Back in February, the American Library Association announced that it would be partnering with actress Sarah Jessica Parker to launch Book Club Central, a website with book picks and resources for readers. After months of waiting, we finally have SJP’s first pick: Stephanie Powell Watts’ No One Is Coming to Save Us ($18, amazon.com).Watts’ debut, which was released in April, is a modern day retelling of The Great Gatsby with an African American family in North Carolina. We meet JJ Ferguson, who stirs up drama when he moves back to his declining hometown to build his dream mansion and win back his high school sweetheart, Ava. With lyrical prose, Watts timely novel explores race and the American Dream today.
Going forward, as honorary chair of Book Club Central, Parker will give recommendations for books for the rest of the year, with the next pick coming in the fall.
“From an early age, books were my constant companions and my local library a place I could find a new friend on every shelf,” Parker said in an announcement. “I’m thrilled to help champion original voices for dedicated readers as well as for a new generation, supporting libraries in what they do best.”This isn’t Parker’s first foray into the book world, either. She has long promoted her favorite books on Instagram (among her recentpicks are Exit West by Mohsin Hamid and The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy). Next year, she’ll launch SJP for Hogarth, her own publishing sub-imprint within Penguin Random House’s Crown Publishing Group. As editorial director, she’ll help find and edit three to four novels a year, according to the New York Times.