Jane Fonda

Reading recommendations from the actress and activist.


At 73 years of age, two-time Academy Award winner Jane Fonda shows no sign of slowing down. The movie star, political activist, and fitness guru wants others to make the most of their "third acts" as they grow older with grace and enthusiasm. The advice she dishes out in her new book Prime Time ranges from diet tips and exercise routines to methods for changing the behavioral patterns that hold us back. When we asked her for three book recommendation, she chose two classics of American fiction and a fascinating volume of feminist theory.


Books by Jane Fonda



The Grapes of Wrath

By John Steinbeck


"I am especially moved by the way Steinbeck begins each chapter with almost biblical vastness, stepping back, waaaaay back, giving the reader a palpable, macro perspective of the conditions that our characters live within. That done, he then telescopes down and deep into the intimate stories of the characters that we grow to love."



The Great Gatsby

By F. Scott Fitzgerald


"Fitzgerald brings the reader into a rarified world of class, privilege and unique relationship. It always felt to me as though I was looking through a keyhole at a story I wasn't supposed to know about. I would forget I was reading. I became the book."





In a Different Voice

By Carol Gilligan


"This is non-fiction (which is mostly what I read these days), a transformational book written by feminist psychologist Gilligan in the late 1970s. I read it as my third marriage was dissolving and, to my surprise and joy, it helped me understand why the marriage had to end...and a lot more besides."


April 18: "[W]ould it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament…?"

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.