A Novel Idea: Read along with the stars through quarantine

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The semester is nearly over, but quarantine is anything but done. Luckily celebrities across the globe have begun hosting virtual book clubs full of recommendations and must-reads.

The semester is nearly over, but quarantine is anything but done. Luckily celebrities across the globe have begun hosting virtual book clubs full of recommendations and must-reads.

As the strangest semester draws to a close, quarantine very well may still be continuing for most of you. This being my final column of the semester, I think it would only be fitting to provide some reads to peruse while you safely socially distance. As I talked about in another column, books provide escapism, enrichment and entertainment in a world where we have perhaps too much time on our hands. I know I’ll be tackling my “To-Read” list once the last of final exams wrap up, and celebrities have similarly turned to the written word to keep themselves busy, sometimes hosting virtual book clubs or sharing their bookshelves. Let’s see what famous people are reading during this time.

“An Anonymous Girl” by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

One of our favorite Husky basketball stars (let’s face it, any current or former member of the women’s basketball team is a favorite) Napheesa Collier is hosting Phee’s Book Club through the hashtag #pheesbookclub on Instagram. She is hosting Instagram Live sessions to discuss the designated chapters for the week. The psychological thriller’s premise involves the protagonist taking part in an ethics and morality study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields.


Reese Witherspoon is just one actress who has taken to Instagram with book recommendations. Her novel instagram has become a hit, reaching over 1 million followers.  Photo via Instagram    @reesesbookclub

Reese Witherspoon is just one actress who has taken to Instagram with book recommendations. Her novel instagram has become a hit, reaching over 1 million followers. Photo via Instagram @reesesbookclub

“Untamed” by Glennon Doyle

Reese Witherspoon has starred in a few book adaptations herself, with “Big Little Lies” and “Little Fires Everywhere” garnering acclaim for the show and source material. Through a dedicated Instagram account, @reesesbookclub, the actress selects a book every month with a female protagonist. Her April pick features the activist and humanitarian Glennon Doyle’s memoir about self-realization as a woman and a mother.

“Time Zero” by Carolyn Cohagan

Fitting in with the academics of her most popular character Leslie Knope, Amy Poehler shared this dystopian novel on “Late Night With Seth Meyers.” A few years after the dystopian craze has died down, it only makes sense that the trend is returning in a time with seemingly similar occurrences (but there’s no cause for concern). Fifteen-year-old Mina Clark lives in a totalitarian future Manhattan that bans girls from attending school, but her grandmother decides to run her granddaughter’s education on her own terms.

“Jude the Obscure” by Thomas Hardy

I read this literature classic for my English class last semester, and I had just rewatched “Clueless” last week, so I knew I had to feature this pair. On Saturday Night Live last week, Paul Rudd on FaceTime shared he was reading this late 19th-century modernist novel that features a somewhat desolate character arc, but lots of classic English novel features at the very least.

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Hollie Lao is a staff writer and the social media manager for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at hollianne.lao@uconn.edu.

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