(Oprah.com) -- Look for the actress in ABC's new drama Pan Am -- as well as on the couch reading books rich in imagination.
The Chronicles of Narnia
By C.S. Lewis
"I would reread them every summer," says Christina Ricci of the children's series featuring a deity named Aslan, a benevolent lion. "I actually prayed to him, convinced that he would come into my room and take me to Narnia." By 19, Ricci no longer prayed to Aslan, but she found another expression of her devotion: She had Aslan's image, her first tattoo, inked on her shoulder.
She's Come Undone
By Wally Lamb
"I have given this book to so many people and reread it, I think, a million times," says Christina Ricci. "I love it because it's about surviving." The novel's unforgettable protagonist, Dolores Price, endures sexual abuse, parental neglect, and years in a mental institution -- but never loses her fighting spirit. "As long as we can tell stories about our ability to survive, the more we will hope, not self-destruct."
By Patti Smith
The sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll of the 1970s "always scared me," says 31-year-old Christina Ricci, who hadn't yet been born when rocker Patti Smith and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe were making music and art together, as chronicled in this 2010 memoir. "Their story sort of restored my faith in people. They went through so much but could still forgive and love each other."
By Ayn Rand
"When I was struggling with a sense of identity, this book helped me feel empowered about being a little different," says Christina Ricci. A teenager when she read the popular 1943 novel, she knew nothing about the book's polarizing ideology, nor was she drawn to its iconoclastic protagonist, Howard Roark. "I didn't like that guy," says Ricci.
The Story Sisters
By Alice Hoffman
"Recently, I've really responded to books that bring the magic of childhood back to us as adults," says Christina Ricci, who bought this novel about traumatized sisters at an airport, not knowing what to expect. "It was very sad, but in a way it was also uplifting because they never lost the love they had for each other." Hoffman's take on magical realism -- the sisters construct their own language to protect themselves from hurt -- "was so beautiful. I was in tears for most of the flight!"
Oprah.com: 31 classics that have stood the test of time
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