I’m going to say a name and you’re going to tell me the first thing that comes to mind. Ready? Ok… Ben Barnes. So, what came to mind? Was it Prince Caspian? Tumblr’s pick for a young Sirius Black? Or maybe you might know him from his most recent role as General Kirigan aka the Darkling in Netflix‘s adaptation of Shadow and Bone. Ever since the release of Shadow and Bone (and even before), the internet has been.. how do I say this delicately… swooning over him.
Now, some fans might not realize that Ben Barnes also loves literature. A sexy nerd.. God help us all. Ever wonder what he was currently reading so if you ever randomly crossed paths with him you would have a conversation starter? Here’s a list of seven books Barnes’ spoke about in a recent interview with Penguin Random House UK.
1. Atonement by Ian Mcewan
Atonement is a long-time favorite of Barnes that he has plans to re-read. Set before the years of World War II, McEwan’s novel focuses on his young protagonist’s loss of innocence and how one mistake can affect your whole life.
2. one day in the lief of ivan denisovich by alexander solzhenitsyn
A “formative” novel for Barnes, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich describes a single day in the life of a prisoner in a Soviet labor camp.
3. the kite runner by khaled hosseini
For Barnes, The Kite Runner joins the ranks of books that have made him cry, which only a few have managed to do.
Hosseini’s novel tells the story of an unlikely friendship set against the backdrop of Afghanistan during a crucial moment in time. Specifically, it follows Amir, a young boy who deals with tremendous guilt over a past action and wrestles with the possibility of redemption.
4. his dark materials by philip pullman
Another particularly tear-jerking read for Barnes was Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series. The series follows Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry, two young kids coming of age through their journey’s to parallel universes. While containing fantasy elements, the trilogy also focuses on concepts like theology and physics.
5. an american marriage by tayari jones
Noted as being a recent favorite, Barnes highlighted of An American Marriage was successful in making him fell like he was “having an experience in someone else’s shoes.”
Chosen for Oprah’s Book Club in 2018, the story follows newlyweds Celestial and Roy who are ripped apart after Roy is wrongfully arrested for a crime he didn’t commit.
6. a promised land by barack obama
In this thoughtful memoir, former President Barack Obama takes readers on his journey to becoming the 44th President of the United States.
While talking about this memoir, Barnes particularly highlights the “thrilling first third” of it. He says, “You’re like, is he gonna become the president? It’s written that superbly that you’re almost convinced that it might go a different way.”
7. nineteen eighty-four by george orwell
Orwell’s ninth book takes place in an imagined version of the year 1984 where much of the world has fallen prey to war, propaganda, and government surveillance.
When talking about why he is particularly drawn to the narratives like these both in his spare time and in his career, he says he is interested in reading and telling stories “about disenfranchise and struggle with a very faint kernel of hope.”
Will you be adding any of Barnes’ recommendations to your TBR? Let us know in the comments down below!
feature image via the star