Thanks to all of you for forwarding. Looks like my Gwyneth has A LOT of subscribers? See? You hate her but you can’t help it!

OK, just teasing.

As mentioned last week, this is the one worth looking at: Gwyneth Paltrow and her friends and their recommended reading list. Let’s judge her book taste.

The problem?

She played it safe. They all played it safe. So safe it looks like a copy of Mr Walter’s recommended reading guide from tenth grade. Remember?

Which then begs the question: who does she think you are?

That you’d need Gwynnie P’s posse to tell you that you must read The Sun Also Rises and Jane Austen… Well no sh-t!

Why is Gwyneth Paltrow validating Gabriel García Márquez as if you’ve been avoiding “Cholera” the whole time but will only decide to give it a try now that she’s GOOPed it for you…?


Because this is my G. Condescension at its best.

Obviously, it’s a list that’s critic-proof. Except, maybe, on a personal level, Life of Pi. Thought it was so overrated and took forever to read because I stopped caring after 50 pages. However, am well aware this is a very, very, very minority sentiment as the entire world proceeded to make sweet love to it over and over and over again.

But critic-proof doesn’t mean the list has imagination. There is no imagination. And as such there is no insight. Gwyneth herself wrote in her prelude that:

“I always like knowing the literary preferences of people. I think it gives a better understanding of their inner life.”

Sure. And the understanding you take away from their inner lives is that it’s all white picket fence homogenous. Oh yes, let’s read the classics. But I want to learn about brown people because they’re so exotic, so I think I’ll give that ethnic author a try over there before I head to yoga class. Maybe this weekend I’ll make some curry!


It’s the literary equivalent of wearing the same outfit in a different colour every day.

And if we’re talking about Anna Karenina at least stress which translation. Because the first time I read it, I couldn’t finish, the translation was so sh-t. And then like years and years later my friend Justine pushed me onto the proper one and it was a totally different story.

The point though is – why not mix it up with a trashy novel or two. Like when I need a horny break, I go for Jayne Ann Krentz. Or if not trash, perhaps an off beat suggestion that wouldn’t meet the conservative librarian’s approval.

Would you believe Keanu Reeves’s book list is more engaging than GOOPy’s? Details interviewed him a few months ago. Click here  – bolder choices, right? Bold and zesty, books you can actually get excited about without trying to impress the Chair of Tightass Studies at the University of AreYouGoodEnough sitting across the table at one of Gwyneth’s dinner parties. Because that’s exactly what the GOOPy reading list is all about.

Anyway, to see the full GOOPy reading list, click here.