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Gwyneth Paltrow sent out her latest GOOP newsletter with her favorite books, and the recommendations of some of her friends, famous and not. One of Paltrow's favorites, she writes, was recommended by Ethan Hawke.

Paltrow writes:

I feel a bit swallowed up in January, the days are so short, the sky is so close and gray. The best way to escape (not to mention the least expensive, most hassle-free way) is to curl up by the fire with an amazing, transportive novel. This week I have asked a couple of my best and most literary-minded girlfriends to share their top picks. 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!). I always like knowing the literary preferences of people. I think it gives a better understanding of their inner life. I have also included some of the books that have affected me the most.
  1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

    Book Cover: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
    (literature and fiction, classics)

    "This was the first novel I ever read. Actually, it was read to me by my mother. We started it when I was 10 years old. The novel starts out with a young Jane, about the age I was at the time, so I was drawn in, in such a visceral way. It was the moment I really started to understand, from my little bed in a room with strawberry wallpaper, that there was a scope to the world, a past and future, that would be there for the learning and for the taking. It was a powerful and deep experience, being read those words, that story with all of its heavy imagery and emotion."

  2. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

    Book Cover: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
    (literature and fiction, classics)

    "One of my all-time favorite novels is Crime and Punishment. I first read this in high school and have returned to it numerous times. I think there was something about the complexity of the protagonist's psychology that made me feel like I wasn't the most misunderstood person in the world (which is what happens with hormonal teenagers). Besides the fact that it is incredibly written, the unsure morality was somehow reassuring. It was okay to be figuring out one's own sense of right and wrong. In fact, it was one of life's great endeavors."

  3. The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles

    Book Cover: The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
    (literature and fiction)

    "I was doing a film with Ethan Hawke in 1995 and feeling a bit in shock about what was happening with my life. I hadn't found grace yet with the big changes that were afoot. Ethan correctly intuited that I needed some perspective, some grounding, a sort of literary bringing down to size. He gave me a few of his favorite novels and this masterpiece was one of them. It completely swept me up. It is, in essence, about what happens when one changes landscapes, physical or metaphorical, without intellectual and emotional openness. It also teaches that the unfamiliar must be approached with humility and respect, slowly and without force. It very much set me straight at a very pivotal moment in my life."

  4. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger

    Book Cover: Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
    (literature and fiction, classics)

    "The whole family dynamic in Franny and Zooey is fascinating. But for me, this book is all about the end, when Franny comes apart in the bedroom. The delicacy of someone that intelligent being so close to falling to pieces is intriguing to me."

  5. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

    Book Cover: Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
    (baby books (Ages 0-3), children books)

    "My mom, who has this very rich voice, would read this book to me when I was really little. I would lie there in bed, and she'd say, 'Goodnight moon,' and do the whole thing. So I associate this book with safety and love. My parents got me the French translation for Christmas a few years ago (I've always been a bit of a Francophile), and I keep it by my bed. I just love the idea of blessing everything that's near and dear to you before you go to sleep with a simple 'Goodnight.'"

  6. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

    Book Cover: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
    (literature and fiction, classics)

    "The Catcher in the Rye was assigned reading for me in seventh grade. I think the reason everybody in the world connects with this book is because it's about being isolated—just slightly outside of what you perceive to be the norm. It's the ultimate story of being a little bit on the outside, and I think everybody sort of regards themselves as being that way. And the language! It was the first book I ever read that made me laugh out loud."

  7. Source:

"I have a lot of time to read when I'm on a movie set, and I've been really lucky to have been given some great literary works over the past several years. I have the issue of Poetry magazine in which "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T. S. Eliot was first published, and I have first editions of the works of J. D. Salinger. But one of the best gifts came from Ethan Hawke when we were shooting Great Expectations.I was having a hard time because my first big movie, Emma, had just been released, and everything started to change. I had my first crisis. I found myself asking, "What's happening to my world? To my life?"

In the middle of all this, I went into work one day and found that Ethan had left me a big cardboard box full of his favorite books: The Stranger by Albert Camus, Motel Chronicles by Sam Shepard, The Passion by Jeanette Winterson, to name a few. Isn't that the best present? He gave the books to me with the intention of taking me outside myself and having me connect with poetry and literature—things he thought would give me perspective and make me feel better. It was such a generous gesture."
  1. The Waste Land and Other Poems: Including The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot

    Book Cover: The Waste Land and Other Poems: Including The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot
    (literature and fiction, classics, religion and spirituality)

    "..I have the issue of Poetry magazine in which "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T. S. Eliot was first published…"

  2. The Stranger by Albert Camus

    Book Cover: The Stranger by Albert Camus
    (literature and fiction, classics)

  3. Motel Chronicles by Sam Shepard

    Book Cover: Motel Chronicles by Sam Shepard
    (literature and fiction)

  4. The Passion by Jeanette Winterson

    Book Cover: The Passion by Jeanette Winterson
    (literature and fiction, romance)

  5. Source:

Gwyneth Paltrow Who?

With an Oscar for Shakespeare In Love, a list of exes that reads like any teenage girl's boyfriend wish-list, Madonna as her best friend and, of course, an established Hollywood career, there's no denying Gwyneth Paltrow has a lot going for her.

Born in LA on September 28, 1972, to actress Blythe Danner and the late TV producer Bruce Paltrow, Gwyneth was just five when she first trod the boards alongside her mother in a production in Massachusetts. At the beginning of the Nineties she started to bag small movie roles and, bitten by the acting bug, gave up her Art History studies at the University of California to devote herself to her mother's profession. One of her first roles was in Steven Spielberg's Hook, where she played the part of Wendy to Robin Williams' Peter Pan.

The first role that really made the world aware of her existence was the 1995 thriller Se7en – more importantly for Gwyneth, it brought her to the attention of Brad Pitt. Cast as the actor's young wife she fell in love on the set. After a two-year romance Brad popped the question, but by 1997 the couple had split, reportedly because the Joe Black actor found his intended too emotionally needy, an accusation her next boyfriend, Ben Affleck, was also to level at her.

After meeting at the tail end of '97, the couple were together for about a year and ended up starring together in Shakespeare In Love and later Bounce.

In the end, however, it was to be an Englishman who captured the self-confessed anglophile's heart. Gwyneth fell for Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and the pair wed in December 2003. Their daughter, Apple Blythe Alison Martin, arrived on May 14, 2004. Baby boy Moses followed in April 2006.


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