If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to read more this year and you’ve realised we’re midway through February and the only thing you’ve read is the ‘recently added’ titles on Netflix, then perhaps one of these celeb approved books is a good place to start.
While being famous doesn’t automatically make you an expert in literature, we have to say there is something refreshing about these A-listers choosing to share their favourite reads via Instagram with their followers, rather than spruiking a swimwear line or dubious ‘fit tea’.
Celebrity book clubs are a trend we can get on board with and these ladies ave all posted the book they currently have their nose in.
‘An American Marriage’, Tayari Jones
The most famous celebrity book club of all time, and certainly the longest running is Oprah’s Book Club. A tick of approval from the talk show queen can turn a book into a New York Times best seller overnight.
Oprah took to Instagram to announce her pick for February and was so excited about ‘An American Marriage’, she spoke about it at length in a video.
Oprah says she loved this book because it redefined the american love story. “I think you’ll come away with greater empathy and understanding, but even if you don’t, it’s just a great read.” She advises that it’s the ideal book to read along with a friend or family member so you can discuss it as you’re reading it.
‘An American Marriage’ has just been released, so it’s a good opportunity to get in early on what will be one of this years’ most talked about novels.
‘The Light We Lost’, Jill Santopolo
Close pal of Oprah, and co-star of the upcoming film A Wrinkle in Time, Reese Witherspoon also has a book club. Her choice for this month is The Light We Lost, and be warned, you’re going to need a jumbo box of kleenex if you decide to read this novel.
Reviewers have described the book as ‘devastating’ and ‘harrowing’, and have said it’s the kind of book you can’t put down.
It’s the story of a beautiful, emotional and soul-crushing love story that begins on 9/11 and spans the next decade.
Reese says, “This book kept me up all night, turning the pages to find out. Can’t tell you the ending but definitely have tissues close by!! I loved it!”
‘Fans of One Day’ by David Nicholls and ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes will love Reese’s pick. It would also make a great film… perhaps Reese has had the same thought! This book hits shelves on the 19th February.
‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’, Reni Eddo-Lodge
Emma Watson loves a good book, just like the Hermione Granger, the character that made her famous. Emma hosts a feminist book club, called Our Shared Shelf, at Goodreads and it has attracted many members who love to read her recommendations and then discuss them amongst each other.
Her recommendations aren’t light beach or plane reads, but are certainly incredibly thought provoking and guaranteed to make you one of the most well-read an interesting people at a dinner party. More importantly, they will give you more perspective into important issues like feminism, race, culture, body image and sexual assault.
Emma’s choice for February, ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’, is her first pick of 2018. She says, “this book talks about the history of racism in Britain, and ways we can see, acknowledge and challenge racism. I am not supposed to have favorites, however this was the most important book for me this year.” She goes on to explain that it made her reexamine her views, acknowledge her own privilege and the label of ‘white feminism’.
Of the author Emma said, “We all have blind spots. We need people that love us to call us out and then walk with us while we do the work.”
‘The Immortalists’, Chloe Benjamin
Ryan Murphy’s favourite young actress, Emma Roberts, started a book club called Belletrist in March 2017 and along with friend and writer Karah Preiss, recommends a book every month. They also highlight a different independent book store in America each week and have interviews and discussions such as Roberts’ interview with Didion and corresponding essay.
Their February choice is the same book Oprah picked, so we’ll look back at January as ‘The Immortalists’ by Chloe Benjamin is well worth a spot on your shelf. Set in 1969 in New York City’s Lower East Side, a mystical woman claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes. Their prophecies inform their next five decades.
Emma said, “So excited to announce ‘The Immortalists’ as the January book pick. It’s such a beautiful and deeply moving story.”
It was not intentional to list only recommendations by female celebrities, a search for book clubs hosted by male stars was fruitless. ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ author, John Green, recommends excellent books, as does Barack Obama, who posts his favourites at the end of every year. However, it would be great to see more male celebs encouraging reading.
I, for one, would love to know what Seth Meyers, Harry Styles, Hugh Jackman, Bill Murray and John Oliver have on their bookshelf.