The Best Celebrity Book Clubs: What to Read Now

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Celebrity book clubs are all the rage but they can be a lot to keep up with and not all their picks are actually worth reading.

So what’s a book worm to do? Where should you start? Whose book club is worth following?

We can help! We’ve kept up with many celebrity book clubs and we have our favorite picks from each listed below. There is also a link to each of the full lists where the books are ranked from 5 stars to 2.

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The Best Celebrity Book Clubs

Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club

Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club was really the first of the modern celebrity book clubs to catch on in recent years. Started in 2017, her list features thrillers, romances, historical fiction, YA, non-fiction, and modern fiction.

Our favorites are below, but you can see the whole book list, ranked, here.

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

I raved about this book when I read it earlier this month! Well chosen, Reese! The story of a stepmother and her daughter as they try to find the girl’s father after his abrupt departure.

This mystery has so much heart as you see Hannah bond with and try to protect her new stepdaughter, Bailey. I did not see the ending of this book coming, but absolutely adored it.

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I started reading this book but when my audiobook library hold came in I changed over to the audiobook version. HOLY COW. The audiobook is EVEN BETTER. Seriously, I think this might have been my favorite audiobook of all time. I expect it to sweep the Audies this year for sure. The book is laid out in chronological order about the making of a band in the 70s, but the story is told in interview style from a dozen sources.

The audio version has a different narrator for each character and the performances the actors give are stupendous. I was overcome with emotion numerous times while I was listening. The story itself about the rise and fall of one of the hottest bands was so utterly fabulous – it’s pure sex, drugs and rock n’ roll in all the best ways. There is a Spotify playlist that goes with it – scroll down for all the details.

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

I have not read many books where the central characters are American Indian. This book takes place on the Michigan side of Sault Ste. Marie where Daunis is going to have a fresh start in college when she witnesses a murder. She suddenly finds herself working as a CI for the FBI as they investigate a lethal form of meth slowly killing her people. Her knowledge of science as well as the Ojibwe traditional medicines makes her the perfect person to help. 

While this is characterized as YA thriller, it has the depth and soul to appeal to any audience. I can see why this book has already been optioned for a Netflix Series. I really did not know very much about the Ojibwe culture before reading this book and the little bits about traditions and spirituality were fascinating. Each tidbit added more depth to the story and I could not put it down. I will read anything that Ms. Boulley writes! Thank you Macmillan Audio for my ALC of this book. The narration was wonderful and added to the story.

This is How it Always is by Laurie Frankel

Wow! There are so many things that I loved about this book.  Rosie and Penn have five boys.  The youngest, Claude wants to be a girl when he grows up.  As this family navigates life with secrets, there is never a good time to explain that your youngest daughter was born a male.  These loving and supportive parents try to navigate a world in which not everybody is open-minded.  This book is poignant and all too realistic.  It captures the innocence of youth and the struggles of an entire family. 

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

This historical fiction takes place during the First World War and after the Second World War as the story of two woman come together.  This was such a good book to listen to and although the subject matter was serious, there were moments when I was laughing out loud.  There was just the right amount of humor to make this a very readable book.

Read With Jenna – Jenna Bush Hager’s Book Club

Jenna Bush Hager started her book club on the Today show back in the spring of 2019. Her picks are generally stellar, with very few duds in the bunch.

They are often more literary than Reese’s picks and cover a variety of thought-provoking topics. You can see all of Jenna’s Book Club picks here, where we ranked them.

Dear Edward by Anne Napolitano

The minute I read the first page, I was immediately captured. I love the way this book was written. 

It is about one boy who survives a plane crash and that crash happens within the first few pages of the book  But the book moves back and forth between the plane flight and the aftermath so that you get to know the people on the flight and their stories.

A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum

The abuse suffered by the women in the book was heartwrenching.  It looks at three generations of Palestinian-American women and their struggles to bloom and become independent. 

I am shocked at the treatment of these women.  Isra is a 17-year-old girl in Palestine entertaining suitors.  She finds herself betrothed and off to live in the United States with a new husband that she has met only a few times. 

In New York, 17-year-old Deya wants to go to college before she is married,  Her grandmother Fareeda is insistent that she be married first. Rum does an unbelievable job telling this story. 

Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour

Thanks to HMH Books and Libro.fm for my review copy. Black Buck was everything I thought it would be and more! At times this book reminded me of the subtle racism in Such a Fun Age but it was also reminiscent of the systemic racism in The Nickel Boys. And then there was the whole Wolf of Wall Street portion that literally had me picturing Leo screaming on the trading room floor.⁣ It was both entertaining and thought-provoking. 5 stars.

Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore

I don’t want to say I loved this book, because the subject matter is gritty and dark, and yet I found myself enjoying it deeply.⁣ I loved the unconventional friendships and the stark look at racist double standards in equal measure.⁣

When 14-year-old, Hispanic, Gloria is raped by an older white man, the town of Odessa reacts strongly. Many people take one side, few take the other. ⁣ This story is dark but filled with hope. I connected to many of the characters and their struggles. It’s set in 1976, but quite honestly it reads very true today.⁣

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

There is so much that I loved about this book.  It is such a feel-good book that is more than what it seems.  It is well-written and funny and made our top books of 2019 list.

The story is about a woman who becomes a nanny for two children who start on fire when they get mad.  There is wonderful humor in this book that is centered around strong and beautiful relationships.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.⁣

The Good Morning America Book Club

GMA’s answer to Read with Jenna was to host their own celebrity book club. This one launched in the Fall of 2019 and it’s probably the best one of the bunch.

It’s not one of the celebrity book clubs with the face of one celeb, but rather the whole cast of GMA morning show anchors. For the whole list of books, ranked, check out this post.

The Husbands by Chandler Baker

Ladies, get your book clubs geared up for Chandler Baker’s newest novel. It’s part mystery, part social commentary, but it’s the latter that packs a punch.

Baker examines the mental load that women carry as wives and mothers, particularly working women, and how it differs from what society expects of men.

A murder in the desirable Dynasty Ranch neighborhood has lawyer, and prospective buyer, Nora looking into what happened. With all the step ford style husbands she is meeting, she’s starting to wonder what kind of place Dynasty Ranch is after all.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

I loved Matt Haig’s Last Book (How to Stop Time) and I was so excited to read this book.  I loved it even more- it is definitely one of my favorite books of the year.   This is a library that has books filled with the infinite possibilities of the lives not lived.  Have you ever wondered about a choice, or a path not taken? When Nora finds herself in the library she is forced to face the choices that she made in her life- relationships, education, profession…This is a magical book and I loved every minute of it. 

Long Bright River by Liz Moore

Long Bright River is phenomenal and I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN.⁣ The story takes place in Philly’s Kensington neighborhood which is known for having a huge opioid problem. 

You can’t live in my area and not know about the epidemic spreading through our city. It’s devastating and scary and this book deals with it head-on.⁣

The story revolves around 2 sisters. One is a cop, one is an addict – both are being impacted by a string of murders in the area.⁣ This book dealt with many issues around drug-addiction and it handles them without judging.

The Push by Ashley Audrain

This is a book that will scare the pants off most mothers. It’s compulsively readable.

Blythe Conner comes from a long line of bad mothers, but she’s determined not to be one. When she has Violet, she struggles to connect with her.

The reader is left wondering if Blythe is a mother who sees the worst in her child or if there really is something off with Violet. Something that even her husband can’t see.

Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore

I absolutely loved this story about Oona who at the stroke of midnight on her 19th birthday, finds herself in her 51-year-old body. She is greeted by a stranger who is waiting for her in her home and tells her that every year, she will jump to another point in her life- she will live her life out of order. ⁣

This is an emotional, well written story that will not only keep you quickly turning pages but make you think about the small things in life that we take for granted. ⁣

Oprah’s Book Club

And now we arrive at the OG. The queen bee of celebrity book clubs started picking best sellers back in 1996. After a brief hiatus, she relaunched Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 in 2012.

Oprah picks anywhere from 1-4 books a year and they are all heavy hitters. Deep, though-provoking texts that can be hard to read at times, Oprah’s picks are best for when you are in a certain mood.

With over 88 book picks under her belt, we have her full ranked list in this post, but our favorites are below.

Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker

Stop everything and add Hidden Valley Road to your TBR now!! Thank you so much Libro.fm and Double Day for my advanced copy of this book.  All I can say is wow!

This is the amazing story of Don and Mimi Galvin whose family paved the way for schizophrenia research over the past 50 years. Of their 12 children- 10 sons and 2 daughters, 6 of the boys have schizophrenia.

The struggles of this family to survive through the age of lobotomies and institutionalization provides a look into the history of this disorder. It’s unbelievable to think how far we’ve come and yet, we are not even close to understanding this disease

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

I absolutely loved this book and it was one of the first reviews we ever did on the blog. I love the way this book examined the underground railroad with a touch of magical realism.

The story is about Cora and Caesar, two run-away slaves in the south who run away to the underground railroad which, in this book, is an actual railroad.

Each stop along the way is reminiscent of a different place in history and it is interlaced with actual ads placed for runaway slaves. This book is profound and beautiful and a must read.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

For the record, I read this book BEFORE Oprah picked it! We spent a semester learning about this book my Senior Year. Each person was assigned a symbol to report on throughout the book each week.

Mine was goldfish -part of the symbolism of amnesia and the duality between amnesia and nostalgia. Yep. I still remember the lesson.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

I am so happy that I finally read this book.  Michelle Obama is a brilliant woman who is so well-spoken with such a wonderful story to tell. 

I listened to this and was so happy to hear the story read by Obama herself.

Night by Elie Weisel

I have a personal story about this book.  My husband’s grandmother grew up in the same town as Elie Weisel.  She knew both him and his wife.  This was the first thing that she told me when I met her (My husband’s name is also Elie but this is purely coincidental). 

This is a must-read non-fiction book about the Holocaust written by the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.  It is short but very powerful.

So which celebrity book clubs will you be joining?

The post The Best Celebrity Book Clubs: What to Read Now appeared first on Beyond the Bookends.

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