On World Book and Copyright Day, Manasi Y Mastakar takes a look at book clubs founded and run by celebrities
Sonali's Book Club
Actor Sonali Bendre expanded her love for books by starting a book club, which currently has 14.7k followers on Instagram. Started in 2017, Sonali picks a new book every month, with a date set for discussions about the book. The actor recently held a book giveaway competition. The book for the month of April is ‘Exhalation’ by Ted Chiang. “Science fiction was the very first genre we explored in #SBC, and we're thrilled to be reading another one again! The book for this month is #Exhalation by #TedChiang. Give these nine provocative and poignant stories a read, and let us know which one was your favourite,” Sonali had posted on Instagram when she announced the plan for April.
Oprah’s Book Club
Oprah Winfrey needs no introduction. Philanthropist, chat show host, actor…Oprah wears many hats. Founded in 1996, Oprah herself picks books for the club. She’s quite active on the book club’s Instagram account, which currently has 335k followers. She also holds regular discussions about the books she reads. For the current month, Oprah’s pick is ‘Hidden Valley Road’ by Bob Kolker. Recently, she posted a series of questions for discussion for chapter five of the book. “For every copy of our book club picks sold on @applebooks, Apple will make a contribution to the @americanlibraryassociation to support local libraries, fund programs that give access to everyone, and create lifelong readers at an early age,” she had posted when she introduced Hidden Valley Road as the book for April.
Reese’s Book Club
Started by Hollywood actor Reese Witherspoon, according to the bio on Instagram, “Each month @ReeseWitherspoon picks a book she loves with a woman at the center of the story.” And the book of the month for April is ‘Untamed’ by Glennon Doyle. With 1.6mn followers on Instagram, Reese is quite active on the book club and holds regular bookish exchanges with fellow readers. The latest active of the club is a virtual book club meeting with author Glennon Doyle on April 26 (11 am PDT). There are just 50 seats available and if one wants to participate one can visit the Instagram page and enrol.
Our Shared Shelf
It comes as no surprise that Emma Watson, who played the nerdy Hermoine Granger in the popular Harry Potter series and the book loving Belle from Beauty and the Beast, is a bibliophile in real life too. The actor, who is a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, introduced a feminist book club in 2016 via Goodreads. The group is open to anyone who has interest in reading. In her recent post on Goodreads, Emma announced, “I will not be making the regular bi-monthly book announcement via the board, I will be making future book recommendations through Instagram using the hashtag #oursharedshelf instead. My wish is that this community continues to share and announce their own book recommendations with this hashtag keeping what we’ve built together alive and well for the future…Keep your eyes peeled as I announce other books later this year.” You can follow the club on Instagram and/or Goodreads.
Actor Emma Roberts, along with her friend Karah Preiss, launched Belletrist in 2017. Along with book recommendations, holding discussions and arranging giveaways, Emma, through her book club, also introduces readers to a new local bookstore. She also actively shares her thoughts and pictures from her reading sessions. The club currently has 237k followers on Instagram. For April, the pick is Writers & Lovers by Lily King. On April 23, the book club will be having a live chat session on Instagram with author Tomi Adeyemi on her young adult novel Children of Virtue and Vengeance.