzai. Curiously enough, Emma Watson, a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, interviewed Yousafzai and they both agreed the book was “amazing”. Watson then earnestly added, “It’s a wonderful book.”
I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
Speaking of Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Prize winner has a book of her own which serves as a powerful reminder that it only takes one person to inspire change in the world.
Representing a global symbol of peaceful protest, “I am Malala” details the remarkable story of her unrelenting struggle for girls’ right to an education. From the moment the Taliban took control of her hometown to the months of recovery after she was shot in the head.
Before interviewing Yousafzai, Watson made sure to read her book to truly understand the amazing feat that led her to be targeted by the Taliban. Naturally, Watson recommends that everyone read the book to gain a new sense of empathy and help support the fight for equality and education for all.
Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou
For those who admire the extraordinary Maya Angelou, this book shares the most personal story of her life for the first time ever.
In “Mom & Me & Mom,” Angelou recounts the fraught relationship with her mother, giving you a peek into the struggles and triumphs lived throughout their complicated relationship. From being abandoned by her mother at the age of three to the years of reconciliation that followed, this book reveals how their unique mother-daughter connection influenced Angelou’s identity and worldview.
In Emma Watson’s review of the book, she wrote, “This is perhaps the greatest window into what shaped Angelou as a writer and poet and a fitting end to a lifetime of amazing works.”
Just Kids by Patti Smith
This is a book for the dreamers among us who revel in romantic memoirs filled with passion, art, innocence, and fate.
“Just Kids” offers a blast to the past with a poetic account of Patti’s remarkable relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorp back in the 60s and 70s.
In an interview with Vogue, Emma Watson admitted to always keeping this book at her bedside. “The book was so honest and brave.” She said. “I loved the way she sees the world. I really felt that life was more beautiful after I read it, and I felt more hopeful.”
Why you should read these books too
Simply put, if you’re a fan of Emma Watson and good stories, then any of these books will result in time well spent.
From empathy-building stories to family-driven tales, this short list offers you the chance to join Emma Watson in different worlds where you’re free to laugh, cry, or simply feel understood.
Whatever your reason, we can all agree there’s no better place to be than between the pages of a book. As Emma Watson describes it,
Just like playing a song, picking up a book again that has memories can take you back to another place or another time.
– Emma Watson