It's no secret that I'm a big fan and admirer of Reese Witherspoon: entrepreneur, Oscar winning actress, and Emmy award winning producer! Ever since I can remember, I've adored her! From her movies, to the way she carries herself....the fact that she's from the South too (Southern gals gotta stick together!)...and her immense devotion and "putting her money where her mouth is" mentality over the past few years, for creating content and material for women, by women, has truly inspired me.
To take it back a little bit and explain how this all came about, Reese has stated before, including in an interview with Vanity Fair, about receiving a particular script that led her to her "aha" moment:
“It was just awful. I called my agent, I said, ‘I’m not gonna do this. Who would want to do this?’ He said every actress in Hollywood wants this part. It was just a lightbulb moment for me. I realized I had to create more and do better for other women and create opportunities . . . I don’t see women at the center of their own movies as much as I would like to."
Reese has always been an avid reader and a huge lover of books. She soon realized, after reading that particular script she mentioned, that she actually could step up and do something about it. She realized she could take her love of books and her consistent and constant reading life and do all she can to purchase the rights to certain materials and help to bring them to the big screen (or the small screen)! She realized that instead of sitting around and complaining, that she had the resources to actually bring about some change. :)
Not too long after her "aha" moment, Reese embarked on a new adventure with her producing partner at the time, Bruna Papandrea, by co-founding their production company, Pacific Standard, in 2012. Through all of this, Reese's Book Club was also formed! I'm an avid follower of her picks, as y'all know! :)
What I love most about Reese acquiring these particular books, is that they all are female-centric! They're stories that put rich, complexed female characters at the center. Most of them are written by women as well!
She recently parted ways with Papandrea -- and ventured out and created another platform (with Otter Media), called Hello Sunshine (her company, Pacific Standard, serves as a subsidiary for Hello Sunshine).
From Hello Sunshine:
"We are media company dedicated to female authorship across all storytelling platforms, including film, television, books, social videos, and audio. We’re excited to connect women (and men) to narratives told from a distinctively female perspective. We want the growing Hello Sunshine community of creators and audience members to feel seen and heard."
[This description is from their bio on Facebook, here!]
On social media, she renamed her book club from RW Book Club, to Reese's Book Club x Hello Sunshine! She also started releasing a new book club pick every month. (Fun fact: Reese's favorite book is Birds of America by Lorrie Moore!)
I remember when Reese first mentioned Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. She ended up buying the movie rights to the book before the book was even released. I went to the bookstore and snagged me a copy. Surely this one had to be good since the reviews were great and Reese bought the movie rights, right?! ;)
Oh, Gone Girl. :) It's still one of my favorite books. I wish I could reread it like it was the first time, all over again. I love that book -- and I really liked the film adaptation, directed by David Fincher, a lot as well!
Along with Gone Girl, Reese bought up Wild by Cheryl Strayed and got an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Strayed, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, in the film version! In Wild, we saw Reese taking even more risks. She transformed before us and she killed it!
The follow up to Wild was the highly successful HBO miniseries, Big Little Lies, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée as well. Reese partnered with Nicole Kidman to get the rights to this one, which ended up leading to numerous Emmy nominations and wins, including a win for Reese and Nicole as executive producers and for Nicole for her part as Celeste Wright! :) What a great miniseries. There are whispers that there might be a second season. We shall see!
These three novels, acquired by Reese, are great books that also had great adaptations. I love books and I absolutely love seeing stories come to life in the form of films and television shows! Reese isn't the first and isn't the last woman to do this, to see something in our industry that she doesn't like and actually do something about it. But I'm glad she's doing her part and bringing great content to the forefront through her book club and production company. :)
Below I've included some of the books on Reese's Book Club list -- and some that she has optioned for film and television as well.
With the holidays coming up, all of these books make great stocking stuffers or nice gifts for all of your bibliophile friends and family members -- and a lot of them are on sale (tap the buttons below each description to see)! ;)
RECENT BOOK CLUB PICKS:
(Grab your copy below!)
- November Book Pick: THIS IS THE STORY OF A HAPPY MARRIAGE by Ann Patchett!
"This collection of essays explores what it means to have friends, fall in love, struggle, and succeed. Reading this book is like talking to one of your best friends."* - R.W.
- October Book Pick: THE RULES OF MAGIC by Alice Hoffman!
"This story is full of magic, love, family, heartbreak and redemption. I just know you'll love this book and the Owens family as much as I do, RW Book Club!"* - R.W.
- September Book Pick: LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE by Celeste Ng (I mentioned this one in my FALL READS post as well)!
"To say I love this book is an understatement. This deep psychological mystery about two families in Ohio moved me to tears. 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."* - R.W.
- August Book Pick: THE LYING GAME by Ruth Ware!
"Ruth Ware has created another thrilling page-turner about a group of women who were childhood friends bound by a dark secret. Will someone find out the truth? Will one of the women break the pact? So many questions...until the very last page! Needless to say, I could not put this book down!"* - R.W.
- July Book Pick: THE ALICE NETWORK by Kate Quinn!
"I think you’ll really enjoy this exciting and fast-paced story about a pregnant American socialite who teams up with a female ex-spy and a hot-tempered young soldier in the aftermath of WWII. A story of courage and redemption."* - R.W.
A COUPLE OF "OLDIES" BUT GOODIES (& optioned by Reese):
- Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll (Even though it took me a while to finish it, it's a great novel!)
- In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware (Fun, quick read! Enjoyed it!)
- Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
- The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight
You can get your copy of these on Amazon or Barnes and Noble!! Check out your local library too. ;)
Make sure you follow Reese Witherspoon's Book Club on Instagram: @reesesbookclubxhellosunshine! Also, subscribe at HelloSunshine.com to follow along with all of the digital content her team is putting together as well!
What other book clubs do you follow? I'm always looking for more fun reads! Hit me up on Insta! :)
[This post is not sponsored by Reese Witherspoon or her companies.]
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(*Book quotes taken from Reese Witherspoon's Instagram.)