The singer-songwriter, who released her highly anticipated second album 'Guts' last week, is also a bookworm
Ever since the release of her debut album Sour in 2021, Olivia Rodrigo only seems to be on her way up. The singer-songwriter has collected accolade after accolade, including three Grammy Awards, for her pop-punk songs and emotional ballads alike. Though the 20-year-old has largely played coy about the meanings of her songs, she recently revealed to PEOPLE that there was some literary inspiration within her new, highly anticipated second album, Guts, which came out on Sept. 8.
This isn’t the first time that Rodrigo has shared her love of books, however. Learn more about her picks below:
Helium by Rudy Francisco
In a 2020 interview with Teen Vogue, Rodrigo mentioned she was reading this poetry collection, which delves into topics such as race, class and gender. The author, Francisco, is an award-winning spoken word poet.
The Marvels by Brian Selznick
The “Drivers License” singer posed with a copy of this book in 2017 to promote a Disney book donation campaign. The novel, perfect for readers of all ages, is told in both illustration and prose, and follows two boys across London.
Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
In PEOPLE’s exclusive interview with Rodrigo, the singer-songwriter stated that the title essay of Joan Didion’s classic 1968 collection, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, inspired "All-American Bitch," the first song on Guts. The book depicts the counterculture movement in 1960s California.
“It comes from the essay that she wrote about hippies in San Francisco and running away from home,” Rodrigo said of Didion. “One of the runaways was talking about his mom back home and said that she was an 'all-American bitch.' I was like, ‘Wow, that’s so cool.’ It’s such a provocative set of words. I sat down the next day at the piano and wrote ‘All-American Bitch.’... You never know the trajectory a song is going to take.”
The Flame by Leonard Cohen
In her Vogue 73 Questions interview, Rodrigo says that this posthumous collection of the late “Hallelujah” singer’s poetry, lyrics and drawings was gifted to her by a songwriter friend.
Auguries of Innocence by Patti Smith
Smith gifted this book of her own poetry to Rodrigo while she was recording Guts at New York’s Electric Lady Studios after learning she was a fan. The punk singer and author even included a sweet inscription for Rodrigo, writing, “To Olivia, may all your days be inspired. Patti.”
Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
The first of a few titles we were able to make out on Rodrigo’s bookcase, this 1973 satire is one of Vonnegut’s best-known novels.
Twilight by Stephenie Meyers
Rodrigo has never been shy about her love for the Twilight franchise, so it’s no surprise that she owns a copy of the bestselling paranormal romance. The book also brings her new song, “Vampire,” to mind.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
Part memoir and part guidebook, this nonfiction gem is all about how to let go of inhibitions and embrace a creative life. It’s the perfect read for any artist, no matter the medium.
"It taught me everything I know about creative living," Rodrigo told British Vogue in 2021.
A Natural Woman by Carole King
Carole King’s autobiography seems right at home on Rodrigo’s shelf, as the “You’ve Got a Friend” singer details her life as a singer-songwriter in this memoir. King also praised Rodrigo in her recent Vogue cover story, saying, “she’s a professional in everything she does.”
1984 by George Orwell
This science fiction classic details a dystopic near future where Big Brother is watching our every move.
American Girl Baking by Williams-Sonoma and American Girl
It turns out that Rodrigo sometimes has a sweet tooth, and not only a penchant for the sour. This tasty cookbook from the American Girl doll franchise includes a plethora of delectable recipes, from cookies to cupcakes to chocolate truffles.
Poison for Breakfast by Lemony Snicket
A standalone by the author of the A Series of Unfortunate Events books, this new pseudo-memoir-mystery investigates Snicket's death. Daniel Handler, who writes under the Lemony pen name, often features Snicket as a character in the books the fictional author he is "writing."
Wading in Waist-High Water: The Lyrics of Fleet Foxes by Robin Pecknold
The Fleet Foxes frontman compiles the his complete lyrics in this book with an introduction by novelist Brandon Taylor. Pecknold also reflects on the band's songs with notes on inspirations and his creative process.
All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks
This bestselling book by celebrated writer hooks analyzes love's place in a society that often ignores the emotion.
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Full of twists and turns, this iconic murder mystery is a fall classic. One of Christie's other novels, 1969's Hallowe'en Party, is being adapted into a movie called A Haunting in Venice.
The Defining Decade by Meg Jay
Rodrigo mentioned in her Vogue interview that she was also reading this book, which is all about how to navigate your 20s. It feels fitting as Rodrigo enters a new era of her own.
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