Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
This book’s been a favorite of many since it came out, so it comes as no surprise that it would be Reese’s first pick—she even optioned the film rights. Eleanor’s a bit of a recluse, living alone in an apartment in Scotland and spending her weekends drinking vodka by herself. Everything starts to change when she meets coworker Raymond and begins to see that life can be more fun when you’re not alone.
The Alice Network
Reese’s second pick, The Alice Network, shifted to a different genre: historical fiction. Taking place during both World War I and World War II, this novel brings together two very different women as they begin a mission to find the truth behind a missing person.
The Lying Game
Reese frequently posts thrillers on her Instagram, so it stands to reason that she picked one for her book club. This thriller centers around four friends from boarding school—Fatima, Thea, Isa, and Kate—who were once inseparable and known for playing the Lying Game. The game comes back to haunt them years later with a simple text from Kate that reads, “I need you.”
Little Fires Everywhere
Reese is already set to star in the television adaptation of this book alongside Kerry Washington, so it comes as no surprise she picked this book when it debuted. Artist Mia and her daughter, Pearl, think they’re finally finding their permanent home when they move to Shaker Heights, Ohio. As Pearl befriends the Richardson siblings, their mother becomes intrigued with Mia and makes it her mission to discover the backstory Mia’s been hiding.
The Rules of Magic
A prequel to Practical Magic, this novel follows the Owens, who have believed love is a curse ever since Maria Owens was charged with witchery in 1620. In 1960s New York City, everything’s beginning to change, and Susana Owens realizes her own children have something special of their own. While she tries to make rules to keep them away from love and magic, a visit to their aunt in Massachusetts allows the children to uncover family secrets and begin their journey to ending the family curse.
This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage
We love that Reese includes memoir picks in her book club, like this one from State of Wonder author Ann Patchett. This book follows Ann’s life from her childhood to her first—unhappy—marriage, through her present-day as a writer and her much happier second marriage.
The Last Mrs. Parrish
Amber Patterson is tired of her boring life; she’d rather be more like gorgeous Daphne Parrish, her town’s resident socialite and philanthropist. Amber decides the best way to change her own circumstances is to befriend Daphne, take advantage of her kindness, and try to take her place. While her plan begins to come together, something in Amber’s past comes back and risks it all falling apart.
Braving the Wilderness
After starring in the adaptation of Wild, we can understand why Reese would pick this book about going into the wilderness to find yourself. Brené Brown’s latest explores how our culture demands perfection and pleasing others, and how people can overcome that feeling in order to be their true selves.
The Light We Lost
We were excited to see Reese choose a romantic pick for the month of February. Lucy and Gabe meet as seniors in Columbia on a life-changing day: September 11, 2001. The events of the day bring the two together, and instills in both a need to spend their lives helping others. Their relationship seems perfect—until the careers that meant so much to them threaten to pull them apart, setting them on a journey to find what really matters in life.
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows
Balli Kaur Jaswal
This pick was a welcomed spicy turn for the book club. Nikki’s trying to live the modern life in West London, distancing herself from her family’s traditional Sikh community. When her father passes away, leaving her family with an emotional and financial gap, she decides to take a job teaching creative writing in a mostly Punjabi community. While at first the women think they’re learning English literacy, they find a book of sexy stories, and Nikki uses the opportunity to encourage the women to share their own stories.
Happiness: A Memoir
World-traveling California girl Heather and intellectual homebody Brian have an opposites-attract relationship, but it goes awry when Heather becomes pregnant while Brian doesn’t want a child. This memoir follows Heather as she has the baby alone, only to immediately find out that her newborn, Gracie, is very sick. On hearing about the illness, Brian joins Heather, and the two must figure out what they’re willing to do to keep their child alive.
You Think It, I'll Say It
As with some of Reese’s other favorite picks, she’s already bought the rights to this title for another exciting TV adaptation. Curtis Sittenfeld’s story collection centers around themes of real women who aren’t afraid to express themselves, whether at work or at home. While each story’s quite different, you’ll leave the collection feeling like you just had a long chat with a close friend.
Something in the Water
Documentary filmmaker Erin and her new husband, Mark, are excited to finally set out on their romantic honeymoon in Bora Bora. While out scuba diving, the two find more than they bargained for in the water, and must decide whether to speak out or conceal it.
Next Year in Havana
Always keeping her picks timely, Reese chose the perfect summer read, Next Year in Havana, for July. The book follows two women: freelance writer Marisol, living in Miami in 2017, and her grandmother, Elisa, who fled Havana during the revolution. When Marisol visits Havana for the first time to scatter Elisa’s ashes, she discovers long-hidden family secrets and falls for a man with some secrets of his own.
Reese has shared many pictures while reading thrillers, and for her final pick of the summer she picked this chilly novel that takes place in the Los Angeles art world. A new exhibit featuring the artist in self-portraits of famously murdered women is about to open—but the artist never shows up to her own gala. As time passes and she still cannot be found, everyone in the art world becomes a suspect.
Where the Crawdads Sing
When discussing this pick on her official book club website, Reese said, “I didn’t want this story to end!” which is enough endorsement for us. Kya Clark is known in her area of North Carolina as “Marsh Girl” since she has lived alone in the marsh since she was a young girl. While there are rumors swirling about what kind of person she is—some even suspecting her of being the one behind a local murder—Kya could not be more different from what people say, and only wants the chance to be loved.
This Is How It Always Is
Reese’s October book pick is a powerful, timely novel about a family with a transgender child. Each page packs an emotional punch as secrets surface, change unfolds, and unconditional love is shared. In describing this book, Reese said, “every once in a while, I read a book that opens my eyes in a way I never expected,” and we couldn’t agree with her more.
The Other Woman
It’s no surprise that Reese loves thrillers. Her most recent book pick, The Other Woman, is a is a gripping psychological thriller that follows a woman who falls in love with a man whose lurking mother won’t let him go. Reese describes the story as having “one of the most twisted and entertaining plots,” making it the perfect November read.
One Day in December
There’s nothing better than cozying up with a great romantic read during the holiday season. Reese’s December book club pick is the perfect heartwarming love story for the cold winter month. One Day in December is about love at first sight, second chances, and the role that fate plays in bringing people together.
The Library Book
Reese’s first pick of 2019 is a captivating nonfiction story about the fire that destroyed the Los Angeles Public Library in 1986! The Library Book dives into the mystery surrounding the fire and gives life to the people who played a key role in this historical tale.
Whether she’s on-screen in Big Little Lies, posting #shelfies on Instagram, or producing movies based on her favorite books, Reese Witherspoon has become a trusted icon in the book world. After many successful bookstagram posts, Reese decided to start her own book club. And since Reese’s fans get stories in different mediums, she’s even partnered with Audible to bring all of her choices to the audiobook streaming platform. While curating a book club can be a challenging task, Reese’s picks are always a hit. Here are the books she’s featured (so far).
Featured Image: Getty / Bauer-Griffin