The idea for this week’s piece comes from a recently graduated friend of mine who is celebrating her first break from assigned readings by starting her own book club! Summer is a great time to start a book club, which is a great way to stay in touch with your college or high school friends even if you’re scattered across the world for the summer.
But starting a book club can seem daunting and so this week’s article is the first of a two part guide for starting your own book club. This week, I’ve rounded up a few book clubs to take example from and use as a jumping off point and next week I’ll be putting together some tips and ideas for making your book club the best it can be!
Hello Sunshine – Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon’s book club, a subset of her media company Hello Sunshine, is dedicated to sharing stories and content with women at the forefront.
Reese’s club is my personal favorite from this list because I’ve been a diehard fan of hers basically since I could bend and snap. I’ve read several books suggested by her by pure happenstance and they are consistently some of my favorite reads. Her pick for June is Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman, a honeymoon thriller, that just came out this month!
Oprah’s Book Club
No book club list is complete without the book club queen herself, Oprah.
Oprah’s books consistently achieve critical and financial success so really you can’t go wrong with any of her picks. This month’s title is a memoir entitled The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton and depicts Hinton’s 30 years spent on Alabama’s death row after a wrongful conviction. I know I’m pushing this one to the top of my reading list as it’s already being heralded as one of the most critical works on our modern criminal justice system.
Our Shared Shelf – Emma Watson
Yet another one of my sheroes and a frequent source of inspiration for my CF book suggestions, Emma Watson’s Our Shared Shelf is the feminist book club you need in your life. Inspired by her work with UN Women, Watson picks a book every two months and provides some preliminary discussion questions to get things started. If you’ve ever dreamed of studying literature with Hermione Granger, this one’s for you!
The most recent picks are The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore so whether you prefer fiction or non-fiction, you’re sure to find something you like!
The Rory Gilmore Reading List
Last but not least is a slightly different source of inspiration but one that will no doubt keep you occupied for many, many months. Yes, we’re talking about the epic list that has been dubbed the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge!
According to Buzzfeed, there are 339 books referenced over the course of the Gilmore Girls series (not including A Year in the Life). While my personal opinions about Rory Gilmore as a character are incredibly complicated, I can’t deny that the girl devoured an admirable number of titles during her seven-season run. This list is also vast enough that you can pick and choose whatever sounds good to you and ignore the titles you pretended to read in high school (or go back and start with those! whatever you’re feeling this month!).
What do you think?
Have you ever been a part of a book club? What were some of the books you read? Have you ever been a part of an online book club led by a celebrity or organization? Let us know in the comments below and stay tuned for part two!