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It’s no secret that the internet loves Sarah Paulson. Though she’s been known for playing the creepiest roles and some intense horror work, in real life, Paulson is nothing short of adorable and loving. And her hard character work has paid off, just this week earning her a Golden Globe nomination for her role in Netflix’s “Ratched,” the show based on One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. She’s also been a loud advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community, and often her horror work overlaps into characters with a homosexual identity.
Sarah Paulson is also active on Twitter. Though she doesn’t post regularly, we can thank Twitter user @sarahpaulsbean who just recently compiled all of Paulson’s years of book recommendations! Ever wonder what your favorite LGBTQ actress was reading? Here’s a list of five of the books she’s tweeted about in the past few years.
1. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Often talked about for being one of the saddest and yet most beautiful books of recent years, A Little Life seemed to have gained a similar reaction from Paulson. She’s even quoted saying that it made her “sob uncontrollably in my bed at night before I turned off the light.”
Yanagihara’s second novel documents the life of four friends as the grow apart and their paths inevitably still intertwine. Specifically, it follows Jude, a disabled man who’s past grows more elusive and frightening with each page turn.
This book has trigger warnings for self harm, suicidal tendencies, sexual assault, and most other trigger warnings in the book. While it’s prose is beautiful, it is haunting. Do no pick up this book if any of these topics will be triggering for you!
2. Lit by Mary Karr
Mary Karr was a recurring recommendation among the other reads Paulson mentioned, as she continually brought up the author’s name. When talking about her memoir Lit, she tweeted “that book should cost $1,000,000,000,000,000. It’s that good.”
Karr’s memoir details her time battling alcoholism among other demons from her past, and heavily considers how we carry our traumas and move into living stronger and having a better future.
Like the previous book, there are trigger warnings for suicide, alcoholism, etc. While the story is uplifting and beautifully honest, it still covers heavy topics.
3. Left Neglected by Lisa Genova
Beyond the fact that this book is recommended by Sarah Paulson, she also narrates its audiobook! She tweeted that before she read the audiobook, she loved reading the novel herself.
Left Neglected focuses on a woman who suffers a traumatic brain injury leaving half of her body practically unusable. Through learning how to live with the injury, she learns how to better live her life and love those around her.
4. Rilke on Love and Other Difficulties by Rainer Maria Rilke
Paulson says that one of her best friends and a fellow actor, Felicity Huffman, recommended her this book. She added the book to her list for Oprah, saying “I want to remember in moments when I’m caught up in the details of not knowing what and when and why and how to do something that I need to go back to the notion of living in the unknown—and that, in fact, is what will lead to the answer.”
This mixture of prose and poetry is all about experiences, opening yourself up to life and trusting that you will get where you need to be. It’s all about a sense of spirituality in the every day life, especially those that are not yet upon us. Rilke on Love and Other Difficulties will be eye opening to those familiar to Rilke and those who are just discovering the author for the first time.
5. Atonement by Ian McEwan
Similar to other recommendations from Paulson, this classic novel focuses much on love, innocence, forgiveness, and how important people in your life can bring about the biggest and most impactful of life’s changes.
Atonement is set just before the years of World War II. It focuses on the innocence of its protagonist and the forthcoming breaking of this barrier and descent into crime and lies.
Which books from Paulson’s recommendations are you adding to your list? Let us know!
Feature image VIA Los Angeles Magazine