Jenna Bush Hager is a woman of many talents, and we connect with her over a shared love of books. From picking a book every month for her Today Show and Jenna Bush Hager book club (@ReadWithJenna) to posting about some more of her favorite new reads on her Instagram, she’s a woman with excellent taste in books. This is what Jenna Bush Hager is reading for her @ReadWithJenna and @TodayShow book club.
Beautiful Country by Qian Julie Wang
“A powerful and moving memoir about Qian Julie Wang’s childhood move from China to the United States and all the challenges that came with it, the novel sets out to depict a very different version of ‘Mei Guo’, the Chinese word for America that literally translates to ‘beautiful country'”
The Turnout by Megan Abbott
“‘The Turnout’ is a suspenseful mystery novel that tells the story of two ballerina sisters, Dara and Marie, who inherit their mother’s dance studio after losing their parents in a tragic but suspicious accident. We hope you’ll read along with us, and that you enjoy Megan’s dark, enchanting writing as much as we do! #ReadWithJenna”
Hell of a Book by Jason Mott
@JennabHager describes the book as, “Original, heartbreaking, poignant and in moments, hilarious.”
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Summer is starting, and it gets even better with this months pick, “This is the perfect beach read! It’s about the power of siblings. How much we love them, what divides us, what brings us together. Put this in your beach bag! “
Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead
“This book has it all! It’s epic in scope … it’s about female ambitions, what we’re supposed to be and how to break out of that mold”
Good Company by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
While announcing this months pick, Jenna describes this book as “A story filled with charm, humor, and grace … a story about marriage, about female friendships, maybe about betrayal. It is the perfect book to take out to the park. You’re gonna think it’s predictable, it ain’t.”
What’s Mine and Yours by Naima Coster
“A good book + a hot cup of coffee = the best way to start a morning! ☕️💕 (📷: @bookshelfbliss )” Jenna is starting off her mornings with her March book club pick.
Send for Me by Lauren Fox and The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
In honor and celebration of the second anniversary of Read with Jenna Book Club, we get two books to read for the second month of the year. February brings love and beauty to Jenna’s picks!
When talking about Send for Me, Jenna says, “It’s beautiful and poetic. It’s about what it means to be human, and family.”
The second book for February, The Four Winds, was a favorite pick of fans and Jenna, “You’ve been asking for Historical Fiction, so this month we gave you two great historical fiction books!”
Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour
January’s pick is starting off the New Year with a fresh start, and Jenna says its “raw and intimate — and a title I knew our book club readers needed to read as we begin this new year with a fresh start.”
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
An oldie, but a goodie. Jenna picks a Toni Morrison classic for her December pick, “I suspect that a lot of our book club members will be rereading this book for the first time since high school or college. I know I am particularly excited to pick up my old favorite again. I expect that it will hit me differently than it did when I was an adolescent girl, not much older than Pecola.”
White Ivy by Susie Yang
While Jenna praises her November pick for being juicy and fun, she also says “While I always rooted for Ivy and empathized with her, I didn’t always like her or agree with her choices.”
Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
Suspenseful but emotional, Jenna Bush Hager says, “It is a suspense at its core, but to call it only a thriller discredits the incredible detail and intimacy with which the author writes about and understands family dynamics and race.”
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi, our September Guest Editor
Yaa Gyasi is back with her much anticipated second novel, Transcendent Kingdom. If you’re like us, you’ve been desperately waiting to hear from Yaa again after devouring her first novel Homegoing. Apparently, Jenna Bush Hager agrees, saying “I could not imagine a better book for this book club.” Jenna has announced Transcendent Kingdom as her September book club pick for the Today Show. See what she had to say in her Today Show announcement here.
Here For It by R. Eric Thomas
R. Eric Thomas didn’t know he was different until the world told him so. Everywhere he went–whether it was his rich, mostly white, suburban high school, his conservative black church, or his Ivy League college in a big city–he found himself on the outside looking in. In essays by turns hysterical and heartfelt, Thomas reexamines what it means to be an “other” through the lens of his own life experience.
In the wake of #GeorgeFloyd‘s death, Jenna shared that she wanted to promote a book that could continue important conversations happening around the country.
Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan
Jenna has announced her July 2020 book pick: Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan. She says, ““’Friends and Strangers’ is a compellingly readable book that feels a little bit like a beach read, but at the same time tackles themes of acceptance of others and also of yourself.” Grab your copy here.
A Burning by Megha Majumdar
When announcing her selection, which also happens to be a Book of the Month pick, Jenna called the book “devastatingly beautiful” and added that she views books as a tool for empathy. The book tells the story of three unique characters whose lives become intertwined after a terrorist attack in modern day India.
“I hope that people will use the book to think about how they themselves have pursued dreams and tried to improve their own lives in hard conditions however those hard conditions have presented in their own lives,” said Megha, the author.
All Adults Here by Emma Straub
As we shelter at home and reignite our love of reading, @Jennabhager has this to say about May’s pick. “It’s bright and colorful and you can escape into it. We can read it from the comforts of our own home and feel good.”
Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore
“I discovered Valentine when the owners of @bluewillowbooks in Houston, Texas recommended it to me. The owner, Valerie Koeher knows my taste in books and my heritage growing up in West Texas—this fierce debut novel combines both perfectly . In a time when we all need an escape, fall into the lives of Corrnine and Debra Ann and Mary Rose and Glory. Valentine is a beautiful story of justice and redemption, grace and strength.”
Writers & Lovers by Lily King
“To celebrate an entire year of #ReadWithJenna, I am so excited to share with you all that March’s pick is “Writers and Lovers” by Lily King. This coming-of-age story grapples with themes of identity, grief, ambition and love. I hope you will read with us and fall in love with Lily King’s, Casey Peabody, just like I did!”
The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré
“I’m in LOVE with February’s #ReadWithJenna book: “The Girl With The Louding Voice,” by Abi Daré! It is the fictional story of a Nigerian girl named Adunni who dreams of getting an education despite challenging circumstances. I fell in love with Adunni—her hope, humor and grace. And in the month of love — this is a love story about one young girl whose resilience and grit drive her until her voice is heard, loud and clear.”
Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano
“If you want to read more this year, and who doesn’t: read with us #readwithjenna! Dear Edward is the perfect book to start the year. It is a book about a remarkable boy named Edward who is the only survivor of a plane crash. It is a book about resilience and grace and about building a new life. As J. Courtney Sullivan said: “It will break your heart and put it back together again.””
Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss by Margaret Renkl
December’s #ReadWithJenna pick is Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss by @margaret.renkl This book tells the story of Renkl’s personal life through little vignettes about her family and the happiness and sadness that comes with love and loss. With Renkl’s love for nature shown in this book, Late Migrations made me feel like I was taking a walk through nature myself. While it is a fast read, I read it slowly and enjoyed every word
Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson
“Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson is a beautiful book about what lights us up. It is a book about love and family and acceptance and I missed it as soon as I finished reading it. Read with us! #readwithjenna“
All Adults Here by Emma Straub
“Y’all FEELING good this FRIDAY: LOOK what came in the mail! One of my favorites @emmastraub has a book out this May. And just like the novel ALL ADULTS HERE—and the fab woman who wrote it—the cover is colorful, bright and warm. Needed this sunshine today. Thanks Emma!#readwithjenna“
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
“The Dutch House is a delicious, dark fairy tale that I read compulsively. It is also a beautiful love story about the power of siblings. Plus, who doesn’t adore Ann Patchett? #ReadWithJenna #OctoberPick“
The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall
“The Dearly Beloved is a book about faith and doubt. Love and sorrow. It follows two couples whose lives are intertwined as they navigate pain and joy. And it made me think about with whom and where we find comfort when life hurts? Or who we reach for when the goodness in the world makes us want to sing out with joy? I gave this beauty of a book to my family—and loved the conversations that came out of it. Read with me—this gentle, gorgeously written book may be one of favorites ever. #readwithjenna“
Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn
“We’re closing out the summer with another page-turner. This month we’ll be reading #Patsy by @ndennisbenn and it’s a book that promises to prompt a lot of meaningful conversations. Will you be joining us? Follow along over on @readwithjenna all month long.”
Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok
“For those wondering why it took us a few days to announce our June #ReadWithJenna pick, it’s because #SearchingforSylvieLee just hit bookshelves today! I can’t wait for y’all to read this gripping story.”
A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum
“May book club pick: a favorite book of all time! The beautiful A Woman is no Man! #readwithjenna“
The Unwinding of the Miracle: A Memoir of Life, Death, and Everything That Comes After by Julie Yip-Williams
“And APRIL’s #readwithjenna pick is here!!! The Unwinding of the Miracle made me both weep as I read along with the author’s journey and hopeful—encouraged to live every day to the fullest. Join me and read a beautiful book about how we live and die; it’s sure to create awesome conversation!”
The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin
“We ❤️to read! Join along as we start @todayshow book club. We will read a different book each month. For March we will be reading The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin! #readwithjenna ?”
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