Instagram Searching for your next literary obsession? Take the 21st century approach with Vogue’s shortlist of the best Instagram celebrity book clubs. Curated by actors, musicians and activists, they spotlight a new title each month and ask their followers to read and discuss them together.
Whether you’re after novels, poetry or a lyrical memoir, here are the five best accounts to inspire your reading list.
Emma Watson (@oursharedshelf)
In 2016, Emma Watson made headlines for hiding novels on the London Underground and New York City subway. The goal? To give strangers the gift of a great book. The titles included Maya Angelou’s Mom & Me & Mom and Gloria Steinem’s My Life on the Road, both recent picks from her intersectional feminist book club Our Shared Shelf, which had launched on Goodreads earlier that year. Since then, it has morphed into a movement of 225,629 members and 418,000 Instagram followers who debate issues of equality, activism and social responsibility. From a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, who made her name playing Hermione Granger, we’d expect nothing less.
Florence Welch (@betweentwobooks)
A social media encounter with a fan was the genesis of Florence Welch’s literary community. In 2012, Irish teenager Leah Moloney tweeted the Florence + the Machine frontwoman suggesting they create a book club together, and she agreed. They founded Between Two Books, an eclectic Instagram account where recommendations range from the poems of Mira Gonzalez to Leslie Jamison’s essays and Yrsa Daley-Ward’s memoir The Terrible. Although Moloney runs the feed, Welch is its figurehead, spreading the word at gigs and hosting talks with authors. Last year, the singer also published her first book, Useless Magic, an illustrated collection of lyrics and poetry.
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Reese Witherspoon (@reesesbookclub)
Want a head start on the bestsellers that will soon be adapted into Hollywood blockbusters? Join the 1.1 million followers who are hooked on Reese Witherspoon’s eponymous book club, which focuses on contemporary women-centric fiction. Witherspoon has a talent for discovering titles before they skyrocket (she famously secured the rights to Gone Girl before anyone else), and her production company Hello Sunshine has optioned many of her monthly selections since 2015. Upcoming releases include a TV series based on Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere and a big-screen version of Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.
Emma Roberts (@belletrist)
Interviews with writers, in-depth discussions and curated reading lists are on the agenda at Emma Roberts’ online book club, Belletrist. The Scream Queens star created it in 2017 with friend Karah Preiss, in the hope of building a community around their shared love of authors like Joan Didion and Ariel Levy. Her picks encompass new titles (Oyinkan Braithwaite’s My Sister, the Serial Killer) and old favourites (Eve Babitz’s Sex and Rage), plus recommendations from Roberts’ friends Nicole Richie and Busy Philipps. Better yet, each book is matched with an indie bookstore of the month, spotlighting the best places across the US to buy a copy, complete with a Belletrist discount.
Oprah Winfrey (@oprah)
Still the most prominent celebrity bibliophile, Oprah Winfrey began her book club in 1996 as a segment on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Over the next 15 years the producer and philanthropist chose 70 titles for her avid fanbase, from Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon to Carson McCullers’ The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces, with many soaring to the top of international bestseller lists. In 2012, the club was relaunched with an emphasis on social media and has continued to champion women writers of colour including Imbolo Mbue and Tayari Jones. Updates are posted on Winfrey’s Instagram page and a video version of the club is expected to land soon on Apple TV+.
Kaia Gerber (@kaiagerber)
During quarantine, Kaia Gerber started a book club sharing it with her 5.6 million Instagram followers. Once a week, Gerber hosts a virtual meeting from her bedroom in Malibu over Instagram Live interviewing a fellow reader. The model’s past guests have been the authors themselves as well as Gerber’s famous friends including Phoebe Tonkin, Tommy Dorfman and her mother Cindy Crawford.