Reese Witherspoon knows what you want to hear.
Beginning in June, Witherspoon will expand her online book club into the audiobook sphere with the launch of Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine on Audible—or, for you RBCXHS Instagram followers, #HelloSunshineOnAudible. Using Reese’s Book Club picks, which center on complex, female-driven stories, Hello Sunshine on Audible aims to showcase the outstanding audio performances Audible is known for producing.
“When I started Reese’s book club, I wanted to highlight stories with women at the center and I’m so excited to deliver on that mission,” Witherspoon says. “With our busy lives, it can be hard to find the time to read. That’s why I am excited to work with Audible to provide a fun way to listen to beautiful stories in your free time, whether it’s enjoying a book in the car or on a morning walk.”
This move to including audio performances in their program indicates how carefully Witherspoon’s content company and media brand, Hello Sunshine, is thinking about the work they are producing and the conversations they want to cultivate.
“This signifies a major push for Hello Sunshine into long-form narrative audio originals,” Hello Sunshine CEO Sarah Harden says, “expanding opportunities for us to continue to partner with leading creators to bring to life female-centered narratives that are best told in, and created specifically for, audio.”
At Paste, we regularly gush about the critical intimacy of audiobooks and their ability to broaden a reader’s empathy with diverse stories. This new project, which will expand to include original audio productions developed in collaboration between Audible and Hello Sunshine later this year, marks an explosion of this outlook into the mainstream.
“Since its earliest days, Audible has been committed to creating unforgettable listening experiences through a powerfully intimate aesthetic meant to be heard,” Audible founder and CEO Don Katz says. “We are thrilled to be working with Reese, who has shown time and again her eye for identifying unforgettable stories, and with Hello Sunshine, a brand known for its creative storytelling, to create what is sure to be a rich palette of captivating spoken-word performances our millions of listeners will love.”
The first official selection for Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine on Audible will be announced during the first week of June. But if you want to join the club today with the club’s May selection, You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld, the audiobook version narrated by Emily Rankin and Mark Deakins is available for download on Audible now.
Alexis Gunderson is a TV critic and audiobibiliophile whose writing has appeared on Forever Young Adult, Screener and Birth.Movies.Death. She’ll go 10 rounds fighting for teens and intelligently executed genre fare to be taken seriously by pop culture. She can be found @AlexisKG.