From Stage to Page: 10 Best Books by Actors | TheReviewGeek Recommends

Ever wonder what your favorite actors get up to when the cameras stop rolling? Turns out, some of them put pen to paper and write books. You’ve seen them on the big and small screens, now it’s time to discover the stories they’ve created.

We found 10 fantastic page- turners from actors who proved they have serious writing chops. From comedy legends to Oscar winners, the novels on this list run the gamut from historical fiction to sci-fi thrillers.

One thing’s for sure, these talented thespians know how to craft compelling characters and spin an unforgettable yarn.

Best Books by Actors

Ethan Hawke’s ‘The Hottest State’

Ethan Hawke’s debut novel, ‘The Hottest State,’ hit shelves in 1996 at the height of his film career. This semi-autobiographical story of a young actor in love in New York City ended up on the New York Times Bestseller list, proving Hawke had talent as an author as well as an actor.

The novel follows William, a 20-something Texan transplant, as he pursues a passionate romance with a young woman named Sarah. Told from both William’s and Sarah’s perspectives in alternating chapters, ‘The Hottest State’ is a tale of young love and self-discovery in the big city.

Best Books by Actors

Steve Martin’s ‘Shopgirl’

Steve Martin’s novella ‘Shopgirl’ gives readers a glimpse into the humor and heartbreak of relationships. Told from the perspectives of Mirabelle, a shy glove counter clerk, and Ray, the wealthy man who pursues her, this story shows us that love and life are equally awkward and messy.

Mirabelle is an aspiring artist stuck in a job she dislikes. She leads a lonely existence until Ray sweeps into the department store and into her life. At first, Mirabelle is dazzled by Ray’s charm, generosity, and grand gestures. However, it soon becomes clear that while Ray cares for her, he is unable to commit to an exclusive relationship.

Best Books by Actors

Emma Thompson’s ‘Spectacular Christmas’

Emma Thompson’s novel ‘Spectacular Christmas’ is a poignant and powerful story of love, loss and the meaning of life.

Published in 2019, this novella follows a tight-knit English family over the course of 25 Christmases. Each chapter focuses on a different character and a particular virtue – kindness, patience, humility – that they struggle with during that year’s festive season.

Best Books by Actors

Hugh Laurie’s ‘The Gun Seller’

Hugh Laurie, the acclaimed British actor known for his role as Dr. Gregory House, showed his fun and quirky side as an author with his debut novel ‘The Gun Seller’. This witty spy thriller follows the adventures of former Scots Guard Thomas Lang as he tries to uncover and stop a plot to assassinate an American businessman.

Written in a very British style full of dry humor and witticisms, Laurie’s novel gives readers a glimpse into his clever and eccentric personality. The story is fast-paced and full of twists to keep you guessing, all while giving you a good chuckle. Laurie’s writing has been compared to iconic British authors P.G. Wodehouse and Evelyn Waugh.

Best Books by Actors

Alan Cumming’s ‘Tommy’s Tale’

Alan Cumming’s novel ‘Tommy’s Tale’ is a witty and poignant look into the life of a bisexual man navigating relationships in London. Cumming, known for his roles in ‘Spy Kids’ and ‘The Good Wife,’ brings his signature charm and humor to the page in this semi-autobiographical story.

Tommy, a Scottish ex-pat in his late 30s, is on a journey of self-discovery after a breakup. He frequents London’s gay club scene, has a string of lovers, and struggles to find meaningful connections. Cumming’s writing vividly captures the thrills and anxieties of looking for love and intimacy.

Best Books by Actors

Craig Ferguson’s ‘Between the Bridge and the River’

Craig Ferguson, the Scottish-American comedian, wrote a novel that provides insight into his quick wit and humor. Between the Bridge and the River follows the story of two childhood friends in Glasgow, Scotland.

The story revolves around George, an alcoholic lawyer, and Fraser, a boisterous TV personality. As George’s life crumbles around him, he reconnects with Fraser. This reunion stirs memories of their childhood adventures and mischief. The present-day story of their current escapades parallels flashbacks of their youth.

Best Books by Actors

John Darnielle’s ‘Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality’

As the lead singer of The Mountain Goats, John Darnielle is known for his clever and poetic lyrics. In his first novel, Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality, Darnielle brings his gift for words to fiction. This short novel is presented as the diary of a troubled 15-year-old boy in 1985. He finds solace in the heavy metal music of Black Sabbath, especially their third album Master of Reality.

The teen protagonist relates to the dark themes in the lyrics, which seem to reflect his own struggles with mental health issues, trauma, and finding meaning in a harsh world. The story follows his journey to the California desert where he believes he will find answers in the mythical figure of Ozzy Osbourne. However, what he discovers is that the answers he seeks can only be found within himself.

Best Books by Actors

Carrie Fisher’s ‘The Princess Diarist’

Carrie Fisher, best known for her iconic role as Princess Leia in Star Wars, penned a candid and witty memoir about her experience making the legendary sci-fi film.

“The Princess Diarist” is filled with Fisher’s signature wit and raw honesty, giving fans a unique insight into the life of the late actress. It’s a must-read for Star Wars fans and admirers of her humor and talent.

Best Books by Actors

Stephen Fry’s ‘The Hippopotamus’

Stephen Fry is best known as an actor, comedian and TV presenter, but he’s also an accomplished author. His fourth novel, The Hippopotamus, is a witty satire of the modern church and society’s obsession with spirituality.

The story follows Ted Wallace, a disgraced poet and infamous womanizer who’s sent to investigate supposed miracles at a country manor in Norfolk. What he discovers is a tangled web of secrets, manipulation and hypocrisy.

Best Books by Actors

Willy Vlautin’s ‘Lean on Pete’ 

Willy Vlautin’s novel Lean on Pete is a moving story of a boy’s connection with a failing racehorse. Fifteen-year-old Charley Thompson’s life has been difficult. His mother has passed away, his father is unreliable at best, and he has no real home. The only stability in Charley’s life is his summer job at Portland Meadows, a local racetrack, where he forms a strong bond with an aging Quarter Horse named Lean on Pete.

When Charley discovers that Lean on Pete is bound for slaughter, he sets off on an odyssey across the Pacific Northwest in a desperate attempt to save his friend’s life. This poignant odyssey is a quest for identity and belonging, and a profound exploration of the human- animal bond.

There we have it, our list of 10 best books written by actors. What do you think about our picks? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below:


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