It's a collection that would make Madam Pince jealous

By Ruth Kinane
August 31, 2018 at 06:38 AM EDT
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

J.K. Rowling may be an acclaimed author, the queen of taking down trolls on Twitter, a screenwriter, and a philanthropist, but she’s also (unsurprisingly) an avid reader.

Over the years, Rowling has recommended many a novel in interviews or on social media. From childhood favorites to all-time classics, the Harry Potter author’s reading list is as varied as a box of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans. (We just hope there isn’t an earwax-flavor novel equivalent.)

So why not pluck one of her recommendations from the shelf at your next bookstore visit? We can’t guarantee characters as complex and charismatic as Harry, Ron, and Hermione will stroll into your head fully formed as a result, but at the very least it’ll make for impressive conversation.

Check out the list below:

Gallery Books; Seven Dials; Luath Press Ltd

1. The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

2. Poverty Safari: Understanding the Anger of Britain’s Underclass by Darren McGarvey

3. The Little Big Things: A young man’s belief that every day can be a good day by Henry Fraser

4.The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge

5. The Story of the Treasure Seekers by E. Nesbit

6. The Woman Who Walked Into Doors by Roddy Doyle

7. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin

8. The Diaries of Auberon Waugh by Auberon Waugh

Penguin Classics (2); CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

9. The Iliad by Homer

10. Emma by Jane Austen

11Chéri by Colette

12. The Collected Stories of Colette by Colette

13. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

14. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Dover Children's Evergreen Classics; Puffin Books; Putnam Pub Group

15. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

16. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

17. Manxmouse: The Mouse Who Knew No Fear by Paul Gallico

18. Hons and Rebels by Jessica Mitford

19. Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

20. The Story of the Treasure Seekers by E. Nesbit

21. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

22. Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette by Judith Thurman

23. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

Simon & Schuster; Collins; Vintage

24. Macbeth by William Shakespeare

25. Grimble by Clement Freud

26. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

27. Secrets of the Flesh by Judith Thurman

28. JFK Playboy of the Western World by Nigel Hamilton

29. JFK: Reckless Youth by Nigel Hamilton

30. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

31. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

Simon & Schuster; Grand Central Publishing; Rupa

32. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

33. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

34. Animal Farm by George Orwell

35. The Vanishing Point by Val McDermid

36. Hons and Rebels by Jessica Mitford

37. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

38. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

39. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Ecco; Knopf; University of Chicago Press

40. The Song Of Achilles by Madeline Miller

41. Decca: the Letters of Jessica Mitford edited by Peter Y Sussman

42. A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell

43. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (Rowling’s pseudonym)

44. The Tale of Two Bad Mice by Beatrix Potter

45. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

46. Hamlet by William Shakespeare

47. Feminism is For Everybody by bell hooks

48. Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (yes, we know this is really J.K. herself)

49. The Deportees and Other Stories by Roddy Doyle

50. Skellig by David Almond

Other authors mentioned: 

51. Dorothy L. Sayers mysteries

52. Cressida Cowell’s dragon books

53. Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

54. Anthony Trollope

55. Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

56. Collected works of Shakespeare

57. Collected works of Colette

58. Collected works of P. G. Wodehouse