Lauren Conrad on the books she loves, hates, and the one that changed her life

These days Lauren Conrad, 23, is anticipating the Feb. 2 release of her new novel, Sweet Little Lies, and enjoying her sweet little life as an author. “I love it,” she says. “I can stay in my pjs and write.” What better way to celebrate her new lifestyle than to talk about books?

Favorite book as a child

It was Goodnight Moon. It’s the book that I most remember reading as a child. I used to read it over and over. I think it was during the time when I was just learning to read.

Book you’ve gone back to and read over and over again

I think it’s probably The Great Gatsby. I’ve read it several times. I’m actually overdue to read it again. It’s a fun story. I’m obsessed with the 1920s, everything from the style to the lifestyle. It was a really cool era. It was one of the very few pieces of required reading that I actually enjoyed.

Required reading that you hated

So many. It’s awful. I read a lot of Spark Notes in high school.

Fictional character you most identify with I know it’s cheesy, but Jane from my own books, because she is me. I’m very aware of my flaws, and I think they are an important part of the character. Jane definitely comes across as a bit naïve, which I am pretty often. She can be eagerly persuaded, which can be an issue. It’s all things that I’ve dealt with, and issues that I recognize and have learned from. A lot of it was just reliving arguments that I had had. When you think of an argument you had with a friend, you get heated re-thinking it. I was that way while writing. And I’d be arguing with myself, because I write both sides. But it’s kind of cool when you’re into your writing, when you’re not really concerned with how it sounds. It’s how it flows.

Favorite book by a fellow celebrity

I love Chelsea Handler. I’ve read both of her books, and she has another one coming out soon that I’m looking forward to. I’m a fan of hers. I think she’s very funny. She lacks a filter, which I really admire. I find her very entertaining. I really liked reading her books. She’s really good at having her personality come across in her writing. It was like she was telling the story herself. You could hear her voice in there.

Favorite book as a teen

I read a lot of Chicken Soup for the Soul. I’m not sure why. When I look back at all the books I’ve read, it’s a lot of short stories. I had a really short attention span in school. The only series I remember reading was when I was a little bit younger, was the Goosebumps series. That was me at more of a young teen. And Little House on the Prairie.

Book you’ve faked reading: Lord of the Flies in school. I made up my essay. I don’t think I even finished my Spark Notes. I probably got a very bad grade.

Book you’d use as a doorsto

I’d go functional: a thesaurus. They’re functional, and I have a lot in my house. I use them pretty often, whether I’m putting together inspiration boards when I’m designing — you need descriptive words that go in each line and season — and in your writing, I always have those moments where I’m like, “what’s that word where you want to do something, but you can’t?”

Book you want to read next

I just downloaded The Contortionist’s Handbook. I’m just a few pages in. I just downloaded it from my Kindle. My boyfriend [Kyle Howard] has read it several times, and he really loves it.

Book that changed your life:

Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson. I read it in high school, and it was the first book that I remember not being able to put down. That was the point in which I began reading for pleasure, rather than obligation. It was the first book that I really remember enjoying reading. It made me more interested in reading as a hobby. It’s kind of a dark book, so it’s not the best example, but the writing style was really easy.

Book with the best movie version

I know it’s probably a very unoriginal answer, but The Notebook. I watched the movie, and it was a beautiful story, so I went out and bought the book right after seeing the movie. I liked the book just as much. I think normally when you read a book and then see the movie, you’re distracted by all the changes. But they were both very lovely stories.

Best author to read on airplanes

I sleep on airplanes. That’s my downtime. I don’t do anything. I either sleep or play Soduku. I can sleep anywhere. I’m like an infant.

Fictional character you have nightmares about

I don’t have a great answer, because I don’t love scary books or movies. I avoid them. And I feel like, in a lot of the books I read, the protagonist’s enemy is themselves. I read about a lot of self-torturing characters. I’m not big on happy endings.

Photo credit: Denise Truscello/WireImage.com

Comments (53 total) Add your comment
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  • Alli

    I’m glad to get some keen literary advice from such a wise author…or from some girl who has a ghostwriter and is famous for being on MTV.

    • Gingercat

      I was wondering who she was–thanks!

      • Yusuf

        thanks for the amazing time in Regina can’t wait for your next Saskatoon gig the AM cotmunimy radio show used to play bedhead on a regular basis putting a smile on my face as I drove to work sadly didn’t know it was you Safe travels new fan from Stoon

  • alex

    this was a weird interview since most of her answers had nothing to do with books (other than her own).

  • MollyBloom

    Wow. She sounds very learned. hahaha.

  • Jack M

    The Great Gatsby was “a fun story”? Oh well, at least she was able to read it.

    • Luddite

      My reaction precisely. I mean, it’s a great book but…fun? Seriously?

    • Christi

      I had the same reaction! Ah yes, the decay of a hedonistic 1920’s culture as personified by the tragic fall of Gatsby. HILARIOUS!

      • Beee

        I could not agree with you any more. If you think GG was a “fun story” and about a “really cool era” then you are exactly the type of person Fitzgerald is criticizing. I guess she didn’t read the Sparknotes on that one.

    • AK

      That was the absolute proof that she has not read that book. She clearly wanted to sound smart with a made-up answer and failed.

    • M.

      That’s exactly what I was going to say. Oh, a tragedy about a man obsessively pining for the woman he loves. How fun! I think she might have just read the part about Gatsby’s party and thought that was the whole book.

  • CWB

    Huh, this she’s even more vapid than I imagined. Go figure.
    “[D]ecay of a hedonistic 1920’s culture . . . HILARIOUS!” Nicely put Christi! My favorite part of the Great Gatsby is when the mistress gets hit by a car and killed. I still lol just thinking about it. ????

  • Ed

    I’d rather read the Sparknotes for this interview than the interview itself. EW, please, don’t go the route of E! who treats reality stars like they actually have talent. And, being that this is a blog about books, it’s disappointing to see you profile someone who doesn’t take reading and writing seriously. If you had to promote this book, I’d rather read an interview with her ghostwriter. Or, get a few ghostwriters together to discuss what it’s like writing for other people. That would be more interesting than a person who only relates to the characters she “writes.” There are so many struggling writers out there–people who take their writing (and reading) seriously but just need a little exposure. Do a little work, EW, and start profiling those lesser known talents.

  • Bug

    Does it seem like she is trying really hard to sound like her character on Family Guy rather than her actual personality?

    • Maddie

      If she was she did a poor job, her FG character was way smarter than that.

  • UGH

    Who is she again?

  • Zane

    She sounds like she’s never read a book in her life. She couldn’t name one modern book, author, or character. She twisted every of of her answers to avoid answering the actual question. Come on LC, lol.

  • Wes

    If she were just an “actress” I wouldn’t mind that she’s so poorly read. But she’s an “author”, so I don’t mind one bit: She’s an idiot.

  • Melissa

    I think this interview highlights how ridiculous it is that this girl gets to publish a novel. Does she have a bookshelf at home? If so, are there ANY books on it that weren’t required reading in high school, a romance novel that she only read after seeing the movie version, or her own damn books? My word.

    • psyche

      Melissa, that was my reaction entirely.

      And the only large book she could think of was a thesauraus?

  • BA

    Seriously. I agree with all of you. It would have been so awesome, as a young author, if she had some thoughtful comments to say about books she read as a teen. I am a high school English teacher, and I struggle all the time with required reading and making it interesting for students. I love Speak, and so do my students, but I was hoping maybe there would be something more interesting to share with my students. Oh well.

  • actually

    Her best answer? “I’m like an infant.” Too true, Lauren, too true.

  • Glenn

    Ugh.

  • Tracey

    I guess I’m in the minority, but I quite like Lauren. I think she’s more intelligent than people think. If you’ve ever watched her on The Hills, she was actually quite sage. She may have been on a show full of idiots, but she certainly wasn’t one of them.

    • M.

      I agree with you, but that doesn’t give her the ability to write books.

    • Aislyn

      The last thing I would describe any of the ‘characters’ on that show is sage. There’s no wisdom on it, just ego pumping for a group of over privledged wannabes who think they are or should be important. Who have a now skewed view of reality.
      It was/is a show full of idiots, but that only makes it easier for her to be the smartest one. That’s not a bragging point, to be the smartest person in a room full of idiots.

      • Sandra

        As with all calendar enietrs; on the , hover over an event to view the time of day that the event begins. If the event has already been opened, then hover over Past or Future dates to view its begin time.This information can also be found on the .

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