Read like Selena Gomez: 6 Moving books the actress recommends

Of hope and courage


By Marissa Chin

FEATURED IMAGES: Warner Bros. | Interscope Records
Read like Selena Gomez: 6 Moving books the actress recommends

Selena Gomez is a name that hardly requires any introduction. As one of the most famous young Hollywood stars who started her acting career at the tender age of seven, she has gone on to wear many more hats such as singer, producer, philanthropist and entrepreneur. 

She is mostly recognised as the sassy wizard in Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place, a musician with multiple hit songs and the founder of Rare Beauty. However, did you know that the starlet is an avid bookworm too? Gomez has always been a strong advocate for mental health and has even received various awards for her work in raising awareness for the cause. As a result, the actress mostly gravitates towards non-fiction books that help her in understanding and helping others. 

In light of the actress’ 31st birthday on 22 July, we look at six of Gomez’s beloved books that have helped her stay positive. Whether it’s an inspiring biography or a self-help book on loving yourself, these reads are full of hope, courage and faith.    


Becoming by Michelle Obama 

In March 2020, Gomez posted on Instagram about a list of some of her favourite things and the top of the list for books was the 2018 autobiography about the former First Lady of the United States. Becoming is an intimate, powerful and inspiring memoir that chronicles Michelle Obama’s journey from the South Side of Chicago to the White House. With her mesmerising storytelling and unfiltered honesty, Obama dives into how she found her voice, her triumphs and disappointments, and motherhood, in order to become one of the world’s most iconic and compelling women of our time. 

Buy the book here.


Signs: The Secret Language of the Universe by Laura Lynne Jackson 

Gomez is known to be a deeply spiritual person. Therefore, it’s no surprise that she also recommended this book under the same Instagram post. This best-selling self-help book is written by renowned psychic medium Laura Lynne Jackson and is a modern guide on how readers can connect to the other side. With her special gift of clairvoyance and empathy, Jackson brings the mystical into the everyday by relaying stories of people who have experienced uncanny situations and serendipitous circumstances. Comforting and full of hope, Signs is a good pick-up if you also have the same spiritual leanings as Gomez.

Buy the book here.


The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio 

The final book that was recommended by the actress in her Instagram post is 2020’s The Undocumented Americans. Written by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, who is one of the first undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard, the book reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans in riveting, heartbreaking and remarkable detail. Mostly invisible to the nation or used as political pawns or nameless labourers, Villavicencio combines powerful storytelling and sensitive reporting to give these personal narratives a deep human touch and perspective. 

Buy the book here.


On Becoming Fearless in Love, Work, and Life by Arianna Huffington

Gomez revealed that she was reading this book in an interview with InStyle in 2017. Penned by the editor-in-chief and co-founder of The Huffington Post, On Becoming Fearless in Love, Work, and Life is a collection of essays that examine the insecurities and anxieties faced by women and steps on how anyone can conquer fear. With stories from Huffington’s own experience and contributions from Nora Ephron, Diane Keaton and more, this self-help anthology shows readers how they can be bold, love their own skin and live the life they want.

Buy the book here.


Building a Life Worth Living by Marsha Linehan 


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This 2020 memoir tells the remarkable story of Marsha Linehan’s journey from a suicidal teenager to the world-renowned developer of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). After coming out triumphant from a psychiatric institute, she vowed to help others out of their own emotional hells too, using her own struggles to develop life-saving skills for others. Retelling her extraordinary scientific career, how DBT works and other techniques, Linehan shows how perseverance and faith can go a long way in building a life that’s worth living. 

Buy the book here.


The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren 


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Fans will already know that Gomez is a Christian and how important her faith is to her. In an interview with Vogue in 2021, the actress shared, “I’ve been a Christian for a while now; I don’t talk about it too much—I want to, but it’s gotten a bad rep.” The Calm Down singer also revealed that she has read The Purpose Driven Life three times. “I just want to make clear that I love being able to have my faith, and believe in what I believe in, and that truly is what gets me through,” she went on. Written by American pastor Rick Warren, the book seeks to answer life’s most important question: What is my purpose? Offering readers a 40-day personal spiritual journey, Warren presents what he believes to be God’s five purposes for humans and how they can discover the great plan set out for them.

Buy the book here.


For more book recommendations, head here.

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