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August 17 2019
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If there’s one thing the British actor isn’t known for, it’s sticking to the same tune: he’s starred in television series ranging from Mad Men to The Crown to, most recently, Chernobyl, the HBO mini-series that has earned 19 Emmy nominations, including one for Harris, for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie. He’s also taken on film roles—in 2008’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, 2012’s Lincoln, and, now, Morbius, Sony’s superhero picture, which hits theaters next summer. Here, Harris presents a book selection as varied as his career.

Travels, by Michael Crichton

Always entertaining, Mr. Crichton approaches this autobiographical compilation with the same veracity he brought to his science fiction. Candid, insightful, and funny, he takes us on his journeys through medical school, Hollywood, Mount Kilimanjaro, and the gorillas of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, among others. My favorite is an encounter with his grumpy spirit guide, who takes the form of a cactus.

Grant, by Ron Chernow

Post–Civil War historians did to Ulysses S. Grant what Shakespeare did to Richard III, and their true stories have struggled to emerge ever since. Chernow’s exhaustive re-evaluation of this much-maligned figure goes a long way toward reclaiming his narrative.

Hamlet, by William Shakespeare

The first existential character, in the first modern play, all the more astonishing when you consider it was written at the turn of the 17th century. I never tire of reading or seeing it.

Love, Honour and Dismay, by Elizabeth Harrison

O.K., a shameless plug for my mother’s out-of-print autobiography. I’m obviously biased, but she manages to come through the 60s, and her marriages to my father and Rex Harrison, with her sense of self intact. Despite the unflinching detail, both my father and Rex remained good friends with her up until the end of their lives.

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