Share 17 Reese Witherspoon–Approved Books for You and Your Book Club

17 Reese Witherspoon–Approved Books for You and Your Book Club

Tolani Osan is the former Marketing Associate at Simon & Schuster.  A daughter of Nigerian immigrants, Tolani enjoys literary fiction about the tensions between cultures and classes. Her favorite book is Khaled Hosseini’s “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” which she’s made a pact with herself to revisit every three years. She also founded and runs her own blog, TolanisLifeLessons.com. You can enjoy her musings about pop culture, fashion, and literature on Twitter @TolaniHerself.  

Well-read, southern-bred, multi-faceted… the list of words that describe Reese Witherspoon are never-ending. In addition to book-clubbing guru, we can now add bestselling author to Reese’s list! It’s absolutely fitting that our favorite Hollywood bibliophile would share a book, WHISKEY IN A TEACUP, with the world! But when she’s not producing, acting, designing clothes, writing, and altogether crushing life, Reese is devouring books and recommending great reads for her Reese Witherspoon X Hello Sunshine Book Club. We’ve been able to keep up with her book recs on Instagram and can confirm these books are worth reading. Here are some of our favorite Reese-approved books.


Truly Madly Guilty
by Liane Moriarty

Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One small dog. It’s just a normal weekend. What could possibly go wrong? In TRULY MADLY GUILTY, Liane Moriarty takes on the foundations of our lives: marriage, sex, parenthood, and friendship. She shows how guilt can expose the fault lines in the most seemingly strong relationships, how what we don’t say can be more powerful than what we do, and how sometimes it is the moments that appear most innocent that do the greatest harm. After earning a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Madeline Mackenzie on Big Little Lies, it’s clear Reese cannot get enough of Moriarty’s brilliant eye for seemingly perfect families.

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Truly Madly Guilty
Liane Moriarty

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The Rules of Magic
by Alice Hoffman

Last October, Reese Witherspoon made THE RULES OF MAGIC—Alice Hoffman’s prequel to PRACTICAL MAGIC—her RW Book Club pick for the month, which makes perfect sense because it has everything your book club could ever want: magic and family secrets. This novel tells the story of the two beautiful Owens sisters who will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in PRACTICAL MAGIC, a beloved read of all Alice Hoffman enthusiasts.

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The Rules of Magic
Alice Hoffman

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Are You Sleeping
by Kathleen Barber

Reese called Kathleen Barber’s inventive and twisty psychological thriller the perfect weekend read. And now she’s officially adapting it as a movie starring Octavia Spencer! This Serial-esque novel is about an investigative journalist’s breakout podcast that reopens a murder case—and threatens to expose the secrets of the victim’s daughter and her carefully constructed new life.

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Are You Sleeping
Kathleen Barber

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The Alice Network
by Kate Quinn

Reese’s July RW Book Club Pick, THE ALICE NETWORK, is an enthralling blend of historical fiction, engaging drama, and mystery. It’s the story of two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—who are united in this fast-paced, breathtaking tale of courage and redemption.

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The Alice Network
Kate Quinn

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The Lying Game
by Ruth Ware

With IN A DARK, DARK WOOD; THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10; and now THE LYING GAME making appearances all over Reese’s Instagram, we think it’s safe to assume she’s a big fan of Ruth Ware. Ware’s latest thriller is an atmospheric, twisty novel about four friends whose past lies—and games—come back to haunt them. It will keep you on your toes until the last page.

Read the full review of THE LYING GAME.

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The Lying Game
Ruth Ware

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Little Fires Everywhere
by Celeste Ng

Reese made Celeste Ng’s LITTLE FIRES EVEYWHERE her September RW Book Club pick, saying, “Celeste Ng writes with stunning accuracy about the power of motherhood, the intensity of teenage love, and the danger of perfection. And a fire that destroys it all.” Book clubs everywhere are raving about this novel!

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Little Fires Everywhere
Celeste Ng

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Commonwealth
by Ann Patchett

When Reese made Ann Patchett’s THIS IS THE STORY OF A HAPPY MARRIAGE her November RW Book Club pick, it reminded us of another Patchett favorite. Spanning five decades, COMMONWEALTH explores how a chance encounter one Sunday afternoon reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Told with equal measures of humor and heartbreak, COMMONWEALTH is a meditation on inspiration, interpretation, and the ownership of stories.

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Commonwealth
Ann Patchett

Read with a Lime Spritzer

Citrus seems appropriate for a Southern California setting. At times funny and heart-wrenching, Patchett’s COMMONWEALTH covers a multigenerational saga that begins with a forbidden kiss. From there a road diverges for two families in very different ways. While Bert Cousins arrives at the fateful christening party with a bottle of gin, might we suggest a lime spritzer?

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All Is Not Forgotten
by Wendy Walker

This dark, psychological thriller is another RW pick that’s being adapted for the big screen. In a small, affluent Connecticut town, Jenny Kramer attends a party during which she becomes the victim of an attack. She’s given a controversial drug to medically erase her memory of the violent assault. While she heals physically, she faces her raging emotional memory as her father seeks justice for her attacker and her mother copes with the reality of the attack. Wendy Walker’s shocking twists had Reese “guessing until the very end.”

Read the full review of ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN.

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All Is Not Forgotten
Wendy Walker

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Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
by Gail Honeyman

Reese is crazy about Eleanor Oliphant, and so are we. Though she struggles with appropriate social skills, we love this out-of-the-ordinary heroine’s deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit. When the antisocial Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office, everything changes. Together they save Sammy, an elderly man who falls on the sidewalk, and the three become the type of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living.

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Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
Gail Honeyman

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Do Not Become Alarmed
by Maile Meloy

This RW selection and summer hit is hailed for its heart-racing suspense and beautiful imagery. To the delight of their husbands and children, Liv and Nora are taking their families on a holiday cruise. While the adults relax, the four children—ages six to eleven—enjoy the nonstop buffet and their newfound independence. But on an excursion ashore in Central America, a series of minor misfortunes and miscalculations erodes the safety they had experienced aboard the ship, when one minute the children are there, and the next they’re gone.

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Do Not Become Alarmed
Maile Meloy

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The Library Book
by Susan Orlean

Reese’s January pick is a must-read for frequent library dwellers and all-around bibliophiles. On the morning of April 29, 1986, the stacks at the Los Angeles Public Library were consumed by flames. The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. Weaving her lifelong love of books and reading into an investigation of the fire, Susan Orlean delivers a mesmerizing and uniquely compelling book that manages to tell the broader story of libraries and librarians in a way that has never been done before.

 

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The Library Book
Susan Orlean

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You Think It, I'll Say It
by Curtis Sittenfeld

Why should you read Curtis Sittenfeld’s short story collection YOU THINK IT, I’LL SAY IT? Reese says: “I really loved all the characters in this book. They’re so complex and interesting, and in every story, you’ll find them going through these pivotal moments in their lives.” The perfect read if (one) you love all of Reese’s picks and you’re looking for a smart, moving, and funny read.

 

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You Think It, I'll Say It
Curtis Sittenfeld

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The Proposal
by Jasmine Guillory

When Nikole Paterson accompanies her actor boyfriend to a Dodgers game, the last thing she expects in a grandiose proposal (on the scoreboard, no less). Saying no isn’t the hard part, disappointing a stadium full of fans, however…? On top of being a Reese Witherspoon X Hello Sunshine pick, THE PROPOSAL received praise from Roxane Gay, BuzzFeed, Essence and the list goes on. If you love rom-coms films in book form, THE PROPOSAL is a fun, relatable, and sharp read.

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The Proposal
Jasmine Guillory

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Something in the Water
by Catherine Steadman

When honeymooners Erin and Mark discover something in the water while scuba-diving, their decision to speak out or keep their discovery a secret trigger a devastating chain of events. Perfect for readers of Ruth Ware (another Reese Witherspoon favorite), SOMETHING IN THE WATER is the vacation read you never knew you needed.

 

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Something in the Water
Catherine Steadman

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Next Year in Havana
by Chanel Cleeton

Reese says Chanel Cleeton’s NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA is a “…beautiful novel that's full of forbidden passions, family secrets and a lot of courage and sacrifice." Sound like something you’d be into? Moving from Havana 1958 to Miami 2017, NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA follows a Cuban-American woman exploring the roots of her identity and unearthing a long-hidden family secret.

 

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Next Year in Havana
Chanel Cleeton

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Group
by Christie Tate

Plus, all of us here at Off the Shelf are obsessed with Reese's most recent pick: GROUP by Christie Tate! This refreshing and hilarious debut memoir about a young lawyer who reluctantly agrees to get psychological help in the form of group therapy is a must-read out this month. As Tate immerses herself in the strange, terrifying, and ultimately life-changing world of group therapy, she begins to break down her defenses and rely on these sessions for comfort. This an addictive read that you won’t want to put down. Readers will realize the true value of human connection and trust right alongside Christie’s journey.

 

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Group
Christie Tate

“Hilarious and engrossing.” People * “Fearless candor and vulnerability.” —Time * “Funny, emotional, and insightful.” —Good Morning America * “Honest, addictive” —HelloGiggles * “Wonderful...sparkle and intelligence.” —Booklist * “Dazzling.” —Publishers Weekly

The refreshingly original debut memoir of a guarded, over-achieving, self-lacerating young lawyer who reluctantly agrees to get psychologically and emotionally naked in a room of six complete strangers—her psychotherapy group—and in turn finds human connection, and herself.

Christie Tate had just been named the top student in her law school class and finally had her eating disorder under control. Why then was she driving through Chicago fantasizing about her own death? Why was she envisioning putting an end to the isolation and sadness that still plagued her in spite of her achievements?

Enter Dr. Rosen, a therapist who calmly assures her that if she joins one of his psychotherapy groups, he can transform her life. All she has to do is show up and be honest. About everything—her eating habits, childhood, sexual history, etc. Christie is skeptical, insisting that that she is defective, beyond cure. But Dr. Rosen issues a nine-word prescription that will change everything: “You don’t need a cure, you need a witness.”

So begins her entry into the strange, terrifying, and ultimately life-changing world of group therapy. Christie is initially put off by Dr. Rosen’s outlandish directives, but as her defenses break down and she comes to trust Dr. Rosen and to depend on the sessions and the prescribed nightly phone calls with various group members, she begins to understand what it means to connect.

Group is a deliciously addictive read, and with Christie as our guide—skeptical of her own capacity for connection and intimacy, but hopeful in spite of herself—we are given a front row seat to the daring, exhilarating, painful, and hilarious journey that is group therapy—an under-explored process that breaks you down, and then reassembles you so that all the pieces finally fit.

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