The Celebrity Book Club, Recap of the Emmys, Angelina Jolie, And Halsey
The Rising Prominence of The Celebrity Book Club
By Chloe Cornell
Oprah is partnering with Apple to launch a world wide book club and a new Apple TV + series “Oprah’s Book Club” which will debut on November 1st. Reese Witherspoon leads a book club with over a million and a half followers under the umbrella of her media and production company Hello Sunshine, focusing on women’s stories and female authors. Emma Watson launched her feminist book club “Our Shared Shelf” in 2016 and directs her 420K followers to female empowerment stories like her recent pick, Beloved by Toni Morrison. And Emma Roberts got in on the action in 2017 with her Instagram based book club “Belletrist” which features recommendations, author interviews, and promotions of independent bookstores to 216K followers. Sarah Jessica Parker created “SJP’s Picks” in a partnership with the American Library Association’s Book Club Central, singer Florence Welch from Florence and the Machine selects books that are posted on her Facebook and Instagram, Sarah Michelle Gellar posts her books to Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #SMGbookclub, and Shonda Rhimes, Mindy Kaling, Michelle Obama, Barak Obama, and Roxane Gay are known to promote their favorite books on their sites.
So what is the impetus for these celebrities to lead book clubs? While each of their origin stories are different, these women all share a passion for storytelling and sought out a way to encourage their fans to connect over thought-provoking stories.
Oprah’s Book Club is the longest running of the celebrity book clubs, originally launched on her talk show in 1996. Now available through the Apple Books app, Apple announced that it will make a contribution to the American Library Association for every Oprah Book Club pick sold on Apple Books. Oprah will also interview the authors of her book picks, which will air exclusively on Apple TV+. The power of Oprah’s endorsement of a book cannot be overstated. Her latest Book Club pick, The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates immediately shot to #1 on apple books when it was announced on CBS This Morning, apple books and Oprah’s many media sites on September 23rd. Over the years, Oprah has selected 80 books for her book club which you can access here: https://www.oprahmag.com/entertainment/books/g23067476/oprah-book-club-list/?slide=81
You can follow Oprah’s book club on Instagram @oprahsbookclub.
While Reese Witherspoon originally began her book club to connect with fans, it now plays an important symbiotic relationship within her company Hello Sunshine. An avid reader, the actress told Fortune Magazine, “I started posting on Instagram in 2013. I wanted to share a little bit of my life with my fans, so I started posting the books that I was reading starting with Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, which we were making the movie of at the time in addition to Gone Girl. The response was so welcoming that I decided to expand the book club to have an even greater reach in this modern age.” Many of Reese’s book club picks are stories that she is bringing to life as a TV series or movie. Big Little Lies, Wild, Little Fires Everywhere and the upcoming new Apple TV+ series The Morning Show co-starring Jennifer Aniston are all based on books that were recommended by Reese. In addition, the company is using the book club as a feedback and focus-group mechanism for upcoming productions. Lauren Neustadter, Hello Sunshine’s head of film and TV, reveals to Fortune, “We knew that we were [working on] an adaptation of From Scratch before it was a book club pick. We watched the book club conversations so carefully [because] they will inform conversations in a writer’s room…‘What [was the book club] most excited about? What were they less sure about? What were the questions that they were asking that we can answer in adaptation?’ There are huge opportunities there.”
You can join the book club on Instagram @reesesbookclub.
Emma Watson explains the launch of her book club as a natural extension of her work as Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women. As she began reading books about equality and women’s empowerment, she decided to start a feminist book club and open up discussion groups about the stories and issues. The group, which is on Instagram @oursharedshelf and also on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/179584-our-shared-shelf, also features interviews and discussion groups with authors. Here is a link to her amazing interview with Gloria Steinem: https://www.goodreads.com/videos/99192-emma-watson-in-conversation-with-gloria-steinem.
Emma Roberts created her Instagram based book club @belletrist along with her friend Karah Preiss to celebrate great books, independent bookstores, and authors. The site sells branded products like hats and towels and also has a blog which includes quick insightful interviews with authors like Awkwafina, Lauren Graham and Kelly Wearstler about their recommendations for books, bookstores, music, podcasts, products and more.
No matter what book club you choose to follow, they all encourage expanding your horizons by discovering new stories. In this day and age when our attentions are being hijacked by social media, youtube and streaming services, it is great that these celebrities are encouraging us to settle in with a good book instead.
Emmys 2019 Highlights
By Chloe Cornell
Phoebe Waller-Bridge was the biggest winner of the 2019 Emmys. She won three Emmys for her Amazon comedy, Fleabag: Best Writing in a Comedy Series, Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, and Best Comedy Series. “Well, this is just getting ridiculous,” she admitted as she accepted her third statuette. The show won six Emmys in total.
But Waller-Bridge’s luck did not end there. Two days later, Amazon announced a $20 million-a-year deal with the writer/actress which was no doubt helped along by her aforementioned Emmy success as well as her fourth Emmy nomination as writer and creator of the BBC show “Killing Eve” which was up for Outstanding Drama series. The deal will have her create and produce new television content for Amazon, which catapults Waller-Bridge into the club of multi-million-dollar Hollywood women writers including Ava DuVernay, Shonda Rhimes and Janet Mock who have similar deals with Amazon-rival Netflix.
“I’m insanely excited to be continuing my relationship with Amazon,′ Waller-Bridge said in a statement. ‘Working with the team on ‘Fleabag’ was the creative partnership dreams are made of. It really feels like home. I can’t wait to get going!′
There were a number of standout acceptance speeches on Emmy night, and below are Girl Tribe’s favorites:
Michelle Williams who won best lead actress in a limited series or television movie for Fosse/Verdon addressed the gender pay gap in her acceptance speech:
Best Supporting Actress winner Alex Borstein tells women to “Step out of line” in her moving acceptance speech about her Grandmother who was a Holocaust survivor:
Patricia Arquette, who won Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for The Act uses her acceptance speech to advocate for transgenders:
Angelia Jolie’s Return to the Public Eye
By Caroline Antonacci
Since Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie split, Jolie has remained out of the public eye. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, October 18th, returns Angelina Jolie to the big screen. In this, Maleficent watches over the Moors magical forest. In the first film, Maleficent had conflicts with the neighboring human kingdom, which resulted in the removal of her wings. Now, Maleficent’s wings are restored, and she may have to go to battle again. Back in 2013, Jolie announced that she carried a genetic mutation that would likely lead to a breast cancer diagnosis later. Because of that, she also announced that she would undergo the surgery and reconstructive operation. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we celebrate Jolie as she has been an inspiration to many with her bravery and openness throughout her journey.
Halsey is Not Your Typical Pop Star
By Paige Miller
While most of the artists we listen to like to brag about their money and extravagant houses, Halsey is trying to go against that norm by acting like a “normal” human being. When you look up Halsey on the internet you see a range of pictures of her, which includes a variety of looks: from a shaved head to blue and pink hair. From just looking at her we make assumptions that she is a different human being than we think. Reports have been gathered that she lives in a cozy home in Los Angeles. Furthermore, it has been gathered that when she meets her fans she acts like one of their friends from summer camp: fun, funky, and caring. All those descriptions are ones that we would not necessarily think she would have. She is always found on the grounds of her house or in a home interview in sweats with her hair in a bun. Although Halsey could act similar to her fellow artist friends, she decides to go against typical pop star behavior and instead acts more like any other woman in the world.