Reese Witherspoon Book Club Selections
I did the Research so you don't have to!
Reese Witherspoon has been selecting books to encourage readers for a couple years. She has wide ranging interests and her books offer a little bit of something for everyone. Generally she focuses on books about or for women. Her book club, Hello Sunshine, is on Facebook and Instagram. Here is the complete list of books she's recommended since the inception of her online book club in 2017. Books I've read are in bold and reviewed books are bold and purple.
September 2022 - On the Rooftop by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton; 304 pages
A stunning novel about a mother whose dream of musical stardom for her three daughters collides with the daughters’ ambitions for their own lives—set against the backdrop of gentrifying 1950s San Francisco.
August 2022 - Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister, 416 pages
A mother sees her teenage son kill a stranger in their front yard. When she wakes the next morning, it's the day before. And then the day before that. Is she being given a chance to change the future?
July 2022 - Honey and Spice by Bolu Babalola, 368 pages
A fun college love story that also manages to seamlessly include serious themes like race, identity, self agency, and personal growth.
June 2022 - Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen, 288 pages
A woman whose life is falling apart reconnects with old college friend who needs her help selling counterfeit designer purses in the US. After they become very successful, she disappears, leaving the friend to face the consequences. Surprising and sharply comic.
May 2022 - The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams, 384 pages
In 1901, the word ‘Bondmaid’ was discovered missing from the Oxford English Dictionary. This is the story of the girl who stole it. Set when the women’s suffrage movement was at its height and the Great War loomed, The Dictionary of Lost Words reveals a lost narrative, hidden between the lines of a history written by men.
Apr 2022 - True Biz by Sara Novic, 386 pages
A transporting novel that follows a year of seismic romantic, political, and familial shifts for a teacher and her students at a boarding school for the deaf.
Mar 2022 - The Club by Ellery Lloyd, 320 pages
A smart and sinister murder mystery set in the secretive world of exclusive celebrity clubs where the beautiful people are invited to a grand opening but with tensions running high and secrets galore, some wish they'd never made the list.
Feb 2022 - The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont, 320 pages
A beguiling novel of star-crossed lovers, heartbreak, revenge, and murder—and a brilliant re-imagination of one of the most talked-about unsolved mysteries of the twentieth century.
Jan 2022 - Honor by Thrity Umrigar, 326 pages
In this riveting and immersive novel, Umrigar tells the story of two couples and the sometimes dangerous and heartbreaking challenges of love across a cultural divide.
Dec 2021 - Lucky by Marissa Stapley, 232 pages
A roller coaster of a story about a heist gone horribly wrong and a plucky protagonist that is a talented grifter. When she finds herself along and with a winning million dollar lottery ticket, how can she cash it in without being arrested?
Nov 2021 - The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak, 368 pages
A rich, magical story of belonging and identity, love and trauma, nature and renewal, Teens meet and fall in love (forbidden, of course) on their home island of Cyprus; there is war, tragedy, and a huge ficus tree witnesses it all.
Oct 2021 - Sankofa by Chibundu Onuzo, 304 pages
For anyone who has gone looking for a biological parent and found so much more - an exploration of belonging, race, family history, freedom, and prejudice as a woman searches for her African father.
Sept 2021 - L.A. Weather by Maria Amparo Escandon, 319 pages
The story of the Alvarez family as the parents end their marriage and the three adult daughters deal with the fall out - betrayal, secrets, deception, and whether they can remain a family.
Aug 2021 - We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz, 304 pages
Every year two girlfriends go on a backpacking trip - and the last couple years someone dies and Emily starts to wonder about her friend Kristen. A story of loyalty, friendship, insanity, co-dependence and just a little dysfunction.
July 2021 - The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller, 400 pages
A 50-something happily married woman has sex with her oldest friend - how does that change her life, her view of herself? The story explores the legacies of abuse, the tension between dignity and desire, and the crimes of families.
June 2021 - Seven Days in June by Tia Williams, 336 pages
Seven days to fall in love, fifteen years to forget, seven days to rekindle love - two authors find each other again in NYC in this witty, romantic, sexy-as-hell story.
May 2021 - The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave, 320 pages
When her new husband disappears, the wife and teenage stepdaughter try to figure out what happened and in the process build a stronger relationship.
April 2021 - Northern Spy by Flynn Berry, 288 pages
Set in Ireland, the story of two sisters who become entangled with the IRA.
March 2021 - Fire Keeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley, 496 pages
The story of a young woman's young love, search for identity, some mystery as she helps the FBI find the drug ring in the tribe, all packaged in beautifully described tribal culture.
February 2021 - The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse, 390 pages
A woman goes missing from a remote sanatorium turned boutique hotel in the middle of a snowstorm that cuts the guests off from the rest of the world.
January 2021 - Outlawed by Anna North, 261 pages
New take on Hole-in-the-wall-gang with a young woman joining and trying to make a new life for herself.
December 2020 - The Light in Hidden Places by Sharon Cameron, 400 pages
Based-on-true story of 17 year old Polish girl that hid Jews in her attic during WWII, and how the actions of one person can have far-reaching effects.
November 2020 - Group by Christie Tate, 288 pages
A debut memoir about how group therapy saved an over-achieving, self-critical young lawyer and helps her find herself.
October 2020 - His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie, 288 pages
A young seamstress in Ghana is married to a wealthy man who doesn't even show up for the wedding. The story is a look at culture, marriage, and a search for independence.
September 2020 - The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim, 384 pages
Identity, family secrets, and the search for belonging are the themes explored as a woman finds her mother has died under suspicious circumstances. The unconventional mother/daughter relationship the realities of being an immigrant in the US.
August 2020 - Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat, 224 pages
Eight short stories about strong Haitian women - their resilience and the power of their culture.
June 2020 - I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown, 185 pages
An eye-opening account of growing up Black, Christian, and female in white middle-class America.
May 2020 - The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi, 384 pages
In 1950s India, a young woman escapes an arranged and abusive marriage and flees to Jaipur and supports herself with her creative henna designs for the wealthy. Years later her husband finds her and her hard won independence is threatened.
Mar 2020 - The Jetsetters by Amanda Eyre Ward, 352 pages
70 yr old mom wins a luxury cruise for her and her estranged grown children. Can they let go of the secrets and hurts of the past to find their back to each other? A book about the pleasures and perils of family.
Feb 2020 - The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister, 320 pages
Coming of age novel about a young girl whose father teaches her about the natural world and fragrances and when she suddenly finds herself out in the world, she learns about love, betrayal, ambition, and revenge.
Dec 2019 - Conviction by Denise Mina, 376 pages
A suspenseful thriller, as a housewife's marriage fails, a true-crime podcast sets a her present life on a collision course with her secret past.
Nov 2019 - The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes, 400 pages
Based on a true story, this historical fiction is about 5 women who become the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky. Unforgettable drama of loyalty, justice, humanity, and female friendship.
Oct 2019 - Fair Play by Eve Rodksy, 352 pages
Filled with tips on how to fairly divvy up household tasks and rebalance your relationship.
Sept 2019 - The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott, 368 pages
In the Cold War, two CIA secretaries are recruited as spies to smuggle the book Dr Zhivago out of Russia and to the west. Historical fiction with some romance.
Aug 2019 - The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda, 336 pages
In a beach community, a local girl and a summer visitor are long time best friends when one turns up dead. The remaining girl is blamed and works to clear her name.
July 2019 - Whisper Network by Chandler Baker, 352 pages
Four women learn their boss is about to be the next CEO and he's a man who's always been surrounded by .. whispers. The women decide to take action and their lives - as wives, colleagues, women - will change dramatically.
June 2019 - The Cactus by Sarah Haywood, 364 pages
A prickly woman has a job and relationship that suits her but when her mom dies and she discovers unexpectedly that she's pregnant, her world begins to disintegrate. She finds help in the most unlikely place.
May 2019 - From Scratch by Tembi Locke, 339 pages
A stirring memoir of an American black woman who marries an Sicilian man against his family's wishes. After moving to the US and adopting a daughter, he is diagnosed with cancer. After his death she goes to Sicily to connect with his family, traditions, and food to find her way back to life.
April 2019 - The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo, 384 pages
Part Chinese folklore, part magical realism, set in Malaysia, it's a story of a Chinese servant boy looking for the severed finger of his master and a young woman who comes into possession of a severed finger and wants to return it to the owner before bad luck overtakes her. Their lives intertwine in surprising ways.
Feb 2019 - The Proposal (#2) by Jasmine Guillory, 325 pages
A public proposal that doesn't turn out as expected and, as social media explodes, the woman who has to rebuild her life .
Jan 2019 - The Library Book, by Susan Orlean, 336 pages
A history of libraries and librarians as well as a love story to libraries, this is a meticulously researched book about the mystery and disaster of the LA library fire of 1986 in which 400,000 books were burned.
Dec 2018 - One Day in December by Josie Silver, 409 pages
Love at first sight - two people, ten chances, an unforgettable love story.
Oct 2018 - This is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel, 338 pages
The youngest of five brothers dreams of being a princess and a girl when he grows up. A story about secrets, transformation, fairy tales, and family.
Kya survived an impossible childhood to live alone in the marshes of N Carolina. When there's a murder of a young man, she comes under suspicion and struggles to save herself. Both an ode to the natural world and a heart breaking coming of age story.
Aug 2018 - Still Lives by Maria Hummel, 275 pages
Set in LA, the murder of an iconic artist on the night of her huge gallery opening doesn't lack for suspects. As an editor gets drawn into her own investigation, she begins to suspect everyone close to her.
July 2018 - Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton, 361 pages
After the death of her grandmother, a woman travels to Havana to find her roots - she finds love amid perilous political times.
June 2018 - Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman, 361 pages
On their honeymoon in Bora Bora, a couple finds something unexpected in the water - and decide to keep it a secret with devastating long term effects.
May 2018 - You Think It, I'll Say It by Curtis Sittenfield, 256 pages
Ten short stories that upend stereotypes of class, relationships, and gender roles.
April 2018 - Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After by Heather Harpham, 320 pages
A memoir of a spectacular love affair, pregnancy, a breakup, a very sick child, difficult decisions and the many unlikely ways to build a family.
March 2018 - Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal, 320 pages
A lively, sexy, thought-provoking East-meets-West story of traditional Sikh women taking an English class where they learn to express their thoughts and desires until their gossip offers insight into a death and sparks a scandal that may hurt them all.
Feb 2018 - The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo, 328 pages
A story reminiscing about passionate once-in-a-lifetime love, choices made, regrets. Though decision take the couple continents apart, are they ever out of each other's hearts?
Jan 2018 - Braving the Wilderness by Brene' Brown, 208 pages
Challenges readers to cultivate true belonging in their communities, organizations, and culture as we experience a national crisis of disconnection.
Dec 2017 - The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine, 208 pages
A psychological thriller filled with twists as a woman tired of being a "nobody" gets a job with the coolest couple in town and worms her way into their family and affections. But a secret from her past may cause her plan to crumble.
Nov 2017 - This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett, 308 pages
Memoir of Patchett's life - her marriages, her writing, friends, dogs, books. She shares moments large and small that have shaped her.
Oct 2017 - The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic 0) by Alice Hoffman, 369 pages
A family of witches in the 1960s try to avoid the family curse of love. The three children visit their witchy aunt and learn more of their history then return to NYC to find their way. The two sisters become the eccentric aunts of Practical Magic and their brother leaves an unexpected legacy.
Sept 2017 - Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, 338 pages
A woman who believes in following the rules as she raises her family. Then a single mom and daughter move into the neighborhood that challenges those rules. An adoption custody battle divides friends and uncovers hurtful secrets that devastates families.
Aug 2017 - The Lying Game by Ruth Ware, 416 pages
Four women who were friends in high school are bound by a deep secret and they get pulled together years later by a cryptic text.
July 2017 - The Alice Network by Kate Quinn, 532 pages
In 1947 a young woman hunts for her cousin in London. In 1915 a young woman is recruited as a spy in the Alice Network. 30 years later a woman spends her days drunk as she tries to forget the betrayal that tore apart the Network. These stories collide on a mission to find the truth.
June 2017 - Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman, 327 pages
Socially inept Eleanor is content alone - until she meets Raymond, the IT guy at the office. She and Raymond save Sammy, an elderly gentleman, and they all become the friends who save each other from isolation.