Strong women as protagonists of their own stories. That’s what you’ll find in the nominations of Reese’s Book Club, the book club of American actress Reese Witherspoon. Passionate about literature, the artist founded the initiative in 2017 with the intention of not only sharing her experiences, but also promoting the work of first-time or lesser-known authors.
To be part of the nominations, there is only one rule: the title must be written and starring a woman. The genres are varied and range from thriller to romance. Reese handpicks the books and shares the nomination of the month on social media. The club is so successful in the United States that the selected works usually reach the top of the New York Times list shortly after they are released.
There is no need to pay anything to participate. Readers just need to download the club app and complete their first reading to become a member. Support texts and videos are available there, links to purchase the indicated titles and even virtual events. The club also has an Instagram page with over 2.3 million followers.
Reese is extremely attentive and accurate in her choices. She has already bought the adaptation rights to some of the books that have gained fame at the club. This is the case of “Little Fires Everywhere”, by Celeste Ng, which was adapted into a series in 2020 by Amazon Prime Video. In addition to integrating the production, Reese played one of the protagonists.
Other adaptations awaited by readers were also indications of the club. “Daisy Jones and The Six”, by Taylor Jenkins Reid, and “Red, White and Blood Blue”, by Casey McQuiston, are expected to arrive at the audiovisual soon. The club gained so much notoriety that today it already promotes the launch of titles by renowned writers.
The club, however, goes beyond just promoting literature. Reese seeks to encourage girls who dream of making a career in the area. The actress is offering five scholarships to novice authors, who will participate in a retreat with award-winning writers and will have all the marketing support of the club. Enrollments are open.
I ended up taking the opposite path: I got to know the club after having read several of the titles indicated. The selections are so similar to my personal taste, that I ended up following them on Instagram and today I keep an eye on the news. There have been more than 50 works to date, so I’m sure one of them will catch your attention. Check out some of the directions!
The Guest List (Lucy Foley)
This is the second thriller book by the author, who debuted in the publishing world with the bestseller “A Última Festa”. In this work, Lucy Foley brings the same formula as the first novel: a group of people are trapped in a remote location, when some natural phenomenon happens and a body is found.
The plot of “The Guest List” takes place during a wedding between a successful couple. He is a rising television star and she is the editor of her own magazine. The lavish party on a deserted island off the coast of Ireland turns into a nightmare when, after a storm, the waitress announces to guests that someone has died.
I’ve read the author’s first title and found it super engaging, I didn’t put it down until I found the ending. The second book awaits its chance on my shelf, but the vast majority of reviews claim that the quality of “The Guest List” surpasses Lucy’s debut novel.
Small Fires Everywhere (Celeste Ng)
A five star family drama. That was my note after reading it. Celeste Ng built an engaging and thought-provoking narrative. The great asset of “Small Fires Everywhere”, in my opinion, is to portray in a raw and brilliant way the daily life of a small town where everyone knows each other.
In the book, two women with very different personalities will have their lives intertwined. Elena Richardson is almost a Shaker Heights celebrity, involved in everything and a friend to everyone. Mia Warren, an enigmatic artist, arrives in town with her teenage daughter in search of a better life. They meet when Mia rents an apartment that belongs to Elena’s family.
North American media outlets such as The Guardian and Entertainment Weekly elected the book as one of the best of 2017. The book was selected by the club even before publication and, after its debut, entered the bestseller list. In addition to that nomination, Reese bought the adaptation rights and produced an eight-episode miniseries for Amazon Prime Video.
A Road to Freedom (Jojo Moyes)
Knowing that the book was inspired by a true story makes any woman proud. In “A Road to Freedom”, by the renowned author Jojo Moyes, five women face an entire city for the love of literature.
The book begins in the 1930s, in a small town in the United States, when society still expected everyone to follow ancient religious customs. A traveling library needs volunteers to take books to remote locations. Despite prejudice, a group of women accepts the challenge.
It’s inspiring to follow the characters’ journey. They are extremely different women, but who unite for the purpose of spreading the power of words. Jojo Moyes delivers, once again, a complete book, filled with emotion, learning and breaking paradigms.
Alice’s Net (Kate Quinn)
It’s the book on the list that I’m most looking forward to reading! This story has been catching my attention for some time, because it takes place during the World Wars. The synopsis is a little complex and I think it explains the success of the work: two women who live at different times will meet.
Charlie St. Clair is pregnant and about to be kicked out of her home in 1947, just after the end of World War II. The parents try to hide the pregnancy and the girl ends up fleeing to London, in order to find her cousin who disappeared during the Nazi occupation, who would be her last hope in this difficult time.
Eve Gardiner begins the plot in 1915, fighting the Germans in World War I. She participated in a large network of spies, the Alice Network, which years later is dismantled. Eve then spends her days drunk at home, until she hears a familiar but long-forgotten name.
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