In The Words, in theaters Sept. 7, Bradley Cooper plays a famous writer embroiled in a plagiarism scandal. He gives The Daily Beast his favorite books, from Huckleberry Finn’ to Lolita to Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.
I’ve always wanted to be a curator! I used to go to museums when I was a kid. OK, without further ado:
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
What can I say? I remember reading it in school, and it was one of the first books that made me realize I loved reading. There’s something about traveling down the river—the flow—and how he made me see and smell the environment. It really transported me to a different time.
by Vladimir Nabokov
Nabokov’s writing is brilliant, especially considering that English was his third language.
Geek Love: A Novel
by Katherine Dunn
There’s a fantastical nature to this family, yet you can really relate to all the richly drawn characters.
by Richard Yates
I’ve never seen suburbia portrayed in such a way that was so riveting. He really captured it.
by Cormac McCarthy
You can pick any book by Cormac McCarthy, really, but all the characters—the judge, in particular—are just incredible.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
by Milan Kundera
The idea of playing with the structure of a traditional novel, and the characters he creates, and the author’s voice in them, was really eye-opening.
The Way to Rainy Mountain
by N. Scott Momaday
N. Scott Momaday is a poet, and there’s a musicality to the poetry that’s great.
The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
by Sherman Alexie
An amazing series of short stories that really allowed you to relate to these Native American characters.
The Giving Tree
by Shel Silverstein
Just the sadness; the utter sadness of their simplistic relationship really struck me as a young kid.
by Ayn Rand
The characters were insane. Howard Roark, man.