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Stories with Haunting Themes: October 2020 Celebrity Book Club Picks

Stories with Haunting Themes: October 2020 Celebrity Book Club Picks

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

Red Pill by Hari Kunzru

The unnamed narrator receives a prestigious writing fellowship in Germany and arrives in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee. In Wannsee, he starts seeing ghosts like the villa where the Nazis planned the Final Solution and and the grave of the Romantic writer Heinrich von Kleist, who committed suicide. When the narrator meets the creator of his favorite police crime show, he begins to see the two of them existing in a battle where the show creator is purposely putting out violent content to the masses as the narrator questions.

“In RED PILL, Hari Kunzru creates a spiral of tension and anxiety upon which the narrator—and maybe the entire world—descends,” the book club posted on Instagram. “And that is one of the most unsettling things about this fascinating story: that the lines between madness, paranoia, and extreme clarity might be so frighteningly thin.”
The book is published by Penguin Random House imprint Knopf.

BELLETRIST BOOK CLUB

We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry

The novel follows the highly competitive 1989 Danvers High School Falcons field hockey team in the coastal town of Danvers, Massachusetts, where the accusations sprouted that eventually led to the 1692 witch trials. The team uses its devilish powers in a 1980s theme with the goody-two-shoes captain Abby Putnam, a descendant of the infamous Salem accuser Ann Putnam, in charge.

Every month, the book club, founded by actress Emma Roberts and producer Karah Preiss, chooses an indie bookstore for readers to support and buy the book club selection. Keeping with the Halloween theme, October’s bookstore is Wicked Good Books in Salem, Massachusetts.

The book is published by Penguin Random House imprint Pantheon.

GMA BOOK CLUB

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

In the novel, Nora Seed is faced with this decision of changing her life to study to become a glciologist and repair old relationships. She takes the trip through the Midnight Library to discover what would be fulfilling to her life.

The best-seller is being developed into a film by Studiocanal and Blueprint Pictures. Actress Carey Mulligan reads the audiobook.

The book is published by Penguin Random House imprint Viking.

KAIA GERBER’S BOOK CLUB

People You Follow: A Memoir by Hayley Gene Penner

Supermodel and Cindy Crawford’s daughter Kaia Gerber is making a name for herself on the Instagram book scene. She announced Saturday to her that she plans to select one book every other week to allow readers more time to digest the material. The author will join Kaia on Instagram Live soon.

Singer-songwriter Hayley Gene Penner’s memoir describes her coming-of-age story in the music industry as the daughter of renowned Canadian children’s entertainer Fred Penner.

The book is published by Dundurn Press.

NONAME BOOK CLUB

Prison By Any Other Name by Maya Schenwar and Victoria Law

Rapper and book club innovator Noname’s book club usually has two selections but only announced one this month with the homie pick coming from K Agbebiyi.

Activist journalists Maya Schenwar and Victoria Law report on how jail and prison reforms from electronic monitoring to mandated psychiatric treatment have expanded control over the people involved and could catch more people in the net.

The book is published by The New Press.

OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB

The book club hasn’t announced its next selection after reading Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson.

READ WITH JENNA – TODAY SHOW BOOK CLUB

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam

A White couple from New York City head to a remote part of Long Island for a much-needed vacation. While there, the elderly Black couple who owns the home shows up at the door in the middle of the night and announces there has been a blackout. But with no cellphone service or TV and internet, the city couple wonders what really is going on.

“It is a suspense at its core, but to call it only a thriller discredits the incredible detail and intimacy with which the author writes about and understands family dynamics and race,” said book club head, Today Show correspondent, and former first daughter Jenna Bush Hager in the announcement.

The book is published by Harper Collins Publishers imprint Ecco.

REESE’S BOOK CLUB

His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie

Actress Reese Witherspoon’s book club now chooses two books, one literary fiction novel for adults and the other a young adult novel.

“Let’s travel to Ghana to meet Afi, a woman who wants a better life for her and her mother,” the book club wrote about His Only Wife on Instagram. “She enters a peculiar marriage arrangement that leads her to not only discover love, but her true self, her creative passions, her voice and her independence.”

The book is published by Workman Publishing Company imprint Algonquin Books.

“Prepare yourself for a wonderful adventure of a courageous young woman named Fable who is tougher than any pirate you have ever met,” the book club wrote about Beneath the Sea and Between the Lines of ‘Fable’ in its email. 

The book is published by Macmillan Publishers imprint St. Martin’s Publishing Group.

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