As Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, Reese Witherspoon proved you can go to Harvard AND do the “bend and snap.” Now, she is championing girl power in her new role as Hollywood’s book mogul. She turns books about badass chicks into movies that are just as high (or higher) on the badass meter.
Remember Gone Girl? Witherspoon turned the riveting novel into a box-office hit with her production company, Pacific Standard. She performed the same magic with Cheryl Strayed’s novel, Wild, which led to an Oscar nomination for herself. Start raiding stores now, bookworms, because Witherspoon has more bestsellers lined up for adaption for the big screen and TV.
When she isn’t converting books into films, she’s posting about them on Instagram for her book club. Using the hashtag #RWBookClub, Witherspoon’s favorites range from You’ll Grow Out Of It by Jessi Klein to Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. Many of the stories feature edgy, smart, imperfect women, and Witherspoon promises they’re all great reads. To start you on your #RWBookClub journey, here are the books Witherspoon optioned for adaption if you want to stack those on your nightstand first.
Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
Witherspoon will join other stars like Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley in this adaption of Moriarty’s New York Times bestseller. Centered round the lives of three families, Moriarty shows how guilt can expose the flaws in friendship, love and parenting. The story will reveal how “the most innocent of moments can do the greatest harm.”
Ashley’s War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
In 2010, a special team of women joined the Special Operations soldiers who were at war in Afghanistan. These Cultural Support Teams questioned the women they encountered during raids – searching for information and weapons. But, most importantly, they forged cultural connections and proved that women can be just as fierce as the male soldiers.
Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
With a dark secret plaguing her, Ani hides behind a look, a job, and a man that advertise success. With twists and surprises, the story reveals that despite her “sharp edges and cutthroat ambition,” she still has a heart that bleeds.
All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker
Jenny Kramer seems to be living a perfect life in a well-to-do Connecticut town, until she is attacked at a party. Though she is given a controversial drug that erases her memory of the assault, she is still tormented by her “emotional memory.” In the aftermath, her parents’ marriage and the perfect town explode.
Opening Belle by Maureen Sherry
Humorous insight from a former Wall Street insider results in a comical story about Belle – a woman with a high-paying job, sexy husband and great kids – who is wooed by her ex-fiancé-turned-client. Belle does her best to navigate him, an industry filled with excess, and way too much sexism for any modern woman to handle.
The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
Suzy’s best friend drowns and Suzy is convinced the death was caused by a rare jellyfish. The theory sends her on a journey that begins with grief and ends in wonder… and maybe love?
Second Life by S.J. Watson
In this thriller, Julia’s sister is murdered and she goes on a quest to discover what happened. But, along the way, she gets wrapped up with a “dangerous man online.” As secrets are revealed, Julia may lose everything…
In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
Even the English countryside can be terrifying in this twisted thriller. Writer Leonora goes away for a weekend holiday, only for secrets to spill between friends. In a terrifying twist, they also realize that they’re “not alone in the woods.”
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed
Witherspoon is adapting Tiny Beautiful Things into a series for HBO. The book is based on the writings of the once-anonymous columnist, Sugar (now known as Cheryl Strayed). Strayed, also the author of Wild, provides advice on all of the messiest and best parts of life. So, if you’ve ever wanted to call in to a hotline and didn’t, this may be the perfect solution.
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Another Moriarty adaption, Big Little Lies will appear as a limited series for HBO in 2017. Starring Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and other big names, the story revolves around a group of moms “whose perfect lives begin to unravel.”
Supreme Courtship by Christopher Buckley
Supreme Courtship is another book Pacific Standard has optioned for a TV adaption, but this time with Sony Pictures TV’s TriStar Television. A comedy about reality TV star Judge Pepper Cartwright joining the Supreme Court, this promises to be a hilarious “comedy about [one of] the Washington institutions most deserving of ridicule.”