Discover my five favorite books from top celebrity book clubs. From Reese to Oprah to Jenna, the ultimate must-read list awaits. Get the scoop on them all!
Celebrity book clubs have become quite influential in my reading life, and I’m sure I’m not alone. From Reese Witherspoon to Oprah Winfrey, these celebrity book clubs are taking the literary world by storm!
On this week’s Book Gang podcast episode, we spill the literary tea on some of your favorite celebrity book clubs. In this episode, Josh (from @tellthebeees on Tiktok) joins me to discuss how Hollywood and literature can collide.
We discuss the celebrity power of Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Jenna Bush on the publishing industry. We also discuss the Noname Book Club and her mission to get books into the hands of incarcerated individuals.
Listen to the full episode (the show notes are located here) below and subscribe to the Book Gang podcast for more episodes like this one.
How Did Celebrity Book Club Get Started?
In 1996, Oprah introduced her on-air book club with a simple goal: “to get the whole country reading again.” Her first book selection was The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard.
Oprah’s book club quickly became a cultural force in the literary world. She has been estimated to drive sales anywhere between 20 to 100 times more than any other media personality.
It is fun to reflect on the response of writers in those early days. Initially, some authors hesitated to have their work endorsed by a celebrity book club. Still, as time passed, Oprah’s approval became an author’s badge of honor, with many seeing a significant boost in sales after selection.
Thanks to Oprah’s influence, many celebrities are leading book clubs, each with a unique approach. In fact, during the pandemic, many celebrities started book clubs, but not all of them had staying power.
One of the most legendary of these book club stars was Kim Kardashian & Chrissy Teigen. After announcing that they were starting a book club in 2017, they got as far as meeting once and posting a few tweets about it – and no further. Kim said, “It never took off because we were lazy.”
One thing that has become increasingly clear about celebrity book clubs is that they are a driving force within the publishing industry and bring much success to these chosen writers.
Today I am sharing five of my favorite selections from these three featured celebrity book clubs in honor of today’s discussion. As we discuss more book clubs in the future, this book club list will later expand beyond this initial list. We hope to explore many other book clubs in the future, including an Oprah’s Book Club Deep Dive!
Don’t Forget to Join the MomAdvice Book Club
Of course, I can’t encourage you enough to join MY book club, The MomAdvice Book Club! Not only do I curate twelve books for discussion each year, but we enhance this experience through our Patreon group. By joining, you gain access to exclusive author interviews and book club playlists that immerse you further in these book selections. To learn more about that, visit our 2023 book club books list.
Meet Jenna’s Book Club
Jenna Bush Hager, a former First Daughter of the United States, author, journalist, and television personality, founded Jenna’s Book Club. The club was launched in March 2019 as part of the Today Show on NBC.
Jenna’s Book Club features a new book selection every month, announced on the Today Show and on Jenna’s social media channels. The books selected are a mix of genres, including fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, and other types of literature. The club also provides discussion questions for each book selection to help facilitate conversations and engage readers. You can see the full list of Jenna’s picks here.
Meet Reese’s Book Club
Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club is an online book club founded by the actress and producer Reese Witherspoon. The club focuses on promoting and celebrating books written by women, with a particular emphasis on uplifting and amplifying the voices of underrepresented authors.
Each month, Witherspoon selects a new book to feature on her book club Instagram page and share with her millions of followers. The books chosen are often contemporary fiction, memoirs, or compelling and thought-provoking essays.
In addition to her monthly book picks, Witherspoon also interviews the authors of the selected books on her Instagram page and shares their insights and inspirations behind their work. This provides a unique opportunity for readers to learn more about the books and their authors. You can see the full list of Reese’s picks here.
Meet the Noname Book Club
Noname is a rapper, singer, and poet from Chicago known for her socially conscious and introspective rap lyrics. She’s also the founder of the Noname Book Club, a Black-led cooperative that connects community members, including those in carceral facilities, with radical books written by Black, Indigenous, and other people of color.
Noname’s mom owned a bookstore in Chicago for 20 years, so she grew up around books her whole life. The library was a big part of her younger years; she even started recording her music in her local library. It’s clear that books have always been a big part of her life, and she’s using her platform to share her love of reading with others.
Since its founding in 2019, the club has established 12 chapters across the US and sends books to hundreds of incarcerated individuals.
The club’s mission is to provide free resources to incarcerated individuals and make revolutionary literature available in local communities. They’ve faced challenges in navigating what is and isn’t against prison rules for literature, but they’re working hard to get their books into the hands of those who need them.
They currently have local chapters in Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Oakland, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, and Washington D.C. If you’re interested in joining, they pick one or two new books every month and ask that you pick a Black-owned bookstore to purchase from or grab a copy from your local library.
What I love about their monthly picks is that they tell you exactly the focus, so you can find books with themes you want to explore and learn about every month. The list is robust and eclectic, which matches Noname’s artistic style. You can see the full list of Noname’s picks here.
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What have been YOUR favorite celebrity book club books? Do we share any favorites?
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