This Barbie is a reader: recommendations for every doll's Dreamhouse

Books are everything. . .

As the most hyped film of the year finally comes to the big screen, we have some reading recommendations for a few of the Barbieland residents. (Allan – you can just borrow Ken's book.)

Physicist Barbie

A Brief History of Black Holes

by Dr Becky Smethurst

Book cover for A Brief History of Black Holes

Right now, you are orbiting a black hole. And we don't mean the portal between Barbieland and the real world. In this captivating and witty book, Dr Becky Smethurst explains why black holes aren’t really ‘black’, that you never ever want to be ‘spaghettified’, how black holes are more like sofa cushions than hoovers and why, beyond the event horizon, the future is a direction in space rather than in time. We're pretty sure Physicist Barbie will be on her way to a second Nobel Prize by the time she's finished this. 

Mermaid Barbie

Our Wives Under the Sea

by Julia Armfield

Book cover for Our Wives Under the Sea

Half fish; half doll. You know where you are with Mermaid Barbie. Miri, however, has no idea what has happened to Leah when she finally returns from a deep sea mission that ended in catastrophe. Whatever happened out at sea, and whatever it was they were supposed to be studying, Leah has carried part of it with her, onto dry land and into their home. This strange, haunting book sits between the boundaries of horror, sci-fi and literary fiction. Not unlike the Barbie film. 

Dr Barbie

Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands

by Mary Seacole

Book cover for Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands

Seeing as Dr Barbie heals her patients in the time it takes to speak one sentence, there's plenty of time for reading, and hopefully this inspirational memoir will help her make the most of her downtime. Mary Seacole left her native Jamaica to travel through the Caribbean, The Bahamas, Central America and to England. Keen to offer her services to English troops in the Crimean War, she was at first refused official support. But she went anyway, tending to wounded soldiers and dispensing medicine in the teeth of battle. This is her wonderfully entertaining, moving autobiography.

Weird Barbie

Sea Change

by Gina Chung

Book cover for Sea Change

Weird Barbie may have crayon all over her face and be constantly doing the splits, but is her best friend a giant Pacific octopus called Dolores? Ro has just entered her thirties, she’s estranged from her mother, and her boyfriend has just left her to join a mission to Mars. With her best friend pulling away to focus on her upcoming wedding, Ro’s only companion is the aforementioned Dolores, her last remaining link to her father, a marine biologist who disappeared while on an expedition when Ro was a teenager. When Dolores is sold to a wealthy investor intent on moving her to a private aquarium, Ro has one last chance to come to terms with her childhood trauma, recommit to those around her, and find her place in an ever-changing world. Sea Change is a hugely original, heart-capturing and very weird book.

Irrepressible Thoughts of Death Barbie

Crying in H Mart

by Michelle Zauner

Book cover for Crying in H Mart

More than just an amusing line, Barbie's unexpected and unstoppable thoughts of death are central to the film's plot and more serious underlying message. If Barbie wants to learn more, she could start with this astonishing memoir. Knowing in advance that it's about grief will not prepare you for the unflinching, emotional sucker punch that is Crying in H Mart. Also known as indie rockstar Japanese Breakfast, Michelle Zauner writes movingly on growing up mixed-race, Korean food, losing her Korean mother, and forging her own identity in the wake of that loss, with a startling and necessary frankness. 

President Barbie

Red, White and Royal Blue

by Casey McQuiston

Book cover for Red, White and Royal Blue

What happens when America's First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales? As if America's first woman President didn't have enough to deal with. Alex Claremont-Diaz is handsome, charismatic, a genius – pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. He has, unfortunately, just been captured in the British tabloids having a fight with Henry, the Prince of Wales. As relations between the two countries falter, the two men are forced into a state-dictated performative truce which requires them to spend a lot of time together. . .

Ordinary Barbie

Confessions of a Forty-Something F**k Up 

by Alexandra Potter

Book cover for Confessions of a Forty-Something F**k Up 

A novel for any woman who wonders how the hell she got here, why life isn't quite how she imagined it was going to be, and who is desperately trying to figure it all out when everyone around them is making gluten-free brownies. That is to say, a lot of us. Having left a great job in New York to start a new life in California with the man she loves, Nell is now back in London under a literal and metaphorical cloud. Unemployed, living in a stranger's spare room and having to compete with children, careers and a wealthy usurper called Annabel for the attention of her friends, she starts up a secret podcast as an outlet for her entertainingly expressed but deeply heartfelt frustration. Through this, alongside an unexpected friendship with octogenarian widow Cricket, things finally start to look up.


All the Pretty Horses

by Cormac McCarthy

Book cover for All the Pretty Horses