THE CURATOR

09.05.12

Bradley Cooper on His Favorite Books: ‘Huckleberry Finn,’ ‘Lolita,’ ‘Fountainhead’

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:

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‘Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ by Mark Twain. 224 p. Dover Publications. $3.00 ()

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.

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‘Lolita’ by Vladimir Nabokov. 317 p. Vintage. $10.20 ()

Lolita
by Vladimir Nabokov


Nabokov’s writing is brilliant, especially considering that English was his third language.

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‘Geek Love: A Novel’ by Katherine Dunn. 368 p. Vintage. $10.85 ()

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.

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‘Revolutionary Road’ by Richard Yates. 480 p. Vintage. $7.99 ()

Revolutionary Road
by Richard Yates


I’ve never seen suburbia portrayed in such a way that was so riveting. He really captured it.

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‘Blood Meridian’ by Cormac McCarthy. 368 p. Vintage. $10.20 ()

Blood Meridian
by Cormac McCarthy


You can pick any book by Cormac McCarthy, really, but all the characters—the judge, in particular—are just incredible.

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‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’ by Milan Kundera. 320 p. Harper Perennial Modern Classics. $11.32 ()

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.

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‘The Way to Rainy Mountain’ by N. Scott Momaday. 88 p. University of New Mexico Press. $14.58 ()

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.

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‘The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven’ by Sherman Alexie. 272 p. Grove Press. $8.13 ()

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.

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‘The Giving Tree’ by Shel Silverstein. 64 p. HarperCollins. $11.86 ()

The Giving Tree
by Shel Silverstein


Just the sadness; the utter sadness of their simplistic relationship really struck me as a young kid.

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‘The Fountainhead’ by Ayn Rand. 752 p. Plume. $15.33 ()

The Fountainhead
by Ayn Rand


The characters were insane. Howard Roark, man.