Whether you know her as Carrie Bradshaw or SJP, Sarah Jessica Parker is an avid reader and total book lover. Partnering with the American Library Association’s Book Club Central, the actress is doing what she can to make sure our local libraries get the love they need. Check out what she’s reading below and snag some of the titles for your own bookshelf.
The Many Daughters of Afong Moy by Jamie Ford
“It’s endlessly moving, surprising and tells the extraordinary story of generations of women who descend from Afong My, the first Chinese woman to set foot in America in 1834.” -SJP
Through an experiment designed to lessen inherited trauma, Dorothy Moy reconnects with past generations of women in her family. She discovers a stranger is searching for her in every time period and seeks to find them in order to end the pattern of pain and abandonment. This powerful, gripping novel explores the love that binds a family across all generations.
Matrix by Lauren Groff
“I’m on page 17 and now nothing else matters…Once you have this book in your hands I feel certain you too will be consumed.” -SJP
Marie de France is cast out of the royal court and sent to England to be the new prioress of an impoverished abbey. She’s determined to create a bold, new path for the women she now leads.
Something New Under the Sun by Alexandra Kleeman
“People are talking about this book. So am I @alexandrakleeman. And so happy to have a copy of this very anticipated title in my hands. Just opened late last night. And so now, it won’t leave my side.” -SJP
Patrick Hamlin heads to Los Angeles to oversee the film adaptation of one of his novels, but he finds that California is not what he imagined. Drought, wildfire, and corporate corruption run wild and a new brand of synthetic water seems to be connected to it all. He teams up with the starlet of his movie to investigate the city and the dark truth behind Hollywood.
A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
This retelling of the Trojan War comes from the perspectives of the women who were involved in its cause and consequences. With powerful writing, Natalie Haynes places these women in the center of one of the most epic stories ever told.
Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian
“I had planned to sleep in but this riveting historical fiction novel had me up earlier than the birds. My fellow readers, I dare you to try to put it down.” -SJP
A twisting, suspenseful novel set in 1662 in Boston, this story centers around Mary Deerfield as she attempts to leave her husband while also avoiding the gallows during the original American witch hunt.
Decent People by De’Shawn Charles Winslow
This captivating novel explores the aftermath of a triple homicide in a Black community, and the secrets that come to life as the investigation ensues.
A Quitter’s Paradise by Elysha Chang
“Hilarious and heartbreaking, this book follows Eleanor on her winding journey to make sense of herself, her mother’s death, and her family’s estrangement. Like all my favorite novels, I didn’t want it to end.” -SJP
Eleanor’s mother has passed away but Eleanor never truly knew her. She’s desperately trying to avoid this new reality as well as her family’s estrangement, but she soon realizes her story is forever intertwined with theirs.
Mercury Pictures Presents by Anthony Marra
“I join the enthusiastic readers who loved this book and it’s writer. If you aren’t yet familiar pick up all his titles and you will soon understand.” -SJP
Maria Lagana fled from Italy to Los Angeles with her mother after her father’s arrest in the 1940s. Fifteen years later, Maria is an associate producer at Mercury Pictures and struggling to hold together her professional and personal life. When a man from her father’s past arrives and threatens everything Maria has built up, she’s forced to confront the things she’s pushed away.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
“Oh Loretta, you were so right. I join you and the community of millions who loved every page of this heartbreaking and unforgettable book.” -SJP
In 1939 Nazi-occupied Germany, a little girl in the foster system steals to scrape by in life. When she finds books, she learns to read with the help of her foster father and shares the stolen books with neighbors, as well as the Jewish man living in her basement. This incredibly moving novel depicts the power of books even in the bleakest of times.
An Island by Karen Jenning
“An Island is a beautifully constructed novel. Long listed for The Booker Prizes 2021 and the authors first novel to be published in the US, An Island will leave its reader in awe of Ms. Jennings talent and occupied in thought by her Samuel.” -SJP
Samuel lives an isolated life as a lighthouse keeper off the coast of an unnamed African country. Often times, bodies of refugees wash up on shore, and knowing that the government has no concern for them, Samuel gives them a proper burial himself. But one day, he discovers one refugee’s heart still beating. As Samuel nurses the man back to health, he is consumed with visions of his past life and the questions he never got answers for in his youth.
The Midcoast by Adam White
“Like boatloads of people and pots of lobsters I was swept away and adrift on and caught up in @adamwhitewriter thrilling and suspenseful debut THE MIDCOAST. It’s a wonderfully sneaky, riveting debut…” -SJP
Andrew never would have expected his old friends Ed and Steph Thatch to build such a lavish life for themselves. He’s trying to keep his jealousy at bay, but when he finds photos of a torched body in a burned-up car, he’s shocked and confused. And when police cruisers arrive an hour later, the truth behind the Thatch’s meteoric rise comes to light.
Hurricane Girl by Marcy Dermansky
“Much acclaim and very enthusiastic reviews. I concur and I’m full of confidence you will as well.” -SJP
This provocative and daring novel follows Allison Brody as a hurricane destroys her home and leaves her with no money and no plan. Walking the line between humor and horror, this story explores love, sex, violence, freedom, and joy.
The Good Left Undone by Adriana Trigiani
“We all wait for the next book by this gorgeous writer. It’s here at last.” -SJP
This sweeping saga tells the story of three generations of Tuscan artists with one incredible secret, exploring themes of identity, belonging, and the strength of family.
Hello, Molly by Molly Shannon
“I love this book so much that I almost can’t yet talk about it. I loved it. I love it. Even as I recall it, talk about it to everyone, as I hand my copy over to a colleague at work, I love it more. And I think of that reader, for the first time inside @theofficialsuperstar achingly honest, brilliantly funny, PROFOUNDLY honest, deeply revealing and revelatory memoir and I am jealous.” -SJP
This heartbreaking, humorous, and vulnerable memoir from comedian Molly Shannon is a story of grief, resilience, and redemption.
Cult Classic by Sloane Crosley
“‘Unputdownable’ It was! The author is at her best and that is a treat for all readers!” -SJP
Intense and suspenseful, this novel follows Lola as she’s swept away in memories of past boyfriends and heartbreaks.
Anatomy of a Miracle by Jonathan Miles
“Jonathan Miles is a great American storyteller, a writer to celebrate with a new novel easily devoured. His tender, life-affirming Anatomy of a Miracle follows paraplegic veteran Cameron Harris and his sister Tanya after Cameron suddenly regains the ability to walk. The story in these pages is astoundingly joyous and deeply humane, and I can’t wait to share it with you all as the new selection for Book Club Central.” – SJP
Now that disabled Cameron has found the strength to walk again, he’ll be faced with his own dark secrets that hold the power to ruin his life. Trying to figure out if his recovery is due to a miracle or a medical breakthrough, Cameron will re-evaluate his entire life to discover the person he is meant to be.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
In Colson Whitehead’s novel, The Underground Railroad, two runaway slaves board the physical trains that will take them far away from the chains of slavery and into a dangerous and troublesome future.
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Amor Towles’s novel takes readers to Russia in 1922 where a remorseless aristocrat will be forced to stay in a luxury hotel room, away from the horrors of the revolution out on the streets. A journey of self-discovery, A Gentleman in Moscow is a highly satisfying read.
Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo
“Stay with Me is a wise and deeply humane debut novel that unpeels the layers of politics in a marriage from the inside. Ayobami Adebayo tells the story of Akin, Yejide and their families – a powerfully affecting tale of love, loyalty, and betrayal – with both savagery and heart.” – SJP
A heart-wrenching story about one couple’s failure to start a family and a disastrous decision that could break the couple up forever, Stay With Me was undoubtedly one of 2017’s greatest releases and a favorite among many.
No One Is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts
“No One Is Coming to Save Us is a revelatory debut from an insightful voice: with echoes of The Great Gatsby it is an arresting and powerful novel about an extended African American family and their colliding visions of the American Dream. In evocative prose, Stephanie Powell Watts has crafted a full and stunning portrait that combines a universally resonant story with an intimate glimpse into the hearts of one family.” – SJP
This insightful read addresses the current issues in our society and tackles what the American Dream really entails.
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
“Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West gives a deeply real, beautiful, intricate and electrifying look at what it means to be an immigrant right now. This tale of two people forced from their homeland and searching for a home elsewhere is transporting and illuminating. I was swept away by this gorgeous, otherworldly novel and I’m so excited to offer it as our second selection for Book Club Central, as I’m convinced every reader will feel the same.” – SJP
Another relevant piece of literature, Exit West is not only a pick from Sarah Jessica Parker’s book club but also a favorite of the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama.
Dunbar by Edward St. Aubyn
“Now I know it’s the weekend. Edward St. Aubyn, I have been waiting.” – SJP
Henry Dunbar isn’t ready to accept the fact that it’s time to retire and move to a care home. His eldest daughters, Abby and Megan, have readily taken over the company he built, and they begin to question his business practices. Stuck in the care home with a demented alcoholic comedian, Henry finds himself needing an escape. He runs away hoping that his beloved youngest daughter Florence will find him first.
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
“Things to do to pass the time before Friday night’s event at Ulta in New Jersey? Re-read The Catcher in the Rye.” – SJP
A literary classic, this SJP book pick is one everyone should have on their shelves. Holden Caulfield leaves his Pennsylvania prep school behind to spend some time in New York City, learning new things about the world and himself. The highly-controversial character is one you either love or hate but no matter how you feel about him, The Catcher in the Rye is a novel everyone should read in their lifetime.
Dear Mr. M by Herman Koch
“The essentials (according to me) for a comfortable trip to London.” – SJP
Once a celebrated writer, M wrote a novel based on the real-life disappearance of a school teacher. Now his career is declining and his neighbors are acting bizarre. Could the story he wrote be intertwined with his own life and the people surrounding him? This psychological thriller isn’t for the faint of heart but it’s one of SJP’s favorites.