7 Hidden Gems from Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club

When it comes to celebrity book clubs, Oprah may be the reigning queen, but she’s not the only name in the game. Enter Reese Witherspoon.

Not only is she an Oscar-winning actress and the producer of a number of critically-acclaimed page-to-screen adaptations, Witherspoon is also a voracious reader who has become an authority on good books. You know, in her spare time between all that acting, producing, designing clothes, being a mom and just generally being amazing.

In the iconic words of her character Elle Woods, “What, like it’s hard?”

What started as a hashtag for her favourite titles, #RWBookClub, has become a full-fledged book club with its own dedicated Instagram account and Facebook Page. Now going by the name Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine, readers can follow along with the hashtags #ForTheLoveOfStory and #rbcxhs.

These are just a few of the Reese-recommended titles that you’ll want to bend-and-snap up as soon as possible!

1. The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

Amber is tired—tired of being a nobody and tired of not living the life she deserves. What she deserves is the life socialite Daphne Parrish is living. Good thing Amber has a plan, a plan no one will see coming.

It should be no surprise that Reese Witherspoon, who produced the film version of Gone Girl, recommends this dark and twisty debut thriller from sisters Lynne and Valerie Constantine writing together under the pen name Liv Constantine.

“Filled with envy, deception and power, it’s a great reading escape,” says Witherspoon.

The Last Mrs. Parrish is available from the Edmonton Public Library as a book, eBook, downloadable audiobook and large print edition.

2. The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn

Two progressive New Yorkers with an autistic son trade in their crazy, urban life in a small apartment for a 200-year-old house, small-town life and 17 chickens. Oh, and a six month open marriage agreement. What could go wrong?

A lighter read than some of Witherspoon’s other book club choices, The Arrangement is still very much an emotionally-charged novel. Just one with more laugh-out-loud moments!

Writer Sarah Dunn is also the author behind the book The Big Love, adapted into an HBO series starring Bill Paxton as the patriarch of a polygamist family.

The Arrangement is available from the Edmonton Public Library as a book, eBook, downloadable audiobook and large print edition.

3. The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

Remember those eccentric aunts from the film Practical Magic? The Rules of Magic is their story, a prequel to the film and Hoffman’s 1995 novel of the same name.

Susanna and Franny Owens grew up with strict rules. The most important? Never, ever fall in love. Not an easy feat for two young witches coming of age during the Summer of Love. Hoffman is at her best when writing contemporary fantasy and The Rules of Magic does not disappoint!

Even those who have not read or watched Practical Magic can enjoy this story that Witherspoon calls “…a story about magic, curses, and the power of love.”

The Rules of Magic is available from the Edmonton Public Library as a book, eBook, audiobook CDand downloadable audiobook.

4. Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

Eleven people board a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the plane plunges into the ocean leaving only two survivors: a young boy, heir to a major fortune, and Scott Burroughs, a down-on-his-luck painter.

Before the Fall weaves the aftermath of the crash and the backstory of each of the plane passengers and crew members into a thrilling mystery.

Written by Emmy, Golden Globe, PEN, Critics’ Choice and Peabody Award-winning creator of the TV show Fargo, Noah Hawley, Before The Fall is also a Book Clubs of EPL title!

Before the Fall is available from the Edmonton Public Library as a book, eBook, audiobook CD, downloadable audiobook and large print edition.

5. It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario

Not all of Reese Witherspoon’s book choices are fiction. Case in point is Lynsey Addario’s memoir It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War.

Interspaced with Addario’s photos is a heartbreaking and beautiful account of what it means to be a female photojournalist in some of the most dangerous situations and places.

When Witherspoon recommended this title, she called it “…the most riveting memoir about being a female war photographer in places like Libya, Darfur, and Afghanistan. If you want a story that will open your mind and heart, I recommend hers.” In the same post, Reese also revealed that a film adaption directed by Steven Spielberg is in the works!

It’s What I Do is available from the Edmonton Public Library as a book, eBook, audiobook CDdownloadable audiobook and streaming audiobook.

6. In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

Nora hasn’t seen her friend Clare in a decade, but when she receives an invite to Clare’s bachelorette party, she figures why not? But something goes horrible wrong and Nora wakes up in the hospital with no memory except that someone is dead.

In the words of Reese Witherspoon: “Prepare to be scared… Really scared! When I read this page-turning book about a bachelorette party gone wrong, I almost bit all my fingernails off!”

It’s probably no surprise then, that Reese’s production company will be turning this title into a film.

We recommend the audiobook version of this book (even if you’ve already read it) as the narration makes what is already a thrilling and spooky story even better.

In a Dark, Dark Wood is available from the Edmonton Public Library as a book, eBook, audiobook CD and large print edition.

7. Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown

For all the times you’ve felt like you needed an adultier adult comes a guide that should be mandatory reading upon reaching the age of 18. And if Reese Witherspoon finds it useful, chances are you will too.

Based on Kelly Williams Brown’s popular blog, Adulting consists of 468 steps that range from the mundane (how to clean your bathroom) to the bigger issues (how to find love). Be prepared to laugh as you learn!

This book received high praise from Witherspoon, who wrote: “I ❤ this book so much. I go back and look at it over and over again. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, yet practical and shockingly accurate.”

She also said that it makes “A great gift for basically... any adult. After you read it 2 x yourself!”

Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps is available from the Edmonton Public Library as a book and eBook.

This blog post has recommendations that are a perfect fit for the third theme in our 2018 EPL Reading Challenge: a book recommended to you. The Reading Challenge is a fun way to dare yourself to read outside your comfort zone—and it’s not too late to join. Learn more and start today!

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