For a special live episode of the Women’s Prize podcast recorded in London’s Bedford Square Gardens, Vick Hope took to the stage with Hollywood royalty Minnie Driver to hear all about her passionate – sometimes rocky – romance with reading. Through the lens of her five favourite books by women and her own biography Managing Expectations, the actor, singer and author opened up about the pieces of herself she has sacrificed for fame, her yearning for freedom, and why we should all create our own barometer for success.

Keep reading to discover the five books Minnie will never break up with, and click here to listen to the conversation in full, featuring a live audience Q&A.  

The House of the Spirits

by Isabel Allende

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I felt that deep magic, whatever that ancient female connection is, reflected in this incredible writing … [Isabel Allende] understood how we as women have to expand to accommodate these really difficult things, and there’s this weirdly epigenetic passing down of trauma that women, like alchemists, then turn into other things.

Wise Children

by Angela Carter

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[Angela Carter] decoded Shakespeare for me in a way … Her prose was just so full of light and life; it was never muscular and hard to wade through. She just had this lightness that was so beautiful.

The Cost of Living: Living Autobiography 2

by Deborah Levy

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[My friend] Emma Forrest gave me this book at a moment where I think I couldn’t articulate how free I wanted to be, because I couldn’t articulate the things I wanted to be free from.

Pride and Prejudice

by Jane Austen

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When I read it, when I was 12 or 13, I couldn’t believe that nothing had change. I was just like, poor Jane Austen. If only she knew that there had not really been that much evolution in the whole dynamics of heteronormative relationships between men and women.

The Wallcreeper

by Nell Zink

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[Nell Zink] is one of the most brilliant minds and people. This book spoke to what I was always terrified was true, that relationships with men are so fragile, and that we are constantly being the emotional grout to keep things together.


If you enjoyed peering into the bookcase of a Hollywood star, we have plenty more recommendations from inspiring women of the stage and screen, including Adjoa Andoh, Kim Cattrall and Jameela Jamil. Subscribe to the Women’s Prize podcast to browse our archives.