The deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd and the subsequent worldwide protests to combat racial injustice affected the celebrity book clubs with many delaying their monthly book selection announcements.
Most book clubs make the official announcement on social media the first week of the month, but some news on the latest picks came the second week of June and highlighted works by black women authors.
AMERIE’S BOOK CLUB
My Vanishing Country by Bakari Sellers
“In his unapologetically emotional memoir, CNN analyst @BakariSellers shares what it is to grow up “Black, country, and proud,” Amerie wrote in the book club’s Instagram announcement. “From the tragic event that helped to shape his life though it occurred before his birth, to his rise in politics while pursuing his education, to his dedication to not allowing those in his rural South Carolina community to be forgotten, to his personal experiences with anxiety, Bakari Sellers’ story left me amazed while also leaving me to wonder just how he managed to fit so much life into such a short time.”
BELLETRIST BOOK CLUB
GMA BOOK CLUB
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
Actress Emma Roberts’ book club and Good Morning America‘s book club chose the same book again this month along with other major national book clubs. For May, both book clubs chose The Book of V. by Anna Solomon.
Belletrist shared that it delayed its announcement due to the civil unrest.
“We know we’re about a week later than usual, but we wanted to spend last week thinking about the ways in which we, as an online community, will be moving forward as we approach this seismic shift in our collective consciousness.”
“We have loved Brit’s book since we first got it a few months ago and are very excited to finally announce,” Belletrist stated in its message on Instagram. “Please stay tuned as we will have a more in depth conversation with Brit towards the end of the month, and look out for our weekly quotes, which are curated this month by this month’s author!”
“It’s a compelling read about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds: one black, and one white,” Good Morning America‘s book club wrote in its post. “It’s a powerful story about family, compassion, identity and roots.”
KAIA GERBER’S BOOK CLUB
NONAME’S BOOK CLUB
Blood in My Eye by George L. Jackson
Race Music: From Bebop to Hip-Hop by Guthrie Ramsey
“I felt it was important to go back to our old routine of picking two books a month,” Noname said on the book club’s Instagram profile. “In addition to reading Race Music I chose Blood In My Eye by George Jackson. Books about revolutionary action and resistance are vital during this time.”
Blood In My Eye was written by George Jackson, who died days after completing the book in 1971 at the hands of San Quentin State Prison guards during an alleged escape attempt. He was serving a sentence for stealing $70 from a gas station.
The homie pick, Race Music: From Bebop to Hip-Hop, is from the book club’s project manager Shakira in honor of June being Black Music Month.
OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB
Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker
Oprah is finishing up Hidden Valley Road, according to her book club’s schedule though it may have been pushed back with giving space online for the current civil unrest. The book club has posted about anti-racism books to read for kids and young adults.
READ WITH JENNA – TODAY SHOW BOOK CLUB
A Burning by Megha Majumdar
The debut novel surrounds an ambitious Muslim girl from the slums who is accused of executing a terrorist attack because of a careless Facebook comment.
“I think books are a tool for empathy,” Jenna said in her announcement. “And now when we are stuck at home—and I definitely won’t be traveling to India this summer—this is a tool for all of us to learn more about the plight of people all over the world.”
“I started writing from a place of alarm and anger,” Majumdar told Today in the article. “India has been changing in frightening ways and growing more intolerant of minority communities, more extremist. I definitely hope that readers will see resonances in the U.S. as well.”
REESE’S BOOK CLUB
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
After the book club delayed its selection announcement, actress Reese Witherspoon directed her book club to make two selections—a first to recognize current events. Both books will be read over June and July.
“Elevating women’s stories is at the core of Reese’s Book Club. I love how this community champions the narrative for women and we are just getting started,” the book club placed in a graphic on Instagram. Unity and understanding through the lens of storytelling is how we will continue these meaningful conversations.”
Readers expressed their disappointment in the comments over the book club adding a book by a black woman author last minute and not pushing back the book by a white woman author to another month.