The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

5 of 5
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
480 pages; Puffin Classics
"Twain is my favorite humorist," Ashley Judd says. "I even have a quote I think is from him in my e-mail signature: 'A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.' And this book is, of course, hilarious—but it's also a family story and a love story in the sense that it's about the divine love between Jim and Huck." The American classic also has another meaning for Judd: "Huck is the child of an alcoholic; he endures incredible physical and emotional abuse. When he finally reaches his own bottom, he realizes he has to escape before Pap literally kills him."
— As told to Sara Nelson