I believe in the power of timing. Certain books have come into my life in such a way that I can't help but think, "This is the perfect time for me to be reading this."
Julia Roberts' favorite books:
- The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
"One of the most amazing books I ever read was The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. McCullers was southern, and I'm southern. I wonder how much a non-southern person can appreciate some of the nuances that I consider very specific to that part of the country. In the subtlest, most unconscious ways, I'm able to get her description of, I don't know, humidity in a way that somebody who lives near the Great Lakes will never really know. It was published when McCullers was, what—23 years old? I was still taking hour-long naps when I was 23. How remarkable that she had all that talent at her disposal at that age."
- The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
"This book was a gift. And when I first started reading it, I thought, "This is what happens when someone who doesn't know you very well gives you a book." After the first two pages, I thought, "This is a little, um, different, taking place more than a thousand years ago and all. And then I was hooked. It was riveting—the wives of Jacob, telling biblical stories from their perspective. This isn't my standard pick, and I don't know if everybody would embrace it, but it's just wonderful."
- Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson
"Jeanette Winterson has written many fabulous books, and I just think, "How does this woman sleep?" This story is so intriguing. One of the things that's amazing—I don't know how far into the book I realized it—is that one of the main characters is referred to in a really unspecific way in terms of gender. But I don't know if Winterson intends for people to know this before they read the book. It's kind of like you choose what gender the narrator is. And she actually pulls this off without the story seeming confusing—and without you even really noticing what she's"
- An Imaginative Woman by Thomas Hardy
"I love Thomas Hardy. I don't think a lot of people know that he was also a great poet and a writer of short stories because he produced so many novels. One of my favorite short stories—and I'm not a big short story fan—is An Imaginative Woman. It's tragic. People are going to think I'm morbid, loving all these sad books. I actually don't mind a happy ending in a novel—certainly, it's nice when it happens. But when you've invested so much time and your fingers have pushed through all that paper and you get to the end…well, a tragic ending kind of goes with the tragedy of finishing a book."
- The Wild Palms by William Faulkner
"This would have to be my favorite classic novel. It's such a beautiful, tragic love story—a book that will just destroy you. And Faulkner's language is so utterly descriptive. He can write an entire page that consists of only adjectives and two commas. Actually, he's the reason I ended up passing high school English, because my punctuation was always kind of…eccentric. I would say to my teacher, "Well, you know, William Faulkner—he doesn't use proper punctuation." And one of my teachers ended up devising a system with two grades, where you were graded on content and then on whether it was properly written."
- Death Comes for the Archbishop
"Of course, sometimes I'm just as grateful to find a book that takes me a million miles away. When I was in Indonesia, everything was so foreign to me—exciting and beautiful but overwhelming. I had brought along Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop. Reading such an American story made me feel comforted. That's what I mean about timing: I got to read this great Kate Horsley book right there at home. Halfway around the world, I had Willa Cather's novel, which was exactly what I needed then. "
- Crazy Woman by Kate Horsley
"I can usually read only before bed or when I wake up in the morning. One day I was at home on my little ranch in New Mexico and nothing was going on. It was cold outside, so as soon as I got up I padded into the living room, where I have all these bookshelves. On this particular morning, a book called Crazy Woman, by Kate Horsley, caught my eye. I pulled it down, built a fire, and dragged a beanbag chair in front of the fireplace."
Julia Roberts Who?
Julia Roberts (born Julie Fiona Roberts on October 28, 1967) is an Academy Award-winning American actress and former fashion model, who shot to fame during the early 1990s after starring in the romantic comedy, Pretty Woman, opposite Richard Gere. Since then, Roberts became the highest-paid actress in the world, topping the Hollywood Reporter's annual power list of top-earning female stars for four consecutive years (2002-2005).
This proved that even though she had taken a year off for personal reasons and had not been seen on screen since 2004's Ocean's Twelve, Roberts still had the appeal to remain the reigning Queen of Hollywood. Her impressive film career has also given her the title of most bankable actress in Hollywood, with box office receipts well over $2 billion on the strength of numerous blockbusters such as Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride, and Ocean's Eleven. She won the Best Actress Academy Award in 2001 for her critically praised turn as the title character in Erin Brockovich after two previous nominations during the 1990s. For her fame and wholesome image, she is often referred to as "America's Sweetheart."
She was also placed at the pinnacle of the Ulmer Scale, a comprehensive guide to the global star power of actors and directors in independent and studio films created by James Ulmer, ahead of such other luminaries as Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks. This was partly owing to her ability to attract filmgoers solely on the basis of her name's appearance above the title and without the support of a male co-star, something few other actresses are able to do.
Roberts is the first of two actresses (the other is Cameron Diaz) to join the coveted "$20 Million Club", when she signed to do Erin Brockovich for that amount. An unprecedented $25 million was paid to Roberts for her role in 2003's Mona Lisa Smile. As of 2005, Roberts' net worth was over US$250,000,000. She was also the first actress to appear on the cover of Vogue and the first woman to land on the cover of GQ.