You might be used to your monthly book club with a group of your friends, but what about joining a discussion with thousands of other people?
That’s exactly what you get with celebrity book clubs, where a famous figure chooses a monthly novel for their millions of followers to read.
Now is the perfect time to pick up a book and get lost in a new story – but instead of your mates you’ll be discussing it with with a whole new group of people via social media.
Here are some of the best celebrity book clubs to join if you’re in need of some new reading material…
Model Kaia Gerber is the latest celebrity to set up an online book club, and hers is a direct result of the coronavirus crisis.
“I know we are all feeling isolated right now, so I was trying to think of easy ways we can stay connected (beyond just scrolling) and decided I’m gonna start a book club. I read a lot on my own, but would love to be able to talk to you guys about it,” the 18-year-old posted on Instagram.
The first book she’s chosen is Sally Rooney’s Normal People. This is the Irish author’s second book, which came out to huge acclaim in 2018. It tracks the complicated relationship between two teenagers, Connell and Marianne, as they move from high school in the countryside to studying at Trinity College in Dublin.
Actor Emma Roberts set up her book club Belletrist with producer and writer Karah Preiss. Every month they pick a book and talk about it with their online community, often inviting guests – like writers and other celebrities – into the discussion.
The picks tend to have a feminist slant – last year they chose cult book Three Women by Lisa Taddeo, an exploration of women and sex. The March pick has been These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card, which tracks the lives of the Paisley family from Jamaica to Harlem.
Even if you don’t want to join in on the discussion, the Belletrist Instagram page is well worth a follow for the picture-perfect posts.
Reese Witherspoon’s book club is explicitly feminist, as she only chooses novels with women at the centre. She set up the club in 2017, and the current pick is The Jetsetters by Amanda Eyre Ward, which follows the complicated family dynamics of 70-year-old Charlotte Perkins and her estranged children.
Witherspoon’s book club has already proved hugely influential – she can introduce an author to her 22.1 million followers on Instagram, and she’s even combined her love of books with her acting career. Back in 2017 she chose Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste NG, and now Witherspoon has produced and starred in a new TV adaptation of it.
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Our next book club selection is “American Dirt” by @jeaninecummins! From the first page, first sentence, @oprah was IN. It’s a heart-wrenching page-turner, and you won’t be able to put it down. If you’ve been wanting to #ReadWithUs, now’s your chance to join the club and the conversation. Download your copy on @applebooks, link in bio.
Oprah Winfrey is the godmother of celebrity book clubs. She started hers back in the Nineties, but has neatly transitioned into an online approach in the digital age and now has an Apple TV show for the club.
Her first pick back in 1996 was The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard, a suspense story following a mother whose child has disappeared. Winfrey’s recent pick, American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins, shows how impactful her book club still is because it stirred up so much controversy. It started conversations over who has the right to tell what kind of stories, as Cummins is a white woman writing about the Mexican migrant experience.