Brie Larson's Favorite Books Exude Divine Feminine Energy

While "Captain Marvel" might be what comes to mind when you hear Brie Larson's name, she's so much more than that. She's an Academy Award-winning actress, an outspoken feminist, and an advocate for sexual assault survivors. She famously, when giving Casey Affleck the Oscar in 2017, also gave him a wonderfully delicious death stare (Affleck has been sued for allegedly sexually harassing two women). "I think that whatever it was that I did onstage kind of spoke for itself," she later told Vanity Fair. "I've said all that I need to say about that topic." She's also a big reader, as anyone who follows her social media accounts can attest to.


On both her Instagram and X accounts, Larson not only shares her favorite books and what she's currently reading, but also asks her followers for recommendations. "You know how some people watch multiple TV shows? I read multiple books," Larson told The Detroit News in 2015. "I usually read before I go to bed, or first thing in the morning ... little folklore stories like 'Trickster Makes This World,' they're very easy to read one a day, and it kind of permeates in your brain as you go about your day."

Over the years in various interviews, Larson has mentioned countless books that have impacted her life. If you're looking for something new to get lost in and have already read all of Greta Gerwig's favorite books, then maybe one of Larson's beloved reads is exactly what you need.


Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

"Siddhartha" is one of those books that a lot of people read as a teenager and end up being better for it. While many books are about a protagonist who goes off into the world looking for meaning through spiritual enlightenment, Hermann Hess doesn't explore just one philosophy and one religion, but many instead. "You can read it at every stage of your life and there'll always be something there for you," Larson has said of the book.


Although the likelihood of humans ever finding the meaning of life, if there is one, is pretty slim, Hesse's novel certainly took a beautiful stab at unpacking it all. Despite being written in 1922, "Siddhartha" remains one of the most popular books for those looking to "find themselves," as they say, having sold over 100 million copies worldwide. While Hesse didn't live long enough to see the huge success that "Siddhartha" would become, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946.

Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés

If you've ever wanted to get in touch with your inner wild woman (we all have one), then "Women Who Run With the Wolves" is definitely for you. Written by American psychoanalyst Clarissa Pinkola Estés, the book contains stories that aren't just about women, but speak to them on a deeply profound, instinctual level. "It's a series of folklore tales from all over the world and it makes me want to go to South America, Greece, and Japan, and see the roots of all these cultures," Larson has said.


Published in 1992, the book stayed on the New York Times best-seller list for a whopping 144 weeks! According to Penguin Random House, both Alice Walker and Maya Angelou have also loved the book and spoken very highly of it, with the latter saying, "Everyone who can read should read this book."

Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller

As you reach 13 or so, you learn pretty quickly that "Tropic of Cancer" and "Tropic of Capricorn" by Henry Miller are sexually explicit stories that, for no other reason than horny pre-pubescent curiosity, must be read. But as you get a bit older you realize this isn't just about a struggling writer and someone who is beautifully unashamed of his sexual adventures, but a man living his most authentic life using words and phrasing that come naturally to him. Miller isn't holding back when it comes to his experiences and how they affect him, he's candid and raw in his use of language and imagery, making "Tropic of Cancer" an autobiographical novel about the human condition. He also recognized, in his own way, the importance of sexual self-care long before it became a trend. 


"I remember being 15 and feeling like such an outsider. [Miller and Thoreau] changed my life — I felt understood, as I'd never felt understood before," Larson has said. Although "Walden," Thoreau's memoir about living alone on Walden Pond for two years is also amongst Larson's favorite books, the experiences he wrote about are very different from the ones that Miller had in Paris. However, both books speak to what it means to live intentionally and on one's own terms.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

Published in 1997, "The Red Tent" tells the story of Dinah, a character who's briefly mentioned in the Book of Genesis and one that Diamant wanted to expand upon and give a voice to in this first-person story. The novel isn't just about the lives of women during that time, but the relationships they have with each other over the course of years, friendships that were born and fostered in the red tent, a place where women had to go when they were menstruating per the law of the land.


Dinah's life is beautiful but complicated and, of course, not without its sorrows — an important part of her story, as well as the stories of the other women in the book. "There's a love lost in it, and when I hit that point I was just completely devastated," Larson has said. "But it ends up becoming this incredible, great spiritual growth and makes you realize that pain is necessary."

It's important to realize that Diamant didn't write this with religious accuracy in mind, so it's not a sequel to what little is written about Dinah in the Book of Genesis. It is, after all, a novel, making it a fictionalized account of Dinah's life.

Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson

As you've probably already noticed, Larson is a big fan of stories that don't just have a lesson to teach and wisdom to impart but are also steeped in levels of self-discovery, recognizing one's shortcomings, and self-acceptance. In "Autobiography of Red," Anne Carson puts a spin on the life of the Greek mythological giant Geryon. In Carson's version of events, Geryon falls for Heracles, who doesn't stick around very long but gives Geryon the opportunity, through love and loss, to come of age and learn to accept himself unapologetically. 


"This book has every single one of the best words in the absolute best order," Larson has said of "Autobiography of Red." It's erotic and queer, and exactly what we need right now on the shelves of bookstores and libraries. 

While this list is fantastic, it's just barely a snippet of Brie Larson's favorite books. She's also talked about her love for "The Magic Mountain" by Thomas Mann, "Rumpelstiltskin" by Paul O Zelinsky, and "The Magus" by John Fowles. It's an eclectic list and a great place to start if you're looking to get into the mind of this extraordinary woman, or if you need something new to read.