The best of Reese Witherspoon’s book picks for 2018!
Welcome to 2019, another year, another opportunity to fill your life with good books.
Today I am sharing my top three favourite book picks from Reese Witherspoon’s book club for 2018!
As you may already know (and if not, you’re about to learn) I am an avid reader! A bookworm through and through. I love to fill my spare time immersed in the lives of fictional characters, experiencing their adventures through the pages of a book.
For 2018, I set myself a challenge to get through as much of the Dymocks Top 101 books list as I could (update to come on that) and at the same time I decided to follow Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club with Hello Sunshine. Reese is one of my favourite Hollywood stars, partially for her acting/producing skill but also because of what she stands for off the screen. I love that she has created this space to promote female authors, their characters and their stories.
So, what books did Reese Witherspoon select for her book club in 2018?
January: Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown
February: The Light We Lost by Jill Santapolo
March: Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal
April: Happiness by Heather Harpham
May: You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld
June: Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman
July: Next Year In Havana by Chanel Cleeton
August: Still Lives by Maria Hummel
September: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
October: This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
November: The Other Woman by Sandie Jones
December: One Day In December by Josie Silver
Each time I read a book, I give it a rating out of five based on my opinion of the quality of writing, character development and story building, and of course on how much I enjoyed reading it overall. Today I am sharing my three highest rated book picks from the Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine book club. The thing about ratings is that they are subjective and will vary based on the reader. I enjoyed every book Reese picked, however some I definitely liked more than others.
If you would like to read more books in 2019 I think Reese’s book club is a great place to start, not only is it supporting and promoting female authors and characters, you might pick up books that you wouldn’t have otherwise. It is a great way to broaden your reading horizons, plus, the interaction on their Instagram is super fun to be a part of, they have built a great community of readers!
Without further ado, lets get into the reviews!
My top three favourite picks:
1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (September pick)
Overview: Kya Clarke is the marsh girl. She’s also an outcast, a survivor and due to the prejudice of the townsfolk of Barkley Cove, Kya is a suspect in the murder of Chase Andrews. Set in small town North Carolina, this coming of age story follows Kya through her experience of being ostracised from society, and learning to survive with only the patterns of nature and the creatures of the marsh to teach her about life. As a result of this rejection, Kya closes her heart to the outside world. That is, until her beauty and mystery attracts the attention of a couple of young men from town. Will she learn to let others into her world, or has her trust been forever broken due to the mistreatment she’s been subjected to her whole life? Also…who murdered Chase Andrews?
My Thoughts: I LOVED this book! It’s probably one of my top favourites of 2018. It’s a beautiful story of courage and survival in the face of adversity, filled with lessons from nature, love, heartbreak, loneliness and a murder mystery. Delia Owens is actually a nature writer and Where the Crawdads Sing is her first fiction novel. Delia’s writing is mesmerising and unique. I cannot recommend this book enough, READ IT!
2. This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel (October pick)
Overview: Rosie, an emergency doctor, and Pen, a novel writer, fall in love almost instantly, in fact, Rosie claims she knew Pen was the one before she even met him. From that first blind date, their love continues to grow and so too does their family. They have four wonderful sons and decide to try one final time for a daughter. Nine months later Claude is born, another healthy, beautiful boy.
From the beginning, Claude was different, but so too were all of Rosie and Pen’s sons, unique in their own way. Claude was intelligent and sensitive, he loved to bake cakes, write and illustrate mysteries and most of all wear dresses. If you were to ask Claude what he wanted to be when he grew up, his answer would be ‘a princess’. Perhaps Rosie’s wishes and hopes for a daughter had been answered after all. Rosie and Pen being the wonderful parents that they are want Claude to be whoever he (or she) is mean’t to be, but that doesn’t mean they have all of the answers. And so a secret it born. The thing about secrets is, they tend to come out. This is a beautiful story about transformation, acceptance, belonging and love. A story about family, trust, secrets and challenges. It’s the story of a boy who is actually a girl.
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. I have never read anything covering this subject matter before and although it is fiction, I still found it to be quite eye opening. I found myself questioning what I would do if one of my future children was in the same situation. The story does have its flaws, some sections are probably given more words than necessary and it did seem a little like Rosie and Pen are just ridiculously perfect parents that probably don’t exist in real life. However overall, I really enjoyed Laurie’s writing which was both heartfelt and humorous. I definitely recommend giving this one a read!
3. One Day In December by Josie Silver (December pick)
Overview: Do you believe in love at first site? Laurie doesn’t. That is, until it happens to her. One day in December, through a bus window, Laurie falls in love with a perfect stranger sitting at a bus stop in London. And then the bus pulls away and she fears she has lost her soul mate forever. After a year of looking, Laurie is ready to accept she’ll never see ‘bus boy’ again. And then she does, at her annual christmas party where she is being introduced to him by her best friend and roommate Sarah…as her new boyfriend. And so begins Laurie’s difficult task of trying to fall out of love while watching Sarah and Jack’s relationship grow.
My Thoughts: This book was a fun read in December, it kind of reminded me of Bridget Jones Diary, mixed with Love Actually. Through the hope, the heartbreak, the life changes and challenges, personal growth, laughter, friendship and memories comes a story about love, fate and the non-linear journey of life. The thing I liked about this book was it was kind of lighthearted and fairly realistic. I enjoy learning about peoples’ life journey and (I know this is a fiction) but I find it comforting to know that no one’s life goes according to their original plan, I still don’t know what I’m doing with my life!
So what will you be reading this year? Share your top book picks in the comments below or feel free to head over to Instagram and continue the conversation there! I would love to hear from you!
I hope you have enjoyed this post, I definitely recommend checking out Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine, you just might find your next favourite book!
Until next time,