“Actually, the books were never a planned career path,” the Golden Globe– and Emmy Award–winning actress—known for her wide-ranging film roles, from her 1978 debut, in John Carpenter’s Halloween, to the classic comedies Trading Places (1983) and A Fish Called Wanda (1988)—has said about her writing. Curtis has published 12 children’s books, including 1998’s Today I Feel Silly: and Other Moods That Make My Day and, most recently, Me, Myselfie & I: A Cautionary Tale. When it comes to reading, though, Curtis, who stars in Rian Johnson’s Knives Out, opening in theaters on November 27, sticks to the weightier subjects of “family strife, betrayal, and love,” she says. Here, Curtis describes her three favorite books.

Stoner, by John Williams

A stunning and sad portrait of a literary life in the Midwest, love lost and found. A masterpiece.

Angle of Repose, by Wallace Stegner

A marriage, a Western journey, and generations of secrets and sorrows and discoveries.

East of Eden, by John Steinbeck

Steinbeck’s magnum opus is a sweeping saga of two families set in California’s Salinas Valley. Friends, brothers, shame, and violence, and some of the other most important ideas ever presented.

Stoner, Angle of Repose, and East of Eden are all available at your local independent bookstore or on Amazon