The 5 Sexiest Book-Based Leading Men

I couldn’t get Colin Firth in for Pride and Prejudice because TV isn’t the movies so I chose Bridget Jones’s Diary. You have to agree, even in the horrible Christmas sweater, he’s sexy.  The rest, well, they speak for themselves – and Brad speaks twice. The books that helped these men create indelible performances – from the uptight barrister of Bridget Jones’ s Diary to the straining at familial ties fly-fisherman of A River Runs Through It to the against-all-odds lifelong love affairs of The Notebook and Brokeback Mountain– these are the books you want to read in bed. And with books this good, you don’t need a movie to get your imagination going.

Casino Royale
by Ian Fleming

In the novel that introduced James Bond to the world, Ian Fleming’s agent 007 is dispatched to a French casino in Royale-les-Eaux. His mission? Bankrupt a ruthless Russian agent who’s been on a bad luck streak at the baccarat table.

Bridget Jones’s Diary
by Helen Fielding

In this hilarious, really-fun-to-read book that launched "chic lit" 30-something Bridget Jones details the highs and lows of her life, friendships, family relations, and complicated love life in diary entries that are breathless, a little desperate and always real. Brilliant.

Fight Club
by Chuck Palahniuk

The first rule about fight club is you don't talk about fight club. Every weekend, in the basements and parking lots of bars across the country, young men with white collar jobs and failed lives take off their shoes and shirts and fight each other barehanded just as long as they have to. Then they go back to those jobs with blackened eyes and loosened teeth and the sense that they can handle anything. Fight club is the invention of Tyler Durden, projectionist, waiter, and dark, anarchic genius, and it's only the beginning of his plans for violent revenge on an empty consumer-culture world.

A River Runs Through It
by Norman Maclean

This semi-autobiographical novel about the power and beauty of nature l inspired the classic film of the same name. The story of a Presbyterian family from turn-of-the century Montana for whom "there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing," it focuses on the relationship of two brothers: Older Norman who is try to straighten out his wild younger brother, Paul.

Brokeback Mountain
by Annie Proulx

Many of us have seen the ineffably beautiful Ang Lee film starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, but how many have read the Annie Proulx short story that was the basis for it? Originally published in The New Yorker in 1997, this elegant literary work manages to convey the magnitude of the film in very few pages—and is a revelation for those who believe the short story too narrow to contain multitudes. If you love this story, you'll want to read the original story collection, Close Range.