Actions in the Literati online book club

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NANTUCKET – Please give her some room, Reese Witherspoon. Elin Hilderbrand also wants to be a leading “book influencer”.

This new role is what the bestselling Nantucket author, Nicknamed “the queen of beach readings,” hopes to engage more fully after the release of her latest book in 2024. (Really, she’s planning on quitting. Sorry, fans.) Hilderbrand already regularly trumpets books and authors on its social media, but will take a more structured influencing stage next week.

Hilderbrand is one of six authors from across genres who will be launching book clubs from June 1 to literate, a national literary startup based in Texas. The authors and travel experience platform Atlas Obscura will suggest books each month to subscribers, who pay $ 8.25 per month to access these and the company’s other five clubs and events, or 20 $ to $ 25 per month to have an additional club book delivered, with reading guides, special inserts and notes.

“I’ve wanted to influence books for a long time, and I’m very convinced that the biggest influencers in America shouldn’t be actresses and not even Oprah, but should be writers,” Hilderbrand said in a phone. . maintenance. Literati’s offer came at the right time, she said, calling it “the perfect passion project”.

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“What really excites me is that it has nothing to do with me as a writer. It only has to do with me as a reader, and reading is my first love. I think you’ll find that reading is every writer’s first love, ”she says. “You can tell from my Instagram that I’m so excited to read some great books and then tell the world about them.”

Subscribers can also post questions to Hilderbrand and other authors through the app, according to information from Literati, and Hilderbrand hopes to add videos of its authors interviewing. Registrations for all book clubs are available now (www.literati.com).

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Hilderbrand’s club is called “The Beach and Beyond”, focusing on what Literati calls “the best of escape fiction … stories as clever as they are compelling.” Her top pick is “The Divines,” Ellie Eaton’s debut novel, which was part of the attraction for Hilderbrand as no reader will be familiar with Eaton’s work.

The story takes place in an elite British boarding school, where there are complicated relationships and rivalries, and, says Hilderbrand, “this thing is happening with this girl and you don’t know what it is.”

“It’s all juicy, intriguing, and I thought this was a book you would definitely read on the beach,” she says.

Ellie Eaton

These new book clubs follow Literati’s formation in October with basketball player Stephen Curry, activist Malala Yousafzai, author Susan Orlean, business mogul Richard Branson and the Joseph Campbell mythological foundation.

In an announcement, Jessica Ewing, Founder and CEO of Literati, said this second round is specifically focused on authors and their distinct perspectives as part of Literati’s mission to “inspire the love of reading and love of life”. Other new club leaders are bestselling authors Roxane Gay, with an Audacious Book Club, to “experience bold writing”; Austin Kleon, with Read Like an Artist, to “pursue a more creative and meaningful life”; Kelly McGonigal, with The Joy Collective, to “explore new avenues of resilience, personal growth and joy”; Cheryl Strayed, with Wild Reads, presenting “personal journeys translated into stories of courage, vulnerability and spirit”; and Jesmyn Ward, with Gathering of Voices, focusing on “cultural strangers whose worlds are so real they feel right at home”.

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Regarding Hilderbrand’s involvement, Ewing added in a statement to The Times: “Not only is Elin an incredibly gifted writer, but she has a knack for discovering and recommending novels written with brilliance and thoughtfulness. The moment I spoke to her, I knew she would be perfect for it. She goes way beyond formulas, we had a good laugh at how she is known for beach readings, but loves all kinds of literature. Summer 2021 Reading Needs Elin. “

The “queen of beach readings”: elevate the genre

Hilderbrand, 51, who is about to launch her 26th novel, also laughs during an interview about her title as “queen of the beach to read”. But she says she kisses him “because that’s what I write”.

“My goal, honestly, is just to uplift (this genre). To write the best beach read there. That’s my goal when I sit down. I’m going to write a complicated, sophisticated and different beach reading. . I keep trying to broaden … the rules of the genre. I wrote a detective novel, and I wrote a historical article, and I try to do different things in the beach book genre.

Elin Hilderbrand's new novel, due out June 1, takes place in Nantucket

One of the different things about his new book is to stage scenes in the afterlife.

Not only will June 1 launch Hilderbrand’s Literati Book Club, it’s the launch of its in-person post-vaccination book tour – 11 appearances in 14 days in nine states outside of Massachusetts – and the release date of her new summer book “Golden Girl. “

“I still live in a tornado, I have so much to do, but this is especially true for June 1,” she laughs.

This novel is set, as usual, in Nantucket, where she has lived year-round since 1994, with the exception of the annual week-long writing retreats in Boston and the Caribbean. A Conversation with Hilderbrand is scheduled to be part of the Nantucket Film Festival garden party on June 17 (about writing his books and potential film adaptations). She will also be joined by novelist Jennifer Weiner for “Cocktails, Conversation, & Couture” on August 16 for the Nantucket Book Festival.

“I am so indebted to this island for everything I have that I don’t like to say no to anyone here,” she says.

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Hilderbrand was recently busy signing and personalizing 3,000 pre-ordered copies of “Golden Girl” in the basement of Mitchell’s Book Corner on the island, which she enjoys supporting in a number of ways. The personalization took even longer than usual as it offered to include a hashtag for buyers to represent someone they love who has passed away (“I love hearing their stories”). She says she wants readers to have this person’s name in their books, which will mean more at the end of the story.

Hilderbrand’s “Golden Girl”: An Experience Story

Hilderbrand says she’s not sure where the exact plot of “Golden Girl” came from, but it touches her on several levels: A Nantucket beach novelist jogs (as Hilderbrand does every day). days) a car and is killed. (This happens on the first page, so it’s not a spoiler, says Hilderbrand.)

When novelist Vivi arrives in the afterlife, her “administrator” says there is no mistake, but relents enough to allow Vivi to watch her three nearly grown children and other people. ‘she likes for one last summer, with three “nudges” allowed to set events on different courses.

Beyond its similarities to the main character, “Golden Girl” is based on her own experiences and beliefs. Hilderbrand talks about how she spent the summers from Cape Cod to Brewster until she was 16 when her father passed “and the summers were over and I had to get a job and grow up, basically. But I always wanted to have those summers, that’s how I ended up living in Nantucket and doing this for work.

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Hilderbrand says she has felt the loss of her father every day since, but that she “never honestly thought about him looking at me. Until I had my own children. Then, it became very clear to me that (with) all the things that had happened since his death, I believed he had somehow guided and protected me and moved me forward.

Her three nearly grown children also feature in another context. After treating her breast cancer in 2014, a complication arose that required her to be evacuated from the roof of Nantucket Cottage Hospital at Boston Medical Center.

“Before getting on the helicopter, the nurse from Nantucket said to me, ‘You really should get someone to pick up your kids so you can say goodbye to them.’ I was so sick, so sick. A friend brought her children to her. “I said goodbye to them, I said no matter what happens, I will always be with you, always. I was so convinced that I was going to watch them no matter what, and I made it very clear to them that I would. From this experience was born the book.

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And while “Golden Girl” is about mortality, parts of it, Hilderbrand says, are “so funny,” including “a bit of sarcasm” about being a writer.

“It’s a hopeful book,” and it was “happy” to write, she adds, noting, “No one knows what happens when we die, so I can make it up. gets it to be exactly how I want it, and that’s exactly how I want it. That’s the beauty of fiction.

She mentions the many comments she has received from readers about the signs they too have received that lost loved ones are watching over them. “I hope (the story) resonates with my readers.”

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Fans will be able to experience his vision starting June 1, and five of the 3,000 people who pre-ordered copies of Mitchell will win Gold Tickets to become characters in his upcoming book: “The Hotel Nantucket”. After that, there will be two more novels – she has stopped writing her winter book series – and she swears 2024 will mark the release of her last.

“I want to go out when things are still wonderful, and I don’t want to spin the thread until it breaks,” she says. “I really want to maintain the level at which I am working.

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She then hopes to move on to that more important role of a book influencer (“I want to be Reese Witherspoon”) and eventually produce projects for television or film. Five projects based on her books – including “Golden Girl” and “Summer of ’69” – are currently in development, she says. Other potential deals previously reported include his trilogy “Paradise”, “28 Summers” and “The Identicals”.

“None of them have broken out yet,” says Hilderbrand, “but I’m hopeful.”


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