Celebrity Authors Who've Got Talent

They may not win a Pulitzer for their literary efforts, but these actors turned authors have got storytelling chops. We found nine celebrity novelists (and one chronicler of hip hop history) worth reading.

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Decoded by Jay Z

"By the time the eighties came along, rap was exploding, and I remember the mainstream breakthroughs like they were my own rites of passage," Jay-Z writes in Decoded. Part memoir, part lyrics sheet, part history of rap, the artist formerly known as Shawn Carter reveals how he got into the music game. 

Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis

This children's book, which explains the intricacies of adoptions, is one of nine warmly received stories from actress Curtis.


Available on amazon.com

Shop Girl by Steve Martin

Martin got serious about writing when he wrote his first play in 1993. He's since added a memoir, a novel, novellas and numerous pieces for The New Yorker to his body of work. To sample the funny man's style, check out Shopgirl, about a woman behind a glove counter at Neiman Marcus. 

The English Roses Series by Madonna

When it comes to image, Madonna is a chameleon. So it's no surprise that the material girl traded in the erotic visuals of Sex for the flowery watercolor illustrations in The English Roses series, a children's story about a group of British schoolgirls.

Palo Alto: Stories by James Franco

Hollywood's favorite overachiever Franco (actor, artist, host of this year's Academy Awards) published his first book last year. It depicts the confusing lives of teenagers growing up in the same California city where Franco came of age. 



Available on amazon.com

The Hottest State by Ethan Hawke

Hot off his roles as a Gen X heartthrob in Reality Bites and Before Sunrise, Hawke published his first novel, a love story set in the New York of artists and actors. 


Available on amazon.com

Murder at the Academy Awards by Joan Rivers and Jerrilyn Farmer

No one can do Joan Rivers like, well, Joan Rivers. So it's no surprise that this mystery novel, based on the comedian's red carpet experiences, scored positive reviews. 

The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie

The star of House is also a well-received author: Vanity Fair called his thriller about a Scots guard turned hired gun "a ripping spoof of the spy genre." 


Available on amazon.com

Singing Songs by Meg Tilly

In 1994, Big Chill beauty Tilly published her first novel, Singing Songs, a series of vignettes about a girl and her sister who are abused by their father. The story draws from Tilly's own childhood, which was tinged with poverty and abuse. Her third novel, Porcupine, was a finalist for the Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize.

Postcards from the Edge by Carrie Fisher

Fisher will forever be known as Princess Leia. But with her first novel, Postcards from the Edge, she proved to be a solid writer as well. The semi-autobiographical tale centers on an actress trying to pull herself together after a drug overdose.



First Published January 20, 2011

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