2024 Read with Jenna Book Club List: The Best Books Ranked (+PDF)

Read with Jenna

** Read with Jenna Book Club List Updated 3/19/24**

Looking for all the books on the Read with Jenna Book List ranked? You’ve come to the correct place!

Jenna Bush Hager didn’t start her book club until early 2019, so it’s not nearly as long as Reese’s. (You can find the Reese list ranked here).

While her list is shorter in number, the vast majority of the books we’ve read from her list have been exemplary. Think 5, 4.5, and 4-star reads!

Jackie is a HUGE fan of Jenna Bush Hager’s picks for that reason. Even the books we haven’t read yet are still scattered across our homes waiting for their moment to shine.

So check out the ranked Read with Jenna book list below and come back monthly to see the newest picks and updated rankings!

For more Celebrity Book Clubs, Ranked, check out this post.

Read with Jenna Book List

Latest Book Club Pick // 5 Star Picks // 4.5 Star Picks // 4 Star Picks // 3.5 Star Picks // 3 Star Picks // 2 Star Picks // Frequently Asked Questions // Complete Lists // 2019 Picks // 2020 Picks // 2021 Picks // 2022 Picks // 2023 Picks // 2024 Picks

Table of Contents

What is the latest Read with Jenna Book Club Pick?

The Husbands

The April 2024 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick is The Husbands by Holly Gramazio.

April 2024 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

The Husbands

The Husbands by Holly Gramazio

April 2024 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

Think of this book as Sci-Fi lite. It calls upon sci-fi-based principles – mainly multiverses – but it doesn’t dwell on the scientific for even a moment.

The premise is simple. Lauren, a single woman, comes home one night to a husband she didn’t know she had. Her phone, friends, and photos in her apartment reflect this new life but she can’t remember it. And then something crazy happens.

He goes up to the attic to change a lightbulb and a new husband descends from the attic. Whenever a new husband emerges, the life around her shifts again. So with an endless supply of husbands, she finds herself torn between knowing when to send them back and when to keep one and start living.

Why I Loved It: Easily one of the most unique plots I’ve ever read. Even as a confirmed disliker of Sci-Fi books, I found this story compulsively readable. I had a blast watching Lauren try to figure out her life and the revolving door of husbands had me giggling at times. #gifted by PRH Audio

Find this book in Best Sci-Fi Books / Summer Reads 2024 / 2024 Fiction Favorites

March 2024 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

IMG 9925

The Great Divide by Cristina Henríquez

March 2024 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

A powerful novel about the construction of the Panama Canal, casting light on the unsung people who lived, loved, and labored there

It is said that the canal will be the greatest feat of engineering in history. But first, it must be built. For Francisco, a local fisherman who resents the foreign powers clamoring for a slice of his country, nothing is more upsetting than the decision of his son, Omar, to work as a digger in the excavation zone. But for Omar, whose upbringing was quiet and lonely, this job offers a chance to finally find connection.

The house on mango street

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

March 2024 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

This classic kid’s book is about a Latino neighborhood in Chicago. Widely studied (and banned) across the country, Esperanza Cordero’s coming-of-age story defines a generation.

Within its pages, Esperanza is struggling against stereotypes and the expectations of growing up on Mango Street. While she fights to leave her neighborhood behind, she realizes that she can’t outrun the impact the neighborhood had on shaping her.

Why We Like it: While Jenna recently picked the 25th-anniversary edition for her book club, I (Kirsten) have loved this story since she read it back in middle school. The way Cisneros writes paints the most vivid picture in my mind.

Read with Jenna Reading lists

Read with Jenna Book Club Reading List

Download the complete Read with Jenna Book Club list below and subscribe to our newsletter here for exclusive access to more reading lists and printables!

Read with Jenna Book Club List Ranked

Read With Jenna Book List

5 Star Picks From The Jenna Bush Hager Book Club: The Best Read with Jenna Books

maame

Maame by Jessica George

February 2023 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

This story about Maddie, known as Maame to her family, was immersive and beautifully complex. Dealing with friendships, racism, familial obligations, and then grief, this story swept me away. Maddie lives in London as the primary caretaker of her father who has Parkinson’s. Her mother spends most of her time in Ghana.

I felt fiercely protective of Maddie while reading this book. There were times I wanted to swoop in to relieve some of the burdens of this wonderful character with a heart of gold. But it was more rewarding to see Maddie finding her inner strength and learning to prioritize herself and her dreams.

I can’t recommend this coming-of-age book about grief enough – especially as a book for book clubs. It’s one of the best books of 2023 and a great pick for a list of book club books. This is one of the heavier books in our beach reads 2023 post, but the list would not be complete without it. This is also one of the best novels about Africa I have ever read.

Solita and more Read with Jenna Book Club Picks

Solito by Javier Zamora

September 2022 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

I was blown away by Javier Zamora’s memoir about his solo journey to America. At just 9-years-old, he traversed 3,000 miles, to reunite with his parents in America.

While his grandpa accompanies him for the beginning of his journey, they soon have to part ways and he is left in the care of the adults traveling with him on his journey.

This book about immigration is one that is seared into my memory. I was so grateful for the mother on the journey that took him in as her own. Frustrated, sorrowful, and ultimately joy were all emotions I felt while reading this book. Its a best book of 2022 pick for me for sure.

Remarkably Bright Creatures and more family drama books

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

May 2022 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

I haven’t read a novel with as much heart as this one in quite some time. Elderly, recently widowed Tova loves her job cleaning the aquarium in town in the quiet of the night, especially because of her fondness for Marcellus, the octopus. She finds solace in the aquarium as it makes her feel closer to her son, Erik – a marine life lover – who disappeared on a boat when he was 18.

But when she hurts herself and is unable to return to work at full capacity, she grows close with her replacement, Cameron, a young man who newly arrived in town looking for his birth mother.

Meanwhile, Marcellus knows what happened to Erik and he wants to help Tova find the closure she needs. His narration is interspersed with Tova and Cameron’s for a story that is compelling, heartwarming, and utterly unique.

I will be shoving this book into the hands of everyone who asks for a book recommendation because it’s my favorite book of 2022

Find this book in Best Audiobooks of 2022 / Family Drama Books / Ultimate List of Feel-Good Books / Contemporary Fiction Books / Book Club Books
Why We Love This Book: This book has more heart than any book we have read in a long time. The unique perspective of a grumpy octopus may seem silly, but was brilliantly done and adds a unique perspective.

Black Cake

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

A Read With Jenna Pick for February 2022

I absolutely loved this contemporary fiction which is a story about love, family, and acceptance. It captured me from the first page with the story and the writing.

When Eleanor Bennett dies, she leaves a voice recording for her two children Benny and Byron. She wants to tell them things about her life that she could not say when she was alive.

While listening to their mother’s story, Byron and Benny learn about their mother, family, and themselves. They try to piece their relationship back together. The novel looks at everyone’s lives in the present and the past, but in its essence, it is a book about motherhood.

Find this book in Books About Women in Sports / Books for Book Club / Books About Mothers / BIPOC Female Authors / Books with Color in the Title

The Family and more family drama books

The Family by Naomi Krupitsky

November 2021 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

Set in the 30s and 40s in Red Hook, NY, this family drama story is about two girls born into the Italian Mafia. Sophia and Antonia are the best of friends, neighbors, and daughters of local mob members.

The story spans their childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood as they navigate their relationships with each other and “The Family.”

It was captivating and wonderful to learn about the lives of the women in the crime family. It’s a must-read mob novel because of how it addresses coming of age. Of all the friendship books on this list, this one is definitely the most unique.

black buck

Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour

January 2021 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

Black Buck was everything I thought it would be and more! At times this book reminded me of the subtle racism in Such a Fun Age but it was also reminiscent of the systemic racism in The Nickel Boys.

And then there was the whole Wolf of Wall Street portion that had me picturing Leo screaming on the trading room floor.⁣ This contemporary fiction was both entertaining and thought-provoking.

Find this book in Contemporary Fiction / Books with Colors in the Title

Valentine

Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore

April 2021 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

I don’t want to say I loved this book, because the subject matter is gritty and dark, yet I enjoyed it deeply.⁣ I loved the unconventional friendships and the stark look at racist double standards in equal measure.⁣

When an older white man rapes 14-year-old, Hispanic, Gloria, the town of Odessa reacts strongly. Many people take one side and few take the other. ⁣ This story is dark but filled with hope. I connected to many of the characters and their struggles. It’s a book set in the 70s, but quite honestly it reads very true today.⁣

A Woman is no Man

A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum

May 2019 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

The abuse suffered by the women in the book was heartwrenching. It looks at three generations of Palestinian-American women and their struggles to bloom and become independent. 

I am shocked at the treatment of these women. Isra is a 17-year-old girl in Palestine entertaining suitors. She finds herself betrothed and off to live in the United States with a new husband whom she has met only a few times. 

In New York, 17-year-old Deya wants to go to college before she is married,  Her grandmother Fareeda is insistent that she be married first. Rum does an unbelievable job telling this story. It is a thought-provoking novel that is a perfect book for book clubs to discuss.  

dear edward

Dear Edward by Anne Napolitano

January 2020 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

This compelling story is about a boy who survives a plane crash within the first few pages of the book.  However, the book moves back and forth between the plane flight and the aftermath so you get to know the people on the flight and their stories.

It’s a heartbreaking tale that you won’t soon forget. While I really like it, I don’t recommend reading it while travelling.

Why I Love it: The minute I read the first page, I was immediately captured. I love the way this book was written. 

Find it in Plane Crash Novels

Nothing to see Here and more family drama books

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

November 2019 Read by Jenna Book Club Pick

There is so much that I love about this family drama novel.  It is such a feel-good book that is more than what it seems.  It is well-written and funny and made our top books of 2019 list.

This magical realism book is about a woman who becomes a nanny for two children who start on fire when they get mad.  There is wonderful humor in this book that is centered around strong and beautiful relationships.  I cannot recommend this family drama story highly enough.⁣

Transcendent Kingdom and others on the Read with Jenna book club list

4.5 Star Picks From The Read with Jenna Book List

Chain gang all stars

Chain-Gang All-Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

May 2023 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

This book was a doozy in the most thought-provoking way. The story is about the stars of Chain-Gang All-Stars, the reality tv show that pits prisoners against each other in gladiator-type fights to the death.

Thurwar and Staxxx are stars of the show, brutally killing anyone they come up against, but as Thurwar gets ready to win her freedom after 3 years on TV, the creatures of the show throw many hurdles in her path.

Why We Love This Book: This searing look at racism and classism feels highly relevant to today’s world when a show like this could easily exist in some states. The reality TV book was so unique. Even days later I can’t stop thinking about the all-stars, the protesters fighting for their rights, and the stunning conclusion. I’ve been thinking about it all year, so it was an easy pick for the best books of 2023 pick!
Find This Book In Dystopian Novels / Read with Jenna Book Club

The Measure and more goodreads choice awards 2022 books

The Measure by Nikki Erlick

July 2022 Read With Jenna Book Club Pick

This is one of the most unique books I’ve ever read. One day everyone over the age of 22 wakes up to find a string on their doorstep. It’s soon clear that the length of one’s string determines the length of their life.

Soon short stringers are being discriminated against around the globe which begs the question – what is the true measure of a valuable life?

Why We Love This Book: This would be a fabulous book club book. There is so much to talk about and you will love this pick from summer reads 2023! Don’t let the fact that this is a sci-fi book deter you if it is not your usual genre.
Find This Book in Best Books for Book Clubs / New Dystopian Novels

The Lincoln Highway

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles

October 2021 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

Once again, Amor Towles writes an incredible, character driven-story that had me marveling at his writing ability.

The coming-of-age story is all about Emmett and his 8-year-old brother, Billy, and their quest to get to California to start a new life following the death of their father. Along for the ride are the scheming Duchess and his sidekick.

Their journey intertwines in this fast-moving character study of the 4 boys. It was a touch too long, but still a wonderful story from a gifted writer.

Beautiful Country

Beautiful Country by Qian Julie Wang

September 2021 Read with Jenna Book List Pick

A moving memoir of life as a Chinese immigrant in America. Qian and her family moved to America for opportunity, but hurdle after hurdle is thrown their way.

As her parents try to put food on the table, we learn about the immigrant experience through the eyes of Qian as a child. From her near-constant hunger to trying to acclimate to her new school system, Wang writes in a way that makes the reader feel what she felt.

Truly a moving account of her early life. I challenge anyone to read this and not wonder how broken our immigration system is. If you are looking for a coming-of-age book to make you think, this is the one for you!

Transcendent Kingdom  and more of the best books of 2020

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

September 2020 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

Covering drug addiction, immigration, racism, and more, this story is as entertaining as it is stimulating. Its discussion of drug addiction’s impact on the larger family unit was reminiscent of Long Bright River.

I also kept having to remind myself that it was a contemporary fiction story and not a memoir because the emotion and knowledge expressed in the book were so believable.⁣ This is one of the books about grief that you must-read.

the dutch house

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

October 2019 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

Ann Patchett has done it again with this tale of sibling devotion. Danny and Maeve are victims of an abandoned mother and father who all but ignores them.

Danny narrates the coming-of-age story of their lives as it ties into The Dutch House – a storied mansion that their father purchased in Elkins Park. This home is the blessing and curse of their lives.

The sign of their father’s success and what ultimately breaks up their family. The siblings gather together on Thanksgiving in this emotional and complex family saga book that is a perfect fall book. It is on our best of 2019 list for sure.

a burning

4 Star Picks From The Read with Jenna Book List

we must not think of ourselves

We Must Not Think of Ourselves by Lauren Grodstein

December 2023 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

This incredible novel is based on the true story of the Warsaw Ghetto inhabitants who recorded what life was like for their fellow occupants. Adam, the protagonist, is one of several secret archivists working to capture the truth of life within the ghetto.

The story takes us through Adam’s life as he records testimonies from his friends and neighbors, but also gives us an in-depth look at his drive to survive the Nazis. I was deeply moved by the intimate look at what Jews went through during that dark period, but this is a hard one to read in the current climate because it feels a breath away from happening today.

The Celebrants by Steven Rowley

The Celebrants by Steven Rowley

June 2023 Read With Jenna Book Club Pick

This is a story of friendship that has lasted decades, cemented in stone when one of their best friends died by suicide shortly before college graduation. Never wanting to face the loss of each other or doubts of how much they mean to one another happen again, the friends make a pact.

Whenever any of them is at their lowest, they will call for a living funeral. One that will allow them to see how long they will be missed. It’s been 5 years since the last funeral, and now Jordan has a secret that might change everything.

Steven Rowley writes with wit and humor as we see the lowest point in each character’s life when the previous funerals are reflected on. But he really shines, in the final chapters when these friends help Jordan and his partner grieve. It’s a lovely book about grief and friendship.

The Whalebone Theatre and more October 2022 celebrity book club spoilers

The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn

October 2022 Read with Jenna Book List Pick

This family saga tells the story of Christobel and her siblings as they grow up from children playing at the Whalebone Theatre to young adults navigating WWII.

I found Christobel to be an enchanting protagonist as I watched her develop into a strong woman. From theatre director to a spy on the front lines of war, her journey was one that I eagerly devoured.

the impossible things

These Impossible Things by Salma El-Wardany

June 2022 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

Well, this story is a doozy. It’s a book club book worth discussing with friends, which makes sense because the heart of the story is female friendships.

Malak, Kees, and Jenna have been besties since childhood, but this story focuses on their young adulthood and their respective romantic relationships.

There is so much meat in this story to discuss – the expectations put on Muslim women, the difficulty of having (or hiding) a non-muslim partner, the call to leave Europe, and the balance of cultural traditions verse modern life. I can’t recommend this story enough. It’s one of the best books of 2022 for sure.

Hell of a Book

Hell of a Book by Jason Mott

July 2021 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

There are so many layers to this book that is a book about a fictional author and his book “Hell of a Book”.  I can see why Jenna chose this book as her July 2021 pick.

The novel tells the story of Soot- a young black boy in a rural town. As we hear the story of Soot we also have the author talking to “The Kid”, a young black boy who may of may not be invisible.

The description of the book does not do it justice. It is a powerful and poignant commentary on family, children, and the lengths that parents will go to to protect their children. This book is haunting.

a burning

A Burning by Megha Majumbar

June 2020 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

After a terrorist attack at a train station in India leaves a woman wrongfully accused of being a Muslim extremist, her world is turned upside down.

Two other characters’ stories intersect with hers to offer us a searing look at modern India. I can’t stop thinking about it. I’m so glad I took The Uncorked Librarian’s suggestion to read it. I’ll be thinking about this debut for a while.

Full cast audiobooks really bring the book to life and this emotional story is no exception.

whats mine and yours

What’s Mine and Yours by Naima Coster

March 2021 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

What a story. Sadly relevant still in today’s world, this story covers a time when a school district in North Carolina decides to bus black children from a poorer area into the white wealthy high school.

Told across 3 timelines, we see how the decision impacts two families on either side of the divide. How entwined will they become? How entwined were they in the past? and how will all of it affect their future?

Thought-provoking and relevant, this would be an excellent book club pick.

All Adults here Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

All Adults Here by Emma Straub

May 2020 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

There is something about this book that makes it so easy to read and easy to love.  Every character in this book is perfectly flawed.  They are funny and relatable. When Astrid Strick witnesses an accident,  her life gets turned upside down.  

She starts to think about her life, her children, and her parenting.  She questions if she has inadvertently ruined the life of her three grown children who all have issues in their own ways.  

Why We Liked it: This book is not all light and funny- it deals with some heavier topics.  But, it is the perfect mix of life that makes it so easy to read.

3.5 Star Picks From The Read with Jenna Book List

Amazing Grace Adams

Amazing Grace Adams by Fran Littlewood

September 2023 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

The premise of this book is so fascinating – a perimenopausal woman, is going through an epic midlife crisis and we get to see flashbacks of the previous months as she tries to win back her daughter on her 16th birthday – leaving chaos in her wake.

I wanted to root for Grace Adams the entire time while reading this book, but I never really liked her! I liked her gumption, her determination to win back her daughter, and the ZERO fucks given about society’s standards, but mostly, I found her to be annoying!

I loved the premise, but ultimately this character-driven book fell short because I just didn’t love Grace.

July 2023 Read with Jenna book club pick

Banyan Moon by Thao Thai

July 2023 Read With Jenna Book Club Pick

Minh, Ann’s grandmother, has died leaving her home to Ann and her mother, right during a time when Ann’s life is in upheaval. She just found out her long-term boyfriend is cheating on her and she’s now pregnant with his baby.

Traveling back to Florida to see the Banyan Tree house, Ann also has a chance to reconnect with her estranged mother, Huơng or sever the tie to her roots completely.

I loved Ann’s journey to self-discovery and the flashbacks that told Minh’s life story and how she immigrated from Vietnam. My only caveat is that the ending wasn’t all I wanted it to be. It was good but left time wanting more from this family sage.

sam by allegra

Sam by Allegra Goodman

January 2023 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

This is the coming-of-age story of Sam, from 7 years old until about 19 as she navigates life where she doesn’t quite fit in with her peers. She lives with her mom and younger brother, while her dad flits in and out of her life depending on if his addiction is under control.

As she grows up, Sam falls into rock climbing, scaling buildings and walls, sometimes competing on teams, and always trying to find her place in the world.

As a mom, it was so interesting to see the world through Sam’s eyes. I sympathized with her struggles but also wanted to get in there and mom her myself! I did find the closure I wanted for her at the end of the book and I was proud of her as if she was someone I actually knew!

The Secret History (Read with Jenna Book List) and other December 2022 Celebrity book Club spoilers

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

December 2022 Read with Jenna Book Pick

Richard is one of a select group of six students who have been hand-picked to work under the guidance of a classics teacher named Julian Morrow. Richard is narrating the story and he begins by telling about the death of one of the students named Bunny.

As the story progresses, it is clear that this secret society of students rides the line of morality. The strained friendships and sexual tensions continue to push the edge until Bunny is killed.

This is one of the books about secret societies that was deeply disturbing and difficult to read. It certainly earns its place on our list of dark academia books and books about cults! And as with most books set in college, this one is a perfect book for fall.

The Cloisters and more November 2022 celebrity book club spoilers

The Cloisters by Katy Hays

November 2022 Read With Jenna Book Club Pick

Ann Stilwell is desperate to escape her small town and her painful past. She arrives in New York City where she is supposed to spend her summer working as a curatorial associate at the Met. When she arrives, she is informed her supervisor is gone for the summer and she does not have a job. Luckily, she is able to get an assignment with The Cloisters, a gothic museum, that is known for its medieval art collection.

Ann suddenly finds herself entwined with a small group of students with secrets of their won. When she finds a 15th-century deck of tarot cards, she is reluctant to share her findings and this starts a dangerous game that Ann is not prepared for. This is one of the dark academia books about secret societies you don’t want to miss.

bright burning things

Bright Burning Things by Lisa Harding

December 2021 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

Sonya is going through a struggle with addiction while trying to raise her 4-year-old son, Tommy. Told entirely in first-person from Sonya’s point of view, this story is an emotional look at the inner mind of an addict struggling to get help.

While Sonya’s heart is in the right place, the gut-wrenching story about trying to panic while an addict was hard to read at times. 

It’s a rocky road as she struggles to recover, but it ends on a hopeful note. This one would be a great book for book clubs to discuss. I also LOVED listening to it on audio, the narrator really nailed the cadence of Sonya’s thoughts.

Malibu Rising and other June 2021 Novel Ideas

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

June 2021 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

Nina Riva is having her annual summer party which is famous for its epic scale and exclusivity. But this year, the party will end with devastation.

Nina and her siblings are famous children of one of the biggest rock stars of all time and they each have their secrets. Perfect for a list of books about music, right?

I have loved the last two books by Taylor Jenkins Reid so much that I often recommend them to friends for their universal appeal. I had high hopes for this family saga but it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

I enjoyed the book but I felt that it was a little drawn out at times. Still, I loved Nina’s character and her ability to surf puts her on our list of books about women in sports!

Evvie Drake

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

July 2019 Read with Jenna Book List Pick

I just adored this celebrity romance book.  It was such a sweet and light romance.  When Evvie’s husband dies unexpectedly in a car crash, she is still staying in her house a year later.  Everyone in her small town thinks that she is overcome with grief but in actuality, it is guilt. 

Dean is a retired major league baseball pitcher who woke up one day and was unable to throw the ball over the plate.   When he moves into the apartment in the back of Evvie’s house the two become friends and agree to never talk about baseball or the dead husband.  This book was an easy and enjoyable read.

White Ivy and others on the Read with Jenna book club list

3 Star Picks From The Read with Jenna Book List

good material

Good Material by Dolly Alderton

February 2024 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

Andy’s girlfriend, Jen, has recently broken up with him and he’s wallowing as he tries to get over her. He needs to get a new place to live and kick his career as a comedian up a notch, but he can’t seem to stop replaying the end of his relationship in his mind. Why did it turn out so wrong?

Why We Liked it: It was so intriguing to see a break-up from a male perspective and yet I wanted to throttle Andy on numerous occasions. He was just SO whiny. Jen’s perspective is showcased in the last few chapters of the book and it brought so much clarity to the relationship and break-up. I loved the added perspective – it elevated the book.

the waters

The Waters by Bonnie Jo Campbell

January 2024 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

This is a book like Where the Crawdads Sing in the sense that it’s focused on the inhabitants of the swamp lands of a rural community. But “Herself” is an herbalist who has cured local women for generations.

Her daughters though, are each as different from her as from each other. But her granddaughter, Donkey, is more like “Herself” – with her deep understanding of swamp life and the healing power of herbs. But Donkey, like her mother and Aunts before her, also wants a life outside the swamp. And more specifically, she wants a father.

Why We Like it: This family saga kept us intrigued with the constant unveiling of secrets, and the swamp was a character of its own. Yet the writing, while beautiful, seemed to drag in places and some of the events were too imaginative to be believed.

Memphis and more goodreads choice awards 2022 books

Memphis by Tara M. Stringfellow

April 2022 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

**UPDATED** The author came after another book reviewer who said she liked the book but the men were trash, they are the abusers in the story. She then proceeded to drag the reviewer publicly. I can’t condone that kind of bullying behavior so I’ve lowered my rating on this one.

This harrowing story of violence against a family of black women was too compelling to put down. As each generation faces its own abuse, the prevalence of the violence perpetrated against them and their continued resilience is nothing short of remarkable.

These women have faced lynched husbands, sexual assault, and domestic violence and now, in Joan, all they preserved for is made apparent. Will she be able to face her trauma and rise to be the acclaimed artist she is meant to be?

Not a book for the faint of heart, this story will have you thinking about it for days after reading.

White Ivy and other Read with Jenna Book Club List Picks

White Ivy by Susie Yang

November 2020 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

Ivy is a Chinese American who from a very young age learns to steal and take what she wants.  She grew up in a poor family who sent her to a fancy private school where she met Gideon, the boy who would forever represent the epitome of perfection and success. 

And while the writing is good and there is an element of thrill to the book, the characters fell flat for me and there was never an element of surprise.  ⁣

There was nothing about Ivy that I could relate to which would have worked for me if there were surprising elements to her character. I felt like the characters we stereotypes of characters rather than characters with depth.  It affected the way I felt about the book and for me, it missed the mark.⁣

2 Star Picks From The Read with Jenna Book List

The School for Good Mothers

The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan

January 2022 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

This book, about a mother sent to a reform institute after making a parenting mistake, is billed as satire. The problem was I felt equal parts uneasy and angry.

The “school” she was sent to simulates parenting under extreme conditions in a way that is detrimental to the parents and the kids. I didn’t find it entertaining, but rather disturbing and anger-provoking. This book about motherhood is sure to invoke some lively conversation.

The scenarios and treatment of mothers and kids were strange and unreasonable. It was just not a great story for me at this point in the pandemic.

Find This Book In Read with Jenna Book Club / Modern Dystopian Novels

writers and lovers

Writers and Lovers by Lily King

March 2020 Read with Jenna Book List Pick

I had high hopes for this book because I loved Euphoria.  Although this was well written, I found it slow-moving and I had little emotional connection to the characters. 

I thought I would love a book about writers but I just could not get into the story.

The Last Romantics

The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin

March 2019 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

I waited a while to listen to this story because I had heard so many mixed reviews. The set-up of a famous poet in her 100s finally revealing the story of who Luna was extraneous to the book, but the story of a girl, her family, and her life was moderately compelling.

If this doesn’t sound like a resoundingly positive review it’s because it wasn’t. The story was enjoyable but forgettable all in one. It was fine. The writing was nice but it just never really got my attention

Books on The Read with Jenna Book Club List We Still Need to Read

What is your favorite novel from the Jenna Bush Hager book club? Which of Jenna’s books are you adding to your TBR?

What is the Read with Jenna Book Club?

Jenna Bush Hager runs the Today Show book club. Each month she picks a story and interviews the authors. She tends to focus on debut authors but sometimes picks classic books too.

When did the Read with Jenna Book Club start?

Founded in March 2019, Jenna began her book club after Reese’s version had a lot of success.

The Complete Read with Jenna Book Club List

Read with Jenna Book Club List 2019

Read with Jenna Book Club List 2020

Read with Jenna Book Club List 2021

Read with Jenna Book Club List 2022

Read with Jenna Book Club List 2023

Read with Jenna Book Club List 2024

Read with Jenna Reading lists

Read with Jenna Book Club Reading List

Download the complete Read with Jenna Book Club list below and subscribe to our newsletter here for exclusive access to more reading lists and printables!

For more celebrity book clubs ranked, take a look at this post!

The Complete Reese Witherspoon Book Club List & Best Books Ranked for 2024 (+PDF)

For more celebrity book club picks like this, check out the Reese list!

Reese Witherspoon Books Club
Oprahs Books Club

Oprah’s Book Club List: The Best Books Ranked for 2024 (+PDF)

If you like Reese’s Book Club, then you might want to check out Oprah’s list.

Good Morning America Book Club List: Best Books Ranked for 2024 (+PDF)

For more books like this, check out this post.

GMA Book Club

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

13 Comments

  1. I loved Solito byJavier Zamora. It was so well written through the thoughts and eyes of a nine year old, it captivated me. In a way it is about all of the Americans whose ancestors came to this country. Everyone was looking for a better life!