Move over Oprah, here comes Kimpton. If the pandemic is doing anything it is giving readers and would-be readers more time to do what they love – reading. To that end, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has launched a partnership with the popular literary platform Literary Hub offering a curated book club for travelers because reading does not stop when the house door closes. In fact, travel is the time when the books come out.
This literary partnership includes seasonal, themed reading lists with books selected by Literary Hub’s discerning editorial team and these tomes are backed up by an on-property lending program. Guests may check out recommended books while staying at select Kimpton hotels. Anyone who is interested in joining along from home is encouraged to purchase the texts on their own to take part in Kimpton’s lively conversations around the selected books.
Kimpton and Lit Hub will unveil each season’s curated books on respective social media channels, blogs and email communications to keep the discussions going fans and guests. Over the course of this year-long partnership, Kimpton and Literary Hub will also offer one-of-a-kind experiences, such as virtual Q&As, author readings and more with both established and up-and-coming authors, publishers and local independent bookstore owners.
“Now more than ever, people are looking for ways to connect with others safely and virtually, hear diverse perspectives and become part of a larger community,” said Kathleen Reidenbach, Kimpton’s Chief Commercial Officer. “Travel has historically been one way to meet those very human needs – but since in-person contact with others is limited, we decided to come up with a creative solution to bring people together. Bibliophile or not, we hope this partnership gives Kimpton fans a safe way to bring a bit more humanity to their life – whether they are travelling or in the comfort of their own homes.”
The Kimpton x Lit Hub spring reading list is themed: “Women Write Now.” Titles are by female authors exploring contemporary issues, confronting such topics as race and freedom, family obligations and crises, expectations for women, and the highs and lows of internet culture. The first collection of curated book recommendations from Kimpton and Literary Hub includes the following thought-provoking texts:
How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue: This extraordinary novel reads like an update of Things Fall Apart and Imbolo Mbue shows what happens when a diverse cast of people living in a village decide to stand up to an oil conglomerate taking over their area and destroying their land.
Why This Book: How Beautiful We Were is simultaneously a story of darkness—exploring topics like corporate greed, colonialism, and destruction, while also a tale of hope – in the form of sacrifice, revolution and freedom. While set in a fictional town, the story exposed many of the harsh realities of the world we live in while also reminding us of the power we have as both individuals and communities to create a brighter more equitable future.
No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood: The first novel by Lockwood is as close as we’ve ever seen a book get to recreating the way the internet—mindless absurdity, stuff about butts, random profundity—feels.
Why This Book: Patricia Lockwood has an unmatched wit, infusing hilarious jokes and cultural commentary into a narrative that then takes a heartbreaking turn to grapple with real tragedy. As we all continue to navigate the internet age, this brilliant and moving book dives into what it feels like to be alive right now.
Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener: There are lots of memoirs about the tech industry, but Anna Wiener’s “literary-minded outsider’s insider account” does more than reveal the surreal extravagance of tech-bros in Silicon Valley. Come for the unmasking of start-up culture, stay for the personal narrative of aspiration and disillusionment.
Why This Book: As technology and humanity continue to converge, we are all forced to really think about the way tech culture is shaping society and impacting our everyday lives in both positive and negative ways. This is a personal account of a woman not only changing career paths but also forging her way through a male-dominated industry and learning more about herself against the backdrop of the competitive, at times sexist, Silicon Valley.
In addition to launching the book club, Kimpton will be partnering with Literary Hub to provide additional enrichment experiences for fans of both brands. Literary Hub offers a Literary Long Weekend series, highlighting the best spots to visit, places to eat and of course bookstores and libraries for literary lovers on the road. Kimpton will be sharing these city-specific guides on its social media channels and at its participating hotels for guests looking for unique itineraries infused with literary culture. Literary Hub will also be creating new guides for cities with Kimpton properties, including recommended local bookstores to visit while in town, as curated by experts at Literary Hub.
The following 29 Kimpton hotels are participating in the program: