Here at FFL, we love books and we love the Bushes and I personally love how much the Bushes love books. Both Bush first ladies made literacy their top philanthropic focus. Now, Jenna Bush Hager is helping promote literacy with a new book club!
Celebrity book clubs are becoming all the rage – thanks Oprah! They are both huge wins for authors, but also readers who can discover new books, feel connected to someone they admire, and often get an inside look at the author’s experiences and thought processes related to those books through increased interviews or focused partner projects with the book club.
We were all super excited when Jenna Bush Hager joined the TODAY show. Now, she’s also sharing her love of reading and her family dedication to literacy through this book club. Plus, she and her twin sister Barbara Bush are the authors of their memoir, Sisters First, as well as an upcoming children’s book that shares the same title.
Jenna launched the book club is March, and it’s already gotten a lot of buzz. She’s even been dubbed the Oprah Book Club “heir apparent” and that’s high praise. All the books she’s recommended have seen a huge boost in sales thanks to her support, and she supports a diverse group of authors.
When talking about why she started it, Jenna pointed out that reading is in her family’s blood. First Lady Laura Bush was a librarian. Jenna grew up loving books – including the Babysitters’ Club, which I adore, and which is getting a Netflix adaptation. She said that she became the go-to person in her family for book suggestions (I can relate) and wanted to share that same experience with a wider audience. Especially with her new role on the TODAY show, she’s got a big one now!
Some of the past book club picks have been books I’ve been excited for, and others have been ones I hadn’t heard of, but picked up because of Jenna’s recommendation. It’s kind of cool to see that you’re reading the same book as someone famous that you admire.
The September 2019 pick was The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall, which is about four friends (two couples) and follows them from when they meet throughout their lives, with all the ups and downs that entrails. It’s gotten great reviews,and I can’t wait to check it out.
Past “Read with Jenna” book club selections have included:
Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn
Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok
A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum
The Unwinding of the Miracle by Julie Yip-Williams
The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin