Seven celebrity book clubs to follow along with this summer
If you’re stuck in a reading rut but don’t want the commitment of joining your local book club (or setting one up with friends), these celebrity-approved monthly titles will keep you on track.
Look, we’ve all been there. With the best of intentions, you valiantly join your local book club only for your once beloved pastime of reading to begin to feel like an obligation, a chore, or dare I say it, homework.
There’s also the well meaning pseudo-book club you cobble together with a couple of pals in an attempt to see more of one another under the veil of intellectual stimulation, only to find yourself three glasses of wine deep, ripping a hurriedly-read beach reads to shreds.
It’s a catch 22 really. That’s where the celebrity book club comes into the equation. Guaranteed to proffer top tier recommendations, and a pressureless environment to engage in discussion, here are some of our favourites…
Between Two Books
Set up in 2012 when Irish woman Leah Moloney Tweeted Florence Welch suggesting that she ought to start her own book club, Between Two Books was born from a desire to connect through a shared love of literature, music, and the arts. From there, a vibrant online community sprang up, and in addition to Florence’s own recommendations, the club also hears from special guests such as Greta Gerwig, Nick Cave, Adwoa Aboah, and Sally Rooney on what they think we should be reading. Their spring pick is ‘Priestdaddy’ by Patricia Lockwood, and all you’ve got to do to take part is pick up a copy, get reading, and follow along with the discussion on Instagram.
Kaia Gerber’s virtual book club
During the long days and isolation of lockdown in 2020, model and actress Kaia Gerber started an online book club to discuss what she was reading with her fans, followers, and a special guest. Returning in 2023 with The Overstory by Richard Powers, Gerber discussed climate activism, social justice, and environmental health with Leah Thomas of the Intersectional Environmentalist. Next on the agenda is In Memoriam by Alice Winn, but one very kind soul has uploaded all her previous Instagram Live discussions to YouTube so that you can look back at past chats with Lena Dunham, Cindy Crawford, and Emily Ratajkowski.
Oprah’s Book Club
Since 1996, Oprah’s Book Club has selected books that engender conversation, spark enlightenment, help launch emerging authors, and reacquaint us with the already prominent. Aiming to connect readers around a community of fellow bibliophiles, Oprah selects each title herself, and delights in sharing books she loves with the club’s ever-growing audience. Her most recent pick, The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese, became the 101st title in a long list of exceptional books, with Oprah commenting: “It’s one of the best books I’ve read in my entire life.”
Celebrating good books and the people that read them, Belletrist began when best friends Emma Roberts and Karah Preiss transformed their shared hobby into an online community of like minded subscribers. Selecting a new title each month, they dive deep with the author to learn more about each story and its characters, the intricacies of the writing process, and how each book came to life. This month’s pick is I Could Live Here Forever by Hanna Halperin.
Reese’s Book Club
Perhaps the most successful of all the celebrity book clubs, Reese Witherspoon’s began in 2017 and has been providing excellent monthly recommendations ranging from suspenseful thrillers to moving memoirs ever since. The one thing they all have in common? There’s a woman at the centre of every story. If you need to check on Reese’s literary credentials, she’s also the woman behind Hello Sunshine, the production company that brought Daisy Jones and the Six, Little Fires Everywhere, and Where the Crawdads Sing to life. This month’s title is Did You Hear About Kitty Karr by Crystal Smith Paul.
Jennette McCurdy’s Instagram book club
The newest club to join the batch, Jennette McCurdy is picking one fiction and one nonfiction title each month for her followers to read along and comment upon. Taking place through Instagram comments, her first selections are fiction title Hang the Moon by Jeannette Walls, and Rosie Waterland’s memoir, The Anti-Cool Girl. McCurdy is currently sitting pretty for the 40th week in a row on the New York Times bestseller list for I’m Glad My Mom Died, so it’s safe to say we can trust her judgement.
Okay, so this one may not strictly be a book club in the traditional sense, but this imprint from Sarah Jessica Parker and Zando publishers brings sweeping, expansive, thought-provoking, and big-hearted stories from international and underrepresented voices to a wider audience, capturing the contemporary imagination and reflecting a wide-range of voices and experiences. “I make no secret of my devotion to books, the necessary role they play in my life and my endless admiration for authors and storytellers,” SJP said. “I feel especially fortunate to take part in the process of helping readers uncover their new favorite books and authors, a task I don’t take lightly and will tend to fiercely.”
Featured image via Reese’s Book Club on Instagram