Book clubs have been long-established the world over, but who knew that celebrities were in on the act? Gwyneth Paltrow didn’t want to miss a cultural trick and has set up her very own ‘Hollywood book club’ with an impressive attendee list – Madonna and Christy Turlington are regulars.
Well, that’s not strictly true: presumably hectic schedules prevent the A-listers from gathering over a glass of wine together at home, so instead Gwynnie called her celeb pals to list their favourite books on her lifestyle website, Goop.com, apparently in a bid to encourage people to curl up with a book in these credit crunch times.
Gwyneth introduces her newly-divorced pal saying: ‘Madonna Ciccone rules the world, is a loyal friend and a terrific mother’.
She refers to her book club circle saying: ‘These are the women who read voraciously and with passion. No TV for them before bed (I need a little something, even 10 minutes of The X Factor or a forensic pathology documentary, just something, for Lord's sake!)’.
So, what’s top of Madge’s novel favourites? The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa and Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts.
The last on the list isn’t for the faint-hearted: at nearly 1,000 pages, the book describes the author’s journey from bank robber to heroin addict to doctor in the slums of Bombay.
Turlington’s top page turner is Booker prize-winning novel The Life of Pi by Yann Martel, followed by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises.
Paltrow explains her interest in other people’s cultural tastes saying: ‘I always like knowing the literary preferences of people. I think it gives a better understanding of their inner life.’
We couldn’t agree more Gwynnie, so what’s on your list? Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky and The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles. What does that say about Mrs Martin we wonder?