Books I’d Recommend to Celebs Based on THEIR Taste!

Blog banner for Life and Other Disasters' Celeb Book Club

As we’re nearing the end of the month, but there won’t be another reading experiment up in time, I thought I’d spice things up a little bit. The idea for this post was born when I talked to my good friend Lois about how to change and develop some of my original features. I love doing the reader compatibility series, but a lot of the reading for it was dominated by white male authors. I’m in no way trying to generalize here and know that I played a heavy hand in picking the final books for the posts, but I still would have liked to see some more variety. Mostly, this is because I’m trying to better myself with my own reading! So, Lois suggested I recommend some books to these celebs/actors based on what I’ve learned about their taste!

Chris Evans

Read the full reading experiment with Chris Evans here!

a black and white image of Chris EvansWhere to start!? Out of all the reading experiments, I think I “vibed” with Chris Evans the most. I was surprised by the amount of non-fiction on his list, and even more so by the fact that I enjoyed those same books as well. While there were some obvious thematic similarities in the sense that all his books brushed on the topic of spirituality, I did not get the feeling that he was only interested in those themes alone. Instead, I got the impression that he is a generally curious guy.

So, having said the above and knowing that he considers himself an introvert, I figured the perfect book for him would be Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain!
I’ve read the book when I was back at uni, which means quite a few years ago (I’m getting old …), but I remember finding it so incredibly helpful to understand more about myself and other people around me. While it does include some studies on introverts and extroverts, I found its content (especially the little anecdotes and stories) enganging and relatable. It didn’t just approach the topic from a sociological and cultural point of view, but rather a biological one as well. I’d really recommend this to anyone who prefers some quiet over the bustle in the world sometimes, but I can definitely see Chris Evans appreciate the insights the book provides as he constantly seems to want to better understand himself and the world around him.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Goodreads | Storygraph

Tom Hiddleston

Read the full reading experiment with Tom Hiddleston here!

a black and white image of Tom Hiddleston

Tom Hiddleston is a guy who loves the classics, Shakespeare in particular. He dissects and analyzes the texts he is given in detail and I admire him for his love of words. If I had to attribute a genre to him, I’d just plain plop him in the general adult literary isle and watch him sort through all the books. Throughout the entire experiment, I felt like his taste was a bit more sophisticated than mine, although he seems to love stories that are about human nature, just like me.

In my humble opinion, you don’t always have to go too far back into the past to find some literary gems though. For Mr Hiddleston, I thought the Costa First Novel Award winning Open Water by British-Ghanaian writer Caleb Azumah Nelson would be such a good fit.
Told in second person, it doesn’t just offer a unique storytelling perspective, but it also highlights the love and experiences of two Black artists in the UK. While I definitely don’t think that this book works for everyone, I can see Tom Hiddleston enjoy the poetic writing and the gravitas of the emotions. Also, I just felt like picking something British for him …

Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson

Goodreads | Storygraph

Sebastian Stan

Read the full reading experiment with Sebastian Stan here!

a black and white image of Sebastian StanConsidering his background, I really thought that Sebastian Stan and I would be more on the same wavelength, but instead he introduced me to my most-despised read as of yet. (We don’t talk about Still Life with Woodpecker here, okay?) Still, I could see a theme in his book choices. Regardless of whether it was fiction or non-fiction, he heavily drifted towards stories with a focus on parent-child-relationships, complex (borderline toxic) romances and characters/people who felt out of place or without a real home. Those are all elements I can certainly work with!

A book that, I believe, covers pretty much all the above mentioned bases is Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. We meet the main character at only six years old and learn about her complicated home life as well as the prejudices she faces in the town she lives in as she grows older. The story spans almost an entire lifetime and is a touching tale about solitude, loneliness and resilience. It’s quite a slow-paced novel, but I enjoyed the beautiful descriptions of nature and the sporadic flash forwards that hinted at a bigger (murder) mystery.
It was honestly one of my top reads of 2021 and I just earnestly need Sebastian Stan to read books written by and about women, because some of the the descriptions in his favorite reads were just ghastly. I cannot stress this enough.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Goodreads | Storygraph

Pedro Pascal

Read the full reading experiment with Pedro Pascal here!

a black and white image of Pedro PascalLast but not least, we have Pedro Pascal! Thinking back, I didn’t hate reading his books, I mostly felt very ambivalent about them. I was a bit frustrated that I couldn’t get my hands on (the English edition) of some of the more recent releases he mentioned and therefore had to default to a lot of classics. There’s nothing inherently wrong about classics, of course not! People love them for a reason, but I, personally, just prefer stories that weren’t published that long ago.
Anyway, what I learned about him is that he seems to gravitate towards books with an underlying theme of faith and/or profound love (romantic or otherwise). I got the sense that it doesn’t have to be a strictly realistic narrative, so I know exactly what I want to recommend to him!

Soulswift by Megan Bannen is a faith/religion-based standalone Fantasy novel. I will be the first to admit that it might be a bit too “young” for him as the book is considered Young Adult, but I still wanted to give it a shot.
This book was another 2021 favorite and left me emotionally wrecked! There’s witty banter, a lot of tropes, but most of all heart. There’s incredible world-building that actually makes sense, which I thought some of Pedro Pascal’s books were lacking, despite it being a standalone and not a huge tome either. Let me tell you, it’s cruel, but oh so worth it!

Soulswift by Megan Bannen

Goodreads | Storygraph


What do you think of my suggestions? What are books you’d recommend to these guys? Let’s chat!

Are Sebastian Stan and I compatible (readers)?

Disclaimer: I do NOT know Sebastian Stan. All the information is taken from various social media posts and interviews and could potentially be outdated.


Welcome to the latest installment of this very special feature! In case you missed the previous ones, don’t hesitate to check out the following posts:
Are Tom Hiddleston and I compatible (readers)?
Are Chris Evans and I compatible (readers)?

In this series, I read the favorite books of actors and determine whether we would be a good match based on our reading tastes alone. All of this is done with the sole intention of it being fun and not taken too seriously. Enjoy!


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The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Episode 1 “New World Order” Review

As promised, today marks the start for the Falcon and Winter Soldier reviews/recaps. As with WandaVision, these posts will be full of SPOILERS, so please beware. Hope you’re all caught up on your Marvel Legends (or the entire movies), so let’s dive in!

credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

Sam and Bucky both deal with the repercussions of Endgame and the changed world they live in on their own terms.

My thoughts?

The showrunner for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier made it very clear that this would be an anti-thesis to WandaVision (although, according to reports, it will still be connected to no less than three other MCU projects) in every way and I was prepared for that. There are going to be only 6 episodes in this series, however, they are all longer than any of the WandaVision episodes were. From trailers alone, you knew this was looking more like a buddy-cop-action-type storyline and what else would you expect from Sam and Bucky? Still, this first episode caught me off guard in a couple ways, so let’s dive in.

First of all, this episode there is zero interaction between Sam and Bucky. I’d just like to get that out of the way. I honestly thought we would start with them already being a team right away, but easing us into what TFATWS would be about was probably a better call. It’s a very humanizing show, giving us a look at the men behind the masks and suits, while still delivering on copious lengthy action sequences (what a great fist 10 minutes!) that are so very Marvel and adding that dose of humour that comes so natural with characters like Sam and Bucky.

credit: Marvel Studios

I did this thing in previous reviews/recaps where I broke down the show into it’s smaller parts and I’d like to do that here as well, but make it about the characters. Let’s start with what we learned about Sam’s state of mind and future storyline in the show:

  • After having returned from the blip, Sam has now already worked with the Air Force for 6 months. A new addition to the MCU here is Torres, an intelligence officer Sam works with, charmingly played by Danny Ramirez. If that name is any indication, he might be based on comic book Joaquín Torres, who eventually became the Falcon’s successor. He definitely looks up to Sam already and is involved in one of the villain plotlines.
  • Speaking of villains, Sam’s POV introduces us to the Flag Smashers, a group of people who thought the world was better during the blip (with less people) and want a world without borders, therefore gathering growing support. We only saw a glimpse of them so far, but they definitely seem to be physically stronger than an average person should be. The reason behind that is still unknown.
  • While I always liked Sam Wilson, I felt like I learned much more about him in this one episode than in previous movies. We meet his family (his sister and two nephews), find out about his family’s business and their struggles. It’s heartbreaking to learn that heroes don’t really get paid and that they are in the process of losing everything their family had worked for. They deserve better.
    I do realize that the bank scene is about systematic racism (why would the only reason Sam be well known be that he’s a Football player?) and the terrible treatment of veterans, but I still think Tony/Pepper should have set up a fund for the Avengers/heroes years ago. I know that all of Civil War was basically about how the governments didn’t want them to be a private army, but someone HAS to pay them and the Starks are rolling in money. The sentiment “it’s not a job, it’s a responsibility” is nice and all, but clearly you can’t live off of that.
  • I liked the little moment between Sam and Rhodey we got! They were once on different sides of the whole civil war, but now they have also both lost their best friends. I enjoyed seeing them connect and have a friendship of their own. I will always be in favor of Sam having people in his corner, which Rhodey seems to be since he asked him about why he gave up the shield.
  • Most importantly though, we need to talk about the shield. Sam never felt like it was his, but when I saw him hand it over to the Smithsonian in honor of an exhibition for Cap, it felt like he was coerced into giving it up, because someone mentioned “you made the right call in handing it over”. Even in that scene, it didn’t sit right with me, because while Sam might not have been ready to take up the mantle as the new Captain America, Steve intended for him to have it. It was even more grueling when the US announced their new Captain America, John Walker (played by Wyatt Russell, whose dad was also part of the MCU and played Ego, Starlord’s father) at the end of the episode and they had given him the shield. It was a pure insult to Sam and I suspect that this is how the show intends to tackle the topic of race and patriotism.

credit: Marvel Studios

All the while Bucky has to deal with his own demons. As mentioned above, I didn’t expect it to start off so separated, but it was still good to get a feel of where everyone is at. Let’s break it down again:

  • Bucky is where he is supposed to be – in therapy! As he said himself, he had a little calm in Wakanda (a place he loves), but has mostly fought for 90 years and done little else. Sure, the therapy might be a condition of his pardon to make sure he is not a danger anymore, but it’s still necessary. There’s so much to work through and I love the rules that he has to abide to in order to make amends, whether they are working for him or not.
    • Rule 1: don’t do anything illegal
    • Rule 2: no one gets hurt
    • Rule 3: *whole speech about making amends* “I am no longer the Winter Soldier. I am James Bucky Barnes and you are part of my efforts to make amends”
  • While he is really trying to rectify some of the things he has done, he is still plagued by nightmares. His therapist critiqued that he has no friends (and seems to be ignoring Sam’s texts), but we learn he is actually quite close with a 90-year-old man called Yori.
    They are the perfect combination of two grumpy old men buddies and Yori even proves to be an amazing wingman when he secures Bucky a date (it was adorably awkward! He brought flowers). However, I think all of our hearts broke when it clicked that Bucky (as Winter Soldier) was responsible for Yori’s son’s death, making that the reason Bucky got close to him in the first place. It feels similar to him having been responsible for the death of Tony’s parents and like something he might not be able to make amends for, even if he was not in control of himself at the time.
  • Ultimately, it seems that Bucky is still filled with guilt and on top of that, has no clue how to live as a civilian with freedom again. It especially shows that he is struggling when his age comes into play. He is 106 years old after all, even if he doesn’t look it and this is a vastly changed world from the one he was used to when he was last a civilian.

So, this show is set several months after Endgame, which also puts it several months after WandaVision. I do wonder if that will ever be mentioned, but am not sure it fits with what they are trying to tell here. All in all, I think it was a more than solid start to the show and am looking forward to what’s to come.


What did you think of the pilot episode for the Falcon and the Winter Soldier? Would you like me to continue with the reviews/recaps every week? Let’s talk!