Actress Audra McDonald's favorite books.
Zeus and Hera. Rhett and Scarlett. Calvin and Hobbes. Broadway star Audra McDonald's favorite novels resonate with power, passion, and mischievous little boys with tigers.
Books are a big part of my adult life and a huge part of my parenting—my 3-year-old daughter loves to be read to at night. (Her favorite book right now is Go, Dog. Go! ) But when I was growing up, my mother, father, and sister were the real readers. I didn't get into books until I was about 10 and picked up Judy Blume. I devoured all of them, especially Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. It talks about your body changing in a way that makes sense to you as a kid, not like the antiseptic answers you get at school, or the freaked-out response you get from your parents, who are probably thinking, "I can't believe I have to talk about this."

I was often called an overly dramatic child. So stories and plays became an important outlet for me. Instead of having to pretend to feel less than I did, I had license to let my emotions fly with the characters in these works. I could put myself in someone else's shoes and live their story. It was a wonderful thing for someone who eventually wanted to be on the stage.

Audra McDonald appears in A Raisin in the Sun at the Royale Theatre in New York City.

What's on Audra McDonald' Bookshelf? Read more!


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