Emma Roberts Shares Her Must-Read Books With Refinery29

When Emma Roberts was 5 years old, she made a wish list. At the very top, she wrote: "to own all the books in the world." So it should come as no surprise that, when she isn't vying for Supreme witch status on American Horror Story, or lording it over the other Chanels in Scream Queens (RIP), you can usually find her curled up with a book.

In fact, Roberts owns so many books that, in 2017, she teamed up with her best friend, writer/producer Karah Preiss, to launch Belletrist, an online platform dedicated to celebrating and discussing great reads.

Both Roberts and Preiss believe that storytelling is vital to the human experience, and as such, there are a ton of ways to engage in this virtual book club. If you're a word person, you can subscribe to Belle Letter, a newsletter highlighting Roberts' and Preiss' picks of the month (the launch edition included an exclusive interview with Joan Didion); if library porn is more your thing, check out their Instagram feed — you won't be sorry.

But if you're looking for something a little more inventive, we've got good news. Roberts and Belletrist are collaborating with Refinery29 as part of our annual 29Rooms interactive funhouse of style, culture, and technology. Their room, called Tales We Tell, encourages readers, authors and storytellers of all kinds to contribute their own line, declaration or observation to create a communal literary masterpiece.

To get you in the mood, we asked Roberts to share some of her and Preiss' favorite book recommendations, in her own words. Happy reading!

29Rooms is Refinery29's funhouse of style, culture, and technology. Find out more about this year's event here.

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Story of My Life by Jay McInerney

"I read this as a teenager in 1 sitting. It's like a long winded conversation with a (very dysfunctional) girlfriend. Laugh out loud funny at times and extremely dark at others. I think it's very impressive how Jay McInerney was able to capture a female voice so well."
Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo

"Karah's pick for the month of August, Stay With Me is, at its core, a love story between husband and wife coming of age in Nigeria. It explores universal themes like love, loss and redemption. It is an absolute must-read and a story that will be shared for many decades to come."
The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

"This is an epic love story I read in 3 days. Could not put it down! I canceled plans with friends to finish it and cried my eyes out. The less you know about it the better. Just read it!"
The Hours by Michael Cunningham

"One of Karah's all-time favorite books, Michael Cunningham's The Hours considers Virginia Woolf's classic Mrs. Dalloway in the context of two lives of women living in America in two different decades of the 20th century. It is an extremely powerful read that is the perfect addition to any back-to-school reading one might have in high school, college, and beyond."
Affections by Rodrigo Hasbún

"Hasbún's novel takes you through the textured and colorful world of the Ertl family in Bolivia during the '50s and '60s. This is a book that can be read in one sitting or savored over time, but either way, it should be read. The stories of each member of the family are as engrossing as the next."
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

"This is the original Gone Girl. Gothic romance at it's best. A classic read. Perfect to get you out of summer mode. This is a book I am dying to make into a series and star in!"
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