Not since Oprah has there been a more hyped book club than Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine. Reese’s passion for books and reading is undeniable; a quick look at her Instagram feed and you can see what she’s into at the moment. We checked in with her feed to see what she’s been loving lately.
Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen
Strait-laced, rule-abiding Ava Wong has built the perfect life:, but beneath this façade, her world is crumbling. Enter Winnie Fang, Ava’s enigmatic college roommate from Mainland China, who abruptly dropped out under mysterious circumstances. Now, twenty years later, Winnie is looking to reconnect, but the shy, awkward girl Ava once knew has been replaced with a confident woman of the world, dripping in luxury goods. Winnie has developed an ingenious counterfeit scheme that involves replicas of luxury handbags and now she needs someone with a U.S. passport to help her—someone who’d never be suspected of something criminal, someone like Ava. But when their spectacular success is threatened and Winnie vanishes once again, Ava is left to face the fallout.
The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams
Motherless and irrepressibly curious, young Esme spends her childhood in the Scriptorium, an Oxford garden shed in which her father and a team of dedicated lexicographers are collecting words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary. Beneath the sorting table, unseen and unheard, one day she rescues a slip of paper containing the word bondmaid that flutters beneath the table, and begins to collect other words that have been discarded. As she grows up, Esme realizes that words and meanings relating to women’s and common folks’ experiences often go unrecorded. And so she begins in earnest to search out words for her own dictionary: the Dictionary of Lost Words.
True Biz by Sara Novic
A book that dives into the heart of the deaf community and explores themes of love, loss, belonging, injustice, and persistence. In True Biz, the lives of three people at River Valley School, a residential school for the deaf, are inter-connected and influenced by one another. Charlie is a rebel who has come to River Valley to meet others from the deaf community for the first time. Another student, Austin, is reeling when his parents give birth to a hearing child. Meanwhile, the school’s headmistress, a CODA (child of deaf adults) fights to keep the school open and her life together under the pressure.
The Club by Ellery Lloyd
A glamorous club for only A-list celebrities and the ultra-rich is launching the ultimate excursion: a three-day party on an island off the English coast. Promising a wild time and a luxurious getaway that’s secluded from the media and fans, every celebrity is dying to get on the list. However, tensions are running high at the company running the club, Home Group. The overworked employees are nearing their breaking point and the club is proving to be more costly than expected. When guests finally arrive at the island, things take an unexpected turn and conflicts become more dangerous by the hour. Suddenly, members are hoping they can leave the island – before it’s too late.
The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont
The Christie Affair is an enthralling tale inspired by true events. In the novel, author Nina de Gramont re-imagines the events that lead to Agatha Christie’s unsolved disappearance in 1926 and what happened during the eleven days of her absence. The mystery begins with Nan O’Dea, the woman having an affair with Agatha’s husband Archie. Secrets from Nan’s past suggest that her affair with Archie didn’t evolve spontaneously. Nan’s plan was decades in the making. When Archie tells Agatha that he plans on leaving her for Nan, Agatha seeks answers, truths that may be better left unknown. Nan’s plot against the Christie’s and the events that follow involve murder, love, secrets, and forgiveness, making this is a story you won’t want to put down.
Honor by Thrity Umrigar
Honor follows the evolving story of two couples from culturally different backgrounds. Smita is an Indian American journalist and Meena is a Hindu woman from an Indian village. After Meena is attacked by her family and members of her village for marrying a Muslim man, Smita returns to India — where she thought she would never return — to tell Meena’s story. When Smita begins to fall for Mohan, a man she meets while in India, the difference between her and Meena’s situations becomes even more apparent: Smita is free to date Mohan and explore their relationship before making a long-term commitment. Meanwhile, Meena’s fate hangs in the balance. Both women show courage as they navigate and balance tradition, familial obligations, and being true to themselves.
Lucky by Marissa Stapley
Lucky Armstrong just pulled off a million-dollar heist with her boyfriend, However, when things go sideways this tough, talented grifter finds herself alone for the first time, navigating the world without the help of either her father or her boyfriend, the two figures from whom she’s learned the art of the scam. When Lucky discovers the lottery ticket she has is worth millions, she also realizes that cashing it in will mean her inevitable arrest. In her journey to better her life, she must find her mother who abandoned Lucky when she was just a baby, confront her father and the man she thought she loved – and his dark past is catching up, but it has its eyes set on Lucky.
The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak
A Greek Cypriot and a Turkish Cypriot walk into a taverna on the island they both call home and where Kostas and Defne become star-crossed lovers. A fig tree stretches through a cavity in the roof, and this tree bears witness to their hushed, happy meetings and eventually, to their silent, surreptitious departures. The tree survives war, ashes, rubble, and the vanishing teenagers. However, decades later the tree watches as Kostas returns in search for his lost love. Years later a Ficus carica grows in the back garden of a house in London where Ada Kazantzakis lives. This tree is her only connection to an island she has never visited, her only connection to her family’s troubled history and her complex identity as she seeks to untangle years of secrets to find her place in the world.
Sankofa by Chibundu Onuzo
Anna is having an existential crisis: separated from her husband, her daughter is all grown up, and her mother—the only parent who raised her—is dead. While going through her mother’s things, she finds clues about the African father she never knew. She discovers that he became the president of a small nation in West Africa, and he’s still alive. So, Anna begins her journey in finding him and unrooting her family’s secrets by finding her own roots.
L.A. Weather by by María Amparo Escandón
Oscar just wants a little rain in the dry, parched city of Los Angeles. Something to note, he’s obsessed with the weather, oh, and he has a secret. His wife doesn’t know what else to do but to desire a divorce in the face of wanting more intimacy and less weather channel. His three daughters are caught completely off guard and are left questioning everything. The Alvarado family will face more than secrets and personal struggles and they will be left with one question: Will they stick together or let their family ties burn?
We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz
What happens when two ride-or-die best friends who meet up once a year for an epic travel adventure find themselves in a dread-filled situation neither one planned for. Even though Emily lives in Wisconsin, and Kristen lives in Australia, they are dedicated to each other in a special kind of friendship. Committed enough that, when tragedy strikes, they’re willing to help the other person cover up a dead body—not once, but twice. They share the permanent, secret alliance of two people who have gotten away with murder, but as Emily continues life with Kristen by her side, she begins to slowly unravel the truth concerning the motives of her beloved friend on that fateful night.
The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller
When it comes to making the biggest decision of your life, what matters more: the events of one passionate night or the events of a lifetime? Waking up the morning after a spur-of-the-moment love affair, fifty-year-old Elle who is the mother of three kids and happily married to her husband is forced to reflect on a life-changing moment of the present in addition to the dark and concealed memories of her past. Throughout an intense introspection at her family’s long-time summer beach house—The Paper Palace—Elle recounts the secret-filled history she and her childhood love share while struggling to cope with what she should do next and what it will mean for her future in the next couple of hours.
Seven Days In June by Tia Williams
As the deadline for her 15th book approaches, best-selling erotica novelist Eva Mercy has admittedly run out of inspiration, but can’t afford to drop her series as a single mother. While on board at a Brooklyn literary event, Eva unexpectedly comes across reclusive award-winning novelist Shane Hall whom she met fifteen years prior in a sensual, love-filled week together. Although both act coy in pretending not to know one another, sparks fly as they begin to realize that the person they’ve been secretly writing to all these years is—each other. Still heartbroken from what happened in the past, Eva attempts to push Shane away while discovering the answers to several lingering questions she’s unknowingly suppressed for quite some time.
The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
Struggling to connect with her teenage stepdaughter, Hannah Hall’s seemingly normal life comes crashing down the moment her beloved husband of one year, Owen Michaels, suddenly disappears without a trace. In the midst of the confusion and a visit from a top U.S. marshal, Hannah discovers a note from before he left reading: Protect her—referring to his 16-year-old daughter, Bailey. Refusing to believe Owen’s suspicious involvement in fraud, Hannah launches her own investigation to figure out her husband’s real identity along with Bailey who might have some of the answers she’s been looking for. As the two navigate the truth behind it all, Hannah and Bailey realize their once strenuous relationship is slowly evolving into a possible future neither one of them could have anticipated together.
Northern Spy by Flynn Berry
Returning with another captivating and suspense-filled novel, the acclaimed author of Under the Harrow and A Double Life dives into the story between two sisters seeking a better future among a series of raids from the IRA. While working as a producer at the BBC, Tessa discovers her sister Marian is responsible for a recent robbery on behalf of the IRA in Northern Ireland. Faced with the shocking news, Tessa joins Marian as a double agent to further the IRA’s agenda while taking care of her infant son, but at what cost? As Tessa continuously puts her life at risk, she begins to make difficult decisions surrounding the bonds of her family accompanied by a sense of fragmented loyalty and safety.
Infinite Country by Patricia Engel
Trapped deep within the Andes inside a correctional facility built for adolescent girls, teenage Talia must desperately escape the heavily-guarded reform school and catch a plane in Bogatá to rejoin her mother and siblings back in New York. Following her father’s tragic deportation from the United States, Talia fights through a dangerous country surrounded by social unrest and political tension as her mixed-status family struggles to reunite with one another. The American-born, but Columbian-raised girl refuses to miss her flight and the chance to finally see her loved ones again, but not without enduring family-splintering hardships and disappointing heartbreak along the way.
The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse
Imagine a setting similar to The Shining where something abnormally sinister lies in the depths of an ominous, half-hidden hotel covered in black forest. Forced to take a break from her job as a detective, Elin Warner receives a sudden invitation from her estranged brother to celebrate the engagement between him and his fiancee, Laurie, at a newly renovated five-star hotel. Once an eerie abandoned sanatorium, Le Sommet just rubs Elin the wrong way as she begins to feel on edge in the midst of a volatile storm, threatening to trap everyone within its walls. Waking the next morning to find Laurie gone, Elin investigates her disappearance while under pressure from frightened guests in hopes of revealing the hotel’s true nature in the process.
Outlawed by Anna North
Considered as the love child between The Handmaid’s Tale and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, North has combined two fan-favorite genres creating an alternative Western with a touch of dystopian themes. Living happily with her loving husband and working hard to become a respected midwife, 17-year-old Ada has her world turned upside down when she is suspected as a witch for not being able to conceive within the span of a year. In an attempt to survive, Ada joins the notorious Hole in the Wall Gang that is dedicated to establishing a safe haven for fugitive women, but is she ready to sacrifice everything she’s ever known—including her previous life—for the possibility of a better future?
The Chicken Sisters by KJ Dell’Antonia
In the center of Merinac, Kansas stands two of the most famed and renowned fried chicken restaurants in the state, which have been up and running for the past three generations: Chicken Mimi’s and Chicken Frannie’s—otherwise known as the Moores and the Pogociellos. Exhausted from the long-time competition to see who is best, widowed Amanda Moore, who now works for Chicken Frannie’s, reaches out to the popular television show Food Wars in an attempt to settle their rivalry once and for all. But Amanda can’t put all her eggs in one basket just yet considering the match is between her own sister, aspiring chef Mae Moore. However, when scandals surrounding the family’s secrets are exposed, will they both team up to fight for their legacy or stay pitted against each other in a kitchen battle-to-the-death?
Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life by Christie Tate
Embark on the life-changing journey of Christie Tate who appears to have her life together as the top student in her law school holding numerous accolades, but is still haunted by feelings of isolation, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Although Christie has finally managed her eating disorder, she still feels beyond help with her current mental state until one therapist, Dr. Rosen, and a supportive psychotherapy group transforms her life in more ways than one. Through a means of interpersonal connection and an unbelievably effective nine-word prescription, Christie reminisces on her past and slowly begins to trust Dr. Rosen’s unusual advice, looking forward to each upcoming session.
His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie
Already named a Fall Book Club pick and a most anticipated Fall book by She Reads, His Only Wife is now Reese’s pick for her Hello Sunshine book club. She Reads reviewer Crystal Forte says, “What’s romance without a little drama? His Only Wife gives you a balance of the two. His Only Wife will take you on a wild ride that is guaranteed to keep you on your toes.”
See her full review here.
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown and The Guest List by Lucy Foley
For the first time ever, Reese has chosen two books for her book club pick. About the choice, Reese says, “Elevating women’s stories is at the core of Reeses Book Club. I love how this community champions the narrative for women and we are just getting started. Unity and understanding through the lens of storytelling is how we will continue these meaningful conversations. So, for the first time, I’ve selected two books for us to read this month: Austin Channing Brown’s I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness and Lucy Foley’s The Guest List.”
Diversity picks from @reesesbookclub
While we wait for her next monthly book club pick, Reese’s Book Club took to Instagram to share their stance against racial inequality and share some of their picks for important resources we can all learn from.
The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi
“This vivid story is so rich and complex . . . reading about Lakshmi’s journey from escaping an abusive marriage to becoming one of the most sought-after henna artists in Jaipur captivated me from the first chapter to the final page.”
Untamed by Glennon Doyle
“Untamed is a powerful memoir that explores everything that makes up a woman’s life including motherhood, relationships, and the brave self-discovery that leads to uncovering one’s trust, most beautiful self.”
The Jetsetters by Amanda Eyre Ward
“This literary adventure centers around an elderly mother who attempts to reconnect with her three adult children while on a European cruise. Along the way, secrets are revealed, baggage is unpacked and sibling dynamics prove that the Perkins family is far from perfect.”
The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister
“The story centers around Emmeline, a young girl who lives on a remote island with her father and uncovers secrets of the natural world through her senses. As she gets older, she becomes even more curious about the scents in the drawers of their cabin.”
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
“Set in Philadelphia, the story centers around Emira Tucker, a black babysitter, and Alix Chamberlain, a white woman who employs Emira to watch her children. The story takes a turn when an incident at local grocery store completely changes the course of both of their lives.”
Conviction by Denise Mina
“In this thrilling story, you’ll meet Anna McDonald, whose life takes a dramatic turn after she starts listening to a true-crime podcast that hits too close to home.”
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
“Set in Depression-era America, this book tells the story of a group of librarians who travel across rural Kentucky to deliver books to all parts of the state. At the center of this story are five amazing women who will have you hooked from the first paragraph.”
Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (and More Life to Live) by Eve Rodsky
“This book is all about real-world solutions to divvying up the domestic workload fairly in your home and to help you find your #UnicornSpace so you have time to do the things that you love (like finally reading all of the books in your TBR pile).”
The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott
“Set during the Cold War, The Secrets We Kept tells the story of the secretaries turned spies who are tasked with smuggling ‘Doctor Zhivago’ out of the USSR and into the hands of Russian citizens. You’ll get to know Sally Forrester, a veteran spy, and Irina, a total newbie. Fans of historical fiction, thrillers, romance, and the power of books to spark change will devour our September pick!”
The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda
“Set in the small vacation town of Littleport, Maine, you’ll meet visitor Sadie Loman and resident Avery Greer. These two are inseparable for almost a decade – until Sadie Loman is found dead. Secrets that have been hidden for years will be uncovered in this thrilling story.”
Whisper Network by Chandler Baker
“Set in the #MeToo era, the story follows four women whose lives dramatically change after the sudden death of their company’s CEO. Whispers spread around the office, secrets are revealed, and so much more.”
The Cactus by Sarah Haywood
“After her mother passes away, Susan Green finds herself pregnant at the age of 45 and involved in some seriously complicated family matters. Not only that, but she must navigate her unconventional romance with a businessman named Richard at the same time.”
From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home by Tembi Locke
“In this intimate cross-cultural memoir, Tembi takes you on her journey of falling in love with an Italian chef named Saro, becoming a mother, and facing the biggest loss of her life. You’ll follow Tembi as she finds solace in Sicily and redefines home through new traditions and the connectivity of cooking.”
The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo
“Set in 1930s Malaysia, The Night Tiger centers around the ambitious Ji Lin, and young orphan Ren, whose paths cross in the most mysterious ways as they’re haunted by a series of unexplained deaths. There’s a mystical tiger, a severed finger, a train that goes… where? And so much more.”
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
“The book tells the story of the whirlwind rise of a world-famous rock band in the 1970s – and the secrets that led to the band’s dramatic break-up. This story is so sure to be a hit… and guess what?? Hello Sunshine is turning it into a TV show with Amazon Studios.”
The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory
“The plot centers around Nikole Paterson, a freelance writer who turns down a very public proposal in front of 45,000 people and the drama (and romance) that ensues. It’s a story of break-ups, make outs, and a whole lot of cupcakes.”
The Library Book by Susan Orlean
One Day In December by Josie Silver
“If you like rom-coms, you will love my December book pick: One Day in December by Josie Silver. Get ready to be swept up in a whirlwind romance: Laurie falls in love at first sight with a stranger and spends the next year looking for him. Fate brings them back together at Christmas, but not in the way anybody expects: turns out he’s dating her best friend! It absolutely charmed me, and I can’t wait to share it with y’all…”
The Other Woman by Sandie Jones
“Ok y’all, it’s spooky season and my November @reesesbookclubxhellosunshine book pick: The Other Woman by Sandie Jones has one of most twisted and entertaining plots. When Emily meets Adam, she thinks she’s found the one—but it’s not long before another woman tries ruin their relationship. And folks… that woman is HIS MOTHER. I can’t wait for y’all to read it because I NEED to discuss that ending with you! ?”
Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
“Forbidden love. Family Secrets. Reese Witherspoon’s July book pick, Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton is one that’s filled with passion, mystery and romance – and we can’t wait for you to get your hands on this incredible story! When Marisol, a Cuban-American woman, returns to Havana to scatter her grandmother’s ashes, she starts to discover a side of her history that’s as complicated as it is beautiful… and in the process, she finds love where she shouldn’t. It’s an absolutely beautiful story that you’ll wish could go on and on…”
Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman
“I’m excited to bring y’all June’s Hello Sunshine pick becasue summer and beach reads! Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman is a psychological thriller that captivated me from page one. While scuba diving on their honeymoon in Bora Bora, newlyweds Mark and Erin make a shocking discovery…one that unfolds into a wild, page-turning ride! Get your hands on a copy available June 5th and take it everywhere you with Audible.”
You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld
“It’s time to announce my May book pick for Hello Sunshine. This month we’re reading You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld…it’s her first book of short stories! I really loved all the characters in this book, They’re so complex and interesting, and in every story you’ll find them going through these pivotal moments in their lives, Oh, and my company is developing a TV series based on this collection of short stories. Can’t wait to hear what you think!”
This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett
“Hello Sunshine’s book pick is here, y’all! It’s This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett, which is a collection of essays that explores what it means to have friends, fall in love, struggle and succeed. Reading this book is like talking to one of your best friends. I think you’ll enjoy it!”
The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine
“You will not be able to put down our December book pick, The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine! It’s a psychological thriller about a woman who conceives a plan to manipulate her way into the life of a married couple. Filled with envy, deception and power, it’s a great reading escape. And there is a thrilling twist at the end!!”
Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown
“January is the perfect time to relfect and Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown is the perfect book for this. It really made me stop and think about the important things in life: i.e. having the courage to be confident in your decisions, the importance of connecting with others, as well as being thoughtful and open to having conversations with those who may have different opinions than you. Read along with me at Hello Sunshine and let me know what you think!”
The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo
“Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the February Hello Sunshine pick is here! The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo is a page-turning love story that spans decades and continents as two lovers try to return to each other. 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!”
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
“Y’all!! I’m so excited to tell you that Kerry Washington and I will be bringing Little Fires Everywhere to the screen together! I love this beautiful book about motherhood and I can’t wait to finally collaborate with one of my favorite actresses.”
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal
“The Hello Sunshine March book pick is here and it’s fire! Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows has something for everyone: romance, a murder mystery and family drama. The story follows Nikki, a young British-Punjabi woman who’s struggling to find her place in the world. When she starts teaching a writing class to older women in a community she once distanced herself from, she finds herself in the most unexpected of scandals, Get ready, book club – there are so many thrilling twists and turns, and you won’t be able to get enough of these characters.”
Happiness by Heather Harpham
“Y’all, this month’s Hello Sunshine book pick is going to put you on an emotional rollercoaster. Happiness by Heather Harpham is a beautiful memoir that follows Heather’s story as she gives birth to a baby girl, Gracie, whose health-and life-are at stake. Heather reconnects with Gracie’s father as their daughter fights for her life, and the harrowing events that follow will have you up all night, reading to find out what happens next. There’s heartbreak, joy and lots of love-I won’t give it away, but trust me: Have your tissues ready. I really loved this memoir, and I know you will too!”
(feature image courtesy of Travel + Leisure; designed by She Reads)
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