updated 08/28/2012 AT 4:00 PM ET
•originally published 09/01/2012 AT 3:00 PM ET
On HBO’s breakout hit Girls, Zosia Mamet’s character Shoshanna was more likely to read a self-help book – and then talk incessantly about it – or take a trendy exercise class than sit down with a great American novel.
But that’s not the case in real life for the actress, 24, who tells PEOPLE she and her bubbly, trend-obsessed character “are just literally the opposite human being.”
Mamet, the daughter of director and playwright David Mamet and actress Lindsay Crouse, is currently filming season 2 of the Emmy-nominated comedy in New York – the show is slated to return to HBO in January – but that hasn’t interfered too much with her reading habits.
What else is on her recent reading list?
“I went on a Françoise Sagan kick and read everything she wrote,” Mamet says. “Bonjour Tristesse is fabulous, and A Certain Smile is amazing.”
“I read something before that that is really exceptional called The Lives of a Bengal Lancer by Francis Yeats-Brown, this guy that served in this crazy part of the army in Britain and India back in the day,” she continues. “It’s just really fascinating and it’s full of incredible information. … My favorite thing about a book is being totally swept away, just taken up in an entirely different world than the one I’m living in.”
Still, Mamet (whose character memorably smoked crack by accident during Girls’s first season) is grounded enough to be focused on her work – and remembers not to accidentally share any spoilers about season 2.
“The show is going great,” she says of filming. “[But there’s] nothing I can share. I’m sworn to secrecy. I m wearing a taser around my ankle. Just kidding.”
For more book recommendations and book reviews, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday