Book shelf including books of different genres, colors, and sizes.

Eight Celebrity-Run Instagram Book Clubs and Where to Find Them

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced people around the world indoors, many picked up books to pass the time. Due to the global nature of social media, readers were able to connect over titles with people they may never meet in person. Celebrities or influencers with existing social media followings have found their platforms to be an opportunity to share their interests and spark mass discussions about books via book clubs on Instagram. Here is a list of eight celebrity-run book clubs which host discussions on Instagram:

  1. Belletrist, founded by Emma Roberts and Karah Preiss @belletrist on Instagram

    Emma and Karah, both avid readers, channeled their hobby into an online community of like-minded subscribers. Though social media and the unifying power of the internet have shaped Belletrist’s success, the project kicked off twelve years ago thanks to snail mail. Best friends Karah Preiss [living in New York] and Emma Roberts [living in LA] would always be sending each other books in the mail and writing little notes on them. It became the center of their friendship, exchanging recommendations and discussing them. They have similar tastes, but are also very different, so there was a nice blend of having so much in common yet still being able to learn from each other.

  2. Our Shared Shelf, founded by Emma Watson @oursharedshelf on Instagram

    As part of her work with UN Women, Emma Watson decided to start a feminist book club to share what she learned and hear other thoughts on the works she engaged with via Goodreads. Watson decided to step back from the Goodreads account, but will continue sharing books on Instagram with #OurSharedShelf.

  3. Between Two Books, founded by Florence Welch @betweentwobooks on Instagram

    Between Two Books was started in 2012, when an Irish teen tweeted Florence with the idea that she should have her own book club. It has grown into a vibrant online community, still led by original members, Kate and Leah, along with Florence, Maria, and Terri-Jane. The club regularly features guest recommendations from artists, writers, musicians, and directors.

  4. Reese’s Book Club, founded by Reese Witherspoon @reesesbookclub on Instagram

    Each month, Reese (book-lover-in-chief) chooses a book with a woman at the center of the story. There is no formula to book selection, but the book club looks for ways to deepen connections to books, authors, and ourselves.

  5. Noname Book Club, founded by Noname @nonamereads on Instagram

    Noname Book Club is a community dedicated to uplifting POC voices by highlighting two books each month written by authors of color. In addition to building community with folks across the country, the organization also sends the monthly book picks to incarcerated comrades through the Noname Reads Prison Program.

  6. Read With Jenna, founded by Jenna Bush Hager in collaboration with The Today Show @readwithjenna on Instagram

    Each month Jenna picks a new book to read with viewers and discuss on The Today Show.

  7. Andrew Luck Book Club, founded by Andrew Luck @albookclub on Instagram

    Andrew Luck uses his book club as a platform to share his love of reading with a large audience. Every month, Andrew recommends two books for readers: one for the “Rookies” (younger folks) and the other for “Veterans” (more seasoned readers). Andrew tries to interview one author each month and share that podcast on his website.

  8. Kaia Gerber’s Book Club, founded by Kaia Gerber @kaiagerber on Instagram

    In the midst of COVID-19 lockdowns, Kaia decided to start a book club as a way to stay connected with her followers beyond the surface level uses of social media. Kaia shares book selections in her Instagram story, and the following week discusses the book on Instagram live (sometimes with a friend, writer, guest, etc.)

streamers displayed in rainbow order connecting to a brick building

 LGBTQ+ Book Recommendations

If you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community, you’re probably eager to get your hands on any piece of queer media you can; if you’re not part of the community, maybe you’re looking to broaden the scope of your reading experiences. There are so many queer books out there, but it can be hard to keep up with new releases and titles that have already been published. We have put together a list of LGBTQ+ reads to add to your TBR list, whether you’re reading by yourself or with a book club.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles is a very popular retelling of the Iliad, focusing on the story of Achilles and Patroclus, told from the latter’s point of view. This book follows the two from childhood to the Trojan War, chronicling their growth and their romantic relationship. It is a very touching read, and it’s perfect for fans of Greek mythology.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe follows two lonely teenage boys who meet one another during the summer and become fast friends. Over time, and over a distance, the two discover romantic feelings for each other. This beloved novel has a sequel that was just published too!

Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

This is the sequel to Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, and it is a highly-anticipated sequel to boot. Having just been released, this book is on many a TBR list, but early reviews are giving it a glowing recommendation.

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Cemetery Boys went viral thanks to TikTok, and it’s for good reason. Sixteen-year-old trans boy Yadriel is on a mission to prove to his traditional family that he is a man by way of a brujo ceremony. Typically performed as a family celebration, Yadriel invites his cousin/best friend, Maritza, to attempt to summon their murdered cousin to set his soul free. Yadriel mistakenly summons the ghost of newly-dead high school bad boy Julian Diaz, and he refuses to leave Yadriel alone until the pair finds out what happened to the murdered boy. The longer the two spend together, however, the less they want to leave.

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Cynical August moves to New York City where she waits tables at a twenty-four-hour diner and lives with way too many people. She has given up on romance and is determined to live the rest of her life alone. One day, she meets Jane on the subway and is stopped in her tracks. Slowly but surely, August begins to believe in love and the impossible.

While not an exhaustive list, I hope you’ve found a book (or two, or five) to add to your list. Happy reading, and enjoy these highly-praised queer love stories!