The Confessions of a Shopaholic star picks two harrowing novels, an opposite-of-harrowing birthing guide—and the gospel according to her favorite fella.
I read Confessions of a Shopaholic when I was 26 and living in London for the first time. Five years later, I was so chuffed when I met with producer Jerry Bruckheimer about playing the role of Becky Bloomwood in the movie adaptation of the first two books of Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic series.

Becky is someone who shops a lot; the irony is that while she works at a financial magazine that advises saving, she's writing letters to credit card companies, desperately trying to explain why she hasn't paid off a certain bill. The great thing about Becky Bloomwood is that the character taps into the collective consumer consciousness. She's like all of us: She's just this optimistic girl who loves to shop, and not always for herself. Sometimes she'll buy something because the shop assistant has a lazy eye and she feels sorry for her and doesn't want to hurt her feelings.

I like these books primarily because they're funny. A lot of books like this—or Bridget Jones's Diary—are lumped in with chick lit, a phrase I hate. It's unfair—they're more like wit lit. The books I've picked for this list are all great reads—and as much as I like being entertained, I like to be challenged. So I've chosen ones that can also make you question your approach to life.


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