These days Lauren Conrad, 23, is anticipating the Feb. 2 release of her new novel, Sweet Little Lies, and enjoying her sweet little life as an author. “I love it,” she says. “I can stay in my pjs and write.” What better way to celebrate her new lifestyle than to talk about books?

Favorite book as a child

It was Goodnight Moon. It’s the book that I most remember reading as a child. I used to read it over and over. I think it was during the time when I was just learning to read.

Book you’ve gone back to and read over and over again

I think it’s probably The Great Gatsby. I’ve read it several times. I’m actually overdue to read it again. It’s a fun story. I’m obsessed with the 1920s, everything from the style to the lifestyle. It was a really cool era. It was one of the very few pieces of required reading that I actually enjoyed.

Required reading that you hated

So many. It’s awful. I read a lot of Spark Notes in high school.

Fictional character you most identify with I know it’s cheesy, but Jane from my own books, because she is me. I’m very aware of my flaws, and I think they are an important part of the character. Jane definitely comes across as a bit naïve, which I am pretty often. She can be eagerly persuaded, which can be an issue. It’s all things that I’ve dealt with, and issues that I recognize and have learned from. A lot of it was just reliving arguments that I had had. When you think of an argument you had with a friend, you get heated re-thinking it. I was that way while writing. And I’d be arguing with myself, because I write both sides. But it’s kind of cool when you’re into your writing, when you’re not really concerned with how it sounds. It’s how it flows.

Favorite book by a fellow celebrity

I love Chelsea Handler. I’ve read both of her books, and she has another one coming out soon that I’m looking forward to. I’m a fan of hers. I think she’s very funny. She lacks a filter, which I really admire. I find her very entertaining. I really liked reading her books. She’s really good at having her personality come across in her writing. It was like she was telling the story herself. You could hear her voice in there.

Favorite book as a teen

I read a lot of Chicken Soup for the Soul. I’m not sure why. When I look back at all the books I’ve read, it’s a lot of short stories. I had a really short attention span in school. The only series I remember reading was when I was a little bit younger, was the Goosebumps series. That was me at more of a young teen. And Little House on the Prairie.

Book you’ve faked reading: Lord of the Flies in school. I made up my essay. I don’t think I even finished my Spark Notes. I probably got a very bad grade.

Book you’d use as a doorsto

I’d go functional: a thesaurus. They’re functional, and I have a lot in my house. I use them pretty often, whether I’m putting together inspiration boards when I’m designing — you need descriptive words that go in each line and season — and in your writing, I always have those moments where I’m like, “what’s that word where you want to do something, but you can’t?”

Book you want to read next

I just downloaded The Contortionist’s Handbook. I’m just a few pages in. I just downloaded it from my Kindle. My boyfriend [Kyle Howard] has read it several times, and he really loves it.

Book that changed your life:

Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson. I read it in high school, and it was the first book that I remember not being able to put down. That was the point in which I began reading for pleasure, rather than obligation. It was the first book that I really remember enjoying reading. It made me more interested in reading as a hobby. It’s kind of a dark book, so it’s not the best example, but the writing style was really easy.

Book with the best movie version

I know it’s probably a very unoriginal answer, but The Notebook. I watched the movie, and it was a beautiful story, so I went out and bought the book right after seeing the movie. I liked the book just as much. I think normally when you read a book and then see the movie, you’re distracted by all the changes. But they were both very lovely stories.

Best author to read on airplanes

I sleep on airplanes. That’s my downtime. I don’t do anything. I either sleep or play Soduku. I can sleep anywhere. I’m like an infant.

Fictional character you have nightmares about

I don’t have a great answer, because I don’t love scary books or movies. I avoid them. And I feel like, in a lot of the books I read, the protagonist’s enemy is themselves. I read about a lot of self-torturing characters. I’m not big on happy endings.

Photo credit: Denise Truscello/