Some of the year’s hottest books are being read by the most active celebrity-led book clubs. See if you’re interested in any of the selections and follow along with the conversations on social media.
AMERIE’S BOOK CLUB
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
Yaa Gyasi’s follow-up novel to her acclaimed debut Homegoing centers around Gifty, a sixth-year PhD candidate in neuroscience at the Stanford University School of Medicine who’s dealing with the fatal heroin overdose of her athlete brother and the suicidal tendencies of her mother as she seeks solace in her faith.
“I thought knowing the tragic turn of their family would keep my heart at a safe distance, but I grew to love these siblings and this family and was, nonetheless, left crushed,” Amerie wrote on Instagram. “Yet in the end, I exhaled with a slight smile, feeling for Gifty a spark of optimism despite my sadness. Gyasi’s prose is gripping and true; what a beautiful reading experience.”
BELLETRIST BOOK CLUB
The Lightness by Emily Temple
The novel follows Olivia who retraces the steps of her father, who went missing after heading to a meditation center, but she finds herself becoming immersed into the center and the girls there using their bodies for control.
“One year ago, the person Olivia adores most in the world, her father, left home for a meditation retreat in the mountains and never returned…..,” the book club started by actress Emma Roberts and producer Karah Preiss wrote on its Instagram profile. “We can’t wait for everyone to read along.”
Every month, Belletrist chooses an indie bookstore for readers to support and buy the book club selection. September’s bookstore is Books and Crannies, a Black woman-owned business founded by DeShanta Hairston in Martinsville, Virginia.
GMA BOOK CLUB
Fifty Words For Rain by Asha Lemmie
The book follows the child of a married Japanese aristocrat and an African American military man who is being hidden by her grandparents in Japan to avoid any controversy. The girl becomes close to her older half-brother, and as she gets a glimpse of the world that she could live in, she knows she has to fight for her visibility.
“It’s a story about love, family, duty, identity and finding hope in the smallest of places,” the author told Good Morning America. “This story means so much to me as someone who struggled with a sense of identity, and I hope it resonates with everyone trying to find where they belong.”
KAIA GERBER’S BOOK CLUB
The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
Broken People by Sam Lansky
Luster by Raven Leilani
Teen supermodel Kaia Gerber averages three to four books a month, giving her almost 6 million Instagram followers at least a week to read each book. Interviews with authors Chloe Benjamin and Sam Lansky are already uploaded to Kaia’s IGTV channel.
The Immortalists follows four children in 1969 New York City who meet a traveling psychic claiming to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The book shows their lives over the next 50 years.
Broken People focuses on a man whose life implodes in New York and is in recorvery in Los Angeles where he meets a shaman at a Hollywood party.
Luster tells the story of a young Black woman who finds herself in the middle of an open marriage as she tries to save the couple’s adopted child from the emotional destruction she had experienced.
NONAME BOOK CLUB
Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century, edited by Alice Wong
Capitalism and Disability: Selected Writings by Marta Russell
Rapper and book club innovator Noname selected Capitalism and Disability and the homie pick Capitalism and Disability comes from Walela Nehanda.
With 2020 being the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, activist Alice Wong put together a collection of contemporary essays by disabled people in Disability Visibility. Capitalism and Disability is a collection of writings from the late author and activist Marta Russell surrounding the intersection between the two issues.
OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
“It explains why we are where we are in terms of racial injustice and inequality,” Oprah said on her book club website, “and it show us how to rebuild a world in which all are truly equal and free.”
Award-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson explores the caste systems in the United States, India, and Nazi Germany and how they impact lives every day.
READ WITH JENNA – TODAY SHOW BOOK CLUB
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
“We hear Gifty’s story of moving from Ghana to Alabama. We walk in her shoes and we know what it feels like to be an immigrant and to feel like you are different or other,” said Jenna Bush Hager, who heads the Today Show‘s book club, in the announcement.
REESE’S BOOK CLUB
The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim
Furia by Yamile Saied Mendez
Actress Reese Witherspoon’s book club now chooses two books, one literary fiction novel for adults and the other a young adult novel.
“Journey through the past and present of a mother-daughter relationship, an immigrant experience, and the mysteries and resilience of love and loss in #TheLastStoryOfMinaLee,” the book club posted on Instagram about The Last Story of Mina Lee. “On the way, you’ll get a glimpse of Los Angeles, develop a craving for Korean food, and discover what it means to belong.”
“Follow the pages to Argentina where you’ll read about Camila, a young woman whose goal is to play soccer professionally,” the book club posted about Furia. “However, getting in the way of her dream are her parents who think soccer is a boy’s sport, a society in the midst of fighting for gender equality, and the ultimate obstacle of the heart—Diego, the love of her life.”⠀