The Five Books That Changed Kaia Gerber’s Life
The book club was a natural next step for Gerber, who caught the reading bug very early on. Child, his mother, model Cindy Crawford, recited stories to him every night before going to bed. By the time she was in school and receiving her first chapter books at the age of six or seven, Gerber was already on Of mice and Men. “Mom wanted us all to take turns reading, so from an early age I started reading books with very heavy and important topics,” Gerber said laughing. “I started reading for fun, you might say, or at least outside of what was assigned to me, from an early age.”
When, at 16, her modeling career began to take off, Gerber graduated high school early and moved to New York. It was then that his interest in reading kicked into high gear; not just because of all her time waiting backstage at shows or on the fashion set, but also because going to college had always been Gerberis the endgame. “I started working when I was pretty young, and I always had this insecurity that I didn’t end up going to college, because my whole life was my goal,” says -she. “I felt like I wasn’t going to get the education that I wanted and desired, so I really started reading a lot just to educate myself. I moved to New York, and my friend who was in college was taking me to McNally Jackson. He was basically like, These are the authors you should reador It is an important book. So I would also have a context for the books, because we would have discussions about them.
Like Mother like daughter
Today, Gerber continues to rely on recommendations for much of its reading material, but it also relishes the serendipitous moments that come when you walk into a bookstore in a remote corner of the world and stumble upon a hidden treasure. “It’s always good to find things a little more unexpected,” she says. She also continues to exchange reading tips with her mother; she remembers a vacation a few years ago when they read A little life side by side, and were able to deal with the exhausting subject matter of the book together. “It’s funny, because a lot of the books I read are from decades ago, and I’ll be like, ‘Mom, I just read this awesome book!’ And she’s always like, ‘Yeah, I read that'” Gerber said. “So it’s a challenge to recommend something to her just in terms of finding something she hasn’t read yet. We do share books, though, and she’s an amazing resource because she reads more than anyone I know. know. She might even read more than I do, which is a lot.”
Indeed, so devouring are Gerber‘s reading habits that when she first sent in her most formative books for this story, she named 15. “I was told it was 10, and even then I couldn’t Choose!” Gerber said laughing again. “Trying to narrow it down to five was like picking your favorite kids.” (For those curious, the darlings she had to kill included books of Haruki Murakami, James Baldwin, Mary Olivier, Maya Angelouand Donna Tartt. She has, it’s safe to say, impeccable taste.) “I mean, any opportunity to talk about books and I’m there.” Gerber keep on going. “I could have put 100 books on this list, but I think books are kind of like movies, in the sense that sometimes you watch them at a certain point in your life and they affect you so much at that point. . You might reread a book a year later, but you’re in a very different place, so it doesn’t hit you the same. Like Gerber aptly puts it: “It’s almost as if the right book finds you when you need it most.”
Read here the five books that changed Kaia Gerber’s life and why she thinks you should read them too.
the lover by Marguerite Duras
the lover is about a young woman and an older man who fall in love, but it’s written from the young woman’s point of view, which I enjoyed – especially on a topic like that, because that you already have your lolitais over there, you know. I think everyone should read something by Marguerite Duras, because his way of writing is so beautiful. She has this book of essays called Me and other writings this was my introduction to her, and once i experienced the way she formed sentences, i was like, I need to read everything she wrote. i think i read the lover in one day – it’s so poetic and sad and very, very honest, and most of all I loved that it offered a different take on a story we’ve read and seen many times before.
the stranger by Albert Camus
I think the stranger is the first philosophy book I read. I loved how hard it was, because I had this idea of what philosophy reading was like in my head, but the way Camus writing is so down to earth. As you read it, you almost don’t even realize all of these massive, sweeping philosophical questions that are being asked, because of the simplicity with which it poses them. He almost pushes you to fight with them. I think it’s just a brilliant book on its own, but as an introduction to philosophy, it’s perfect.
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
I like Jeanne Didion so much – I think she is probably the author whose work has had the greatest impact on my life. before reading The year of magical thinking, I don’t think I’ve ever read anything that captures grief the way she was able to. There were times when I was dealing with grief and I was reading these articles or these books that were supposed to be very inspirational – they said, you can move on! They approached grief as something that happens and then you progress from that. But I think Joan really captured this long, long grieving process – I don’t even know if you can call it a process because I don’t think it has an end. She very honestly captures the through line she has in your life after the fact, and some of the feelings we don’t like to talk about; the anger you might feel, for example. I thought it was awesome how brutally honest she was, and I just applaud her for being able to write about something that most people can’t even put into words.
just children by Patti Smith
I read just children right before moving to New York, and I think a lot of people feel the same way I do about this book. You’re young, you read it, and you just want to change your whole life afterwards, live free and be whoever you want. It was so inspiring, especially since I had a very different upbringing. It felt like an invitation into a world I had never understood before and makes you realize that the act of making art is achievable – you can still create. It’s a love story that doesn’t end the way the love stories we were told when we were kids did, and it opened my eyes to all the different types of relationships you can have in your life and the different ways you can love.
What are we talking about when we talk about love by Raymond Carver
I read What are we talking about when we talk about love probably about a year ago – I had never read anything Raymond Carver before. I feel like a lot of the writing that appeals to me is in French or Russian, but strangely Raymond Carver I liked it because it’s so decidedly American. I feel like it captures American culture and society in a really brilliant way. The book contains all these little slices of life that don’t necessarily have a beginning, middle and end, but you realize everything that can happen in those little moments. I really like books that play with format, and I just think Raymond Carver is a genius.
This was originally posted on Vogue.com