There can be a natural scepticism when society learns that a celebrity known for one thing branches out into a new medium. Often seen as a cash grab or merely attaching their name to something in order to give it credence, these endeavours are rightly scrutinised. That is not to say however that every time this takes place the business or offering is underwhelming and not of value.
Reese’s Book Club is an example of a successful venture by a celebrity that provides a genuinely good product. In fact, the truth that many people are unaware of who is behind it speaks volumes to the effort Reece Witherspoon has gone to make sure the Book Club has its own reputation rather than simply trading on her A-List status.
Readers who are unaware of Reece’s Book Club may well be aware of Oprah Winfrey’s own version which can be considered the benchmark for such a service. However, there is always room in the market for more than one offering.
In this review, we will take a closer look at exactly what Reese’s Book Club is, if it at all differs from the competition and whether or not readers would find it beneficial to sign up or participate.
What is Reece’s Book Club?
Reese’s Book Club launched in May 2017 and has since grown from strength to strength. Often described as a cultural tastemaker with her finger on the pulse and a keen eye for the next big thing, Reece Witherspoon launched the Club with a simple mission; promote and champion stories with a woman at the centre of the story. Once a month, Reece’s Book Club releases its selection to share with its audience. Often these choices are catapulted into the mainstream from relative anonymity showcasing the impact that being featured can have. The website self describes the Book Club as a place that champions diverse writers, suppers book retailers and aims to increase access to books for all.
Alongside these monthly recommendations, the Reese’s Book Club website has a wide array of content, from exclusive interviews and behind the scenes content to special collaborations and shopping opportunities for its members. Readers can sign up for the newsletter which they will receive via email, completely free of charge.
As is to be expected their social media presence is also extensive, with huge followings on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube, which not only covers all bases and mediums but also speaks to how the Book Club is for everyone as naturally different demographics favour different platforms.
Reese’s Book Club – Titles
To date, since the first pick in May 2017, there have been upwards of 80 titles selected, ranging across a variety of genres, subject matters and authors. Each pick is not only sent to subscribers as mentioned above but the full back catalogue can be found on the website, with various links to purchase. A selection of the titles can be found below.
The Nightingale – Kristin Hannah
Tiny Beautiful Things – Cheryl Strayed
Honey And Spice – Bolu Babalola
The Island of Missing Trees – Elif Shafak
Seven Days in June – Tia Williams
Outlawed – Anna North
The Last Story of Mina Lee – Nancy Jooyoun Kim
The Guest List – Lucy Foley
Such a Fun Age – Kiley Reid
The Secrets We Kept – Lara Prescott
As you can see there is everything from mystery and romance to life stories and human drama as well as household name authors and relative newcomers.
Alongside the main picks, starting in August 2020, once a quarter Reese’s Book Club also selects a title for Young Adults presumably as a way to include a wider audience to the Club as well as allow teenagers to partake having been made aware of it by their parents.
Reese’s Book Club – Benefits
There are countless benefits to being a member of any book club, but particularly Reese’s Book Club given both its place in the market and its founder.
Firstly, there is a level of trust that comes with the recommendations coming from a household name. Many people will have grown fond of Reese Witherspoon and her rise to fame as a celebrated movie actress, and therefore are fans of her work so care about her as an individual as opposed to an anonymous recommendation from someone they are not familiar with. In turn, when the latest selection lands in their inbox each month, it does so with added resonance and authority due to the implied trust.
Secondly, given Reese’s success as an actor, there is a high degree of professionalism and top quality feel that comes with Reese’s Book Club. The standard of production, content and high quality of its offerings are all part of the package making it more appealing to its audience and readers alike.
Lastly, for fans of Reese Witherspoon herself, it allows them to support her work. By championing the Book Club they will feel part of the community of Reece Witherspoon fans, giving them tangible feelings of support and appreciation.
Aside from the above, there are more generic benefits of joining a book club. A wider sense of community, the chance to diversify the books you read, opening your mind to new perspectives and opinions, broadening your cultural horizons and many more. Particularly in a digital age where so much of our attention is captured by screen time and shorter attention spans, having the discipline to sit down and engage in something more long-form is incredibly worthwhile.
Alternatives to Reece’s Book Club
It goes without saying that Reese’s Book Club is not the only offering of its kind, in fact, Book Clubs have almost certainly been popular for as long as books themselves in some way or another, as the two go hand in hand.
It only takes a brief search online for thousands of results for Book Clubs to appear, so the choices are quite literally endless. Some are in person only and situated by a geographical location whilst others may focus in on a particular genre or mission statement, similar to how Reese’s Book Club champions woman centred stories. It stands to reason then, that there are in fact just as many different types of book clubs as there are books themselves.
But readers will have to decide for themselves what is most important to them, whether that is the flexibility of a virtual book club, the financial freedom that comes without payment or the in person benefits that come with being face to face with other members providing a sense of community and friendship.
If however, they are a fan of Reece Witherspoon, or upon reading through the back catalogue of selections and find themselves particularly then signing up will likely be incredibly worthwhile, especially given the low effort and zero financial commitment required.
Reece’s Book Club Review – Final Thoughts
In summary, then, Reese’s Book Club is thankfully an example of a celebrity putting their fame, name and wealth towards a genuinely good product. A free offering that introduces a community of people to new books whilst also providing best in class content to sit alongside it is unquestionably impressive.
Both the calibre of titles recommended as well as the regulatory regularity with which they arrive makes Reese’s Book Club a beneficial offering for any reader.
It is worth saying, however, that the virtual nature of Reese’s Book Club may not provide or fulfil every desire for someone wishing to engage with something like this, particularly if they prefer in person style Clubs. But it could provide a springboard for them to find something like that, or perhaps set up their own Book Club maybe even based on the selections made by Reese.
Either way, any reader keen on hearing from new voices that champion and centre women, would almost certainly love to be a part of Reese’s Book Club.