26 Books on Reese Witherspoon's Must-Read List
From nail-biting thrillers to how-to guides, see which page-turners she can't put down
Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown
“January is the perfect time to reflect and #BravingTheWilderness by @BreneBrown is the perfect book for this,” said Witherspoon on Instagram. Every month the star chooses a book pick as part of Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine, which focuses on celebrating women’s stories. “It really made me stop and think about the important things in life: i.e. having the courage to be confident in your decisions, the importance of connecting with others, as well as being thoughtful and open to having conversations with those who may have different opinions than you.”
Buy It! Braving the Wilderness, $28; amazon.com
The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine
“It’s a psychological thriller about a woman who conceives a plan to manipulate her way into the life of a married couple,” Witherspoon said of Constantine’s debut novel. “Filled with envy, deception, and power, it’s a great reading escape. And there is a thrilling twist at the end!!”
Buy It! The Last Mrs. Parrish, $26; amazon.com
This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett
The Wisdom of Sundays by Oprah Winfrey
“Sunday morning reading the best book,” Witherspoon said of this collection of “aha” moments from Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday series conversations with visionaries including Cheryl Strayed, Gary Zukav and Brené Brown.
Buy It! The Wisdom of Sundays: Life Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations, $28; amazon.com
The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
Hoffman’s latest work, a prequel to her 1995 novel Practical Magic, truly enchanted Witherspoon. “It’s about two sisters and a brother who discover they come from a magical family that’s been cursed – whoever they fall in love with will die,” the star said of the tale, which is “full of magic, love, family, heartbreak and redemption.”
Buy It! The Rules of Magic, $27.99; amazon.com
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Witherspoon was “moved to tears” by this psychological mystery about two Ohio families. “Celeste Ng writes with stunning accuracy about the power of motherhood, the intensity of teenage love, and the danger of perfection,” she said on Instagram. “And a fire that destroys it all.”
Buy It! Little Fires Everywhere, $27; amazon.com
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
The classic whodunit by the “best-selling author of all time” follows detective Hercule Poirot’s quest to solve the mysterious murder of millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett, whose stabbed body is discovered inside his locked cabin aboard the legendary Orient Express train. Did one of Ratchett’s fellow passengers commit the crime?
Buy It! Murder on the Orient Express, $13.99; amazon.com
The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
“Can you imagine something you did as a teenager coming back to haunt you 17 years later? That’s the journey #TheLyingGame takes you on,” Witherspoon said of Ware’s suspense novel about four high school friends, now grown, who share a secret and are reunited by a mysterious text. “Will someone find out the truth? Will one of the women break the pact? So many questions… Until the very last page!”
Buy It! The Lying Game, $26.99; amazon.com
Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Socially awkward Eleanor lives an extremely lonely life until she and her office IT guy Raymond save an elderly man after he falls on the sidewalk. The three become friends and ultimately rescue each other, with Raymond bringing Eleanor out of the shell that protected her from a tragic past. “#FunFact: At 40 years old, Gail Honeyman’s debut novel #EleanorOliphant was discovered through a writing competition, altering the trajectory of her life,” Witherspoon has said of the book, which she is turning into a feature film.
Buy It! Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel, $26; amazon.com
Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty by Diane Keaton
Books by Author Emily Giffin
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
Travel writer Lo Blalock is on assignment aboard a luxury cruise and all seems perfect until she witnesses the woman in the next cabin being thrown overboard. Or did she? According to the ship’s records, no passenger is traveling in that cabin! “#TheWomanInCabin10 is an edge of your seat thriller set on the most beautiful yacht in the world,” Witherspoon said on Instagram. “Full of great characters and twists, y’all should check it out!”
Buy It! The Woman in Cabin 10, $26; amazon.com
Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Witherspoon’s “weekend reading” is now an HBO series starring the actress herself. Moriarty’s book chronicles the lives of three women who have kids at the same preschool. As secrets are revealed, they realize that their lives are even more connected than they think.
Buy It! Big Little Lies, $9.99; amazon.com
The Dry by Jane Harper
“You won’t want to put it down,” the star wrote on Instagram of this “unpredictable page-turner” about federal agent Aaron Falk, who, decades after being accused of murder, is summoned to his hometown for the funeral of his best friend, who shot himself after killing his wife and son. As Falk investigates his friend’s death, the locals begin to question his own connection to the case.
Buy It! The Dry, $25.99; amazon.com
The Wonder by Emma Donoghue
Lib, an English nurse, travels to an Irish village to observe a young girl who claims to have survived on no food for four months. Is it a hoax or a miracle? That’s the question Lib asks herself, when the child’s health suddenly begins to decline. Witherspoon called this book one of her “rainy day essentials.”
Buy It! The Wonder, $27; amazon.com
Radical Beauty by Deepak Chopra & Kimberly Snyder
Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown
“I go back and look at it over and over again,” Witherspoon said of this book based on Brown’s blog. “It’s laugh-out-loud funny, yet practical and shockingly accurate (Step 361: Don’t date someone who is mean to you!!) It talks about the mundane (how to clean your apartment) and the big issues (how to choose your friends). A great gift for basically … Any adult.”
Buy It! Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps, $15.99; amazon.com
It's All Easy by Gwyneth Paltrow
Even Oscar winners can use a little help in the kitchen — from fellow Oscar winners. Enter this cookbook, which is packed with quick and simple recipes. “Trying my best @gwynethpaltrow, to make it look like #ItsAllEasy!!! WishMeLuck,” Witherspoon wrote on Instagram.
Buy It! It’s All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook, $35; amazon.com
All Is Not Forgotten: A Novel by Wendy Walker
“What would you do to protect your children? What lengths would you go to? This book explores those questions and more,” the star said of Walker’s novel, which she is bringing to the big screen. “A dark & twisting psychological thriller that had me guessing until the very end. *Fair warning that this book has some difficult / violent scenes.*”
Buy It! All Is Not Forgotten: A Novel, $26.99; amazon.com
Barbie and Ruth by Robin Gerber
Move over, Elle Woods. Another iconic blonde is coming to the big screen! Witherspoon is planning to make a movie based on this story of how Mattel cofounder Barbara Handler was inspired by her daughter to create a doll who looked like an adult instead of a child.
Buy It! Barbie and Ruth, $14.99; amazon.com
Ashley's War by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Witherspoon was so moved by this book that she couldn’t put it down: “It’s about an amazingly brave group of women who served in a Special Ops unit during the war in Afghanistan. Their strength and courage are an inspiration. P.S. I’m so proud to bring their story to the screen!”
Buy It! Ashley’s War, $15.99; amazon.com
Luckiest Girl Alive: A Novel by Jessica Knoll
Ani FaNelli is a successful woman who seems to have it all — including a dark secret that could destroy her. “It was the most non-stop nail-biting crazy train of a book with one of the most intriguing characters I have read in a long time!” raved Witherspoon, who is adapting the novel into a feature film.
Buy It! Luckiest Girl Alive: A Novel, $15.99; amazon.com